Hackathon (potentially recurring)


“HACKATHON-[enter host city name here]”

1. Proposal TLDR

Recent proposals have shown that they are increasing in cost, expanding in scope, and durations for execution are getting longer. CityDAO has finite capital and no stable revenue. Many ideas (all) are in uncharted territory, which is why they’re exciting, but long time frames with large expenditures are bad bets for our fledgling ecosystem even with the best of ideas.

The Hackathon is envisioned as a first step in launching a project within the CityDAO ecosystem. It could also act as a throttle for creating a limit for the amount of funds that can go to projects during a given period, giving clarity to our runway.

The Hackathon is where we capture the initial energy for a weird idea and try to make something of it, something beyond a whitepaper or pitch deck, something that gives you an idea of what it could actually be like, it doesn’t have to be perfect. If it doesn’t work out or you find a gaping hole, it doesn’t matter, you probably learned something. On to the next.

A recurring event (tbd on how often) would also give us a heartbeat and a rhythm, which would be easier to get a quick pulse of what’s going on and to see what new project ideas people have.

“We need – more urgently than architectural utopias, ingenious traffic disposal systems, or ecological programmes – to comprehend the nature of citizenship, to make serious imaginative assessment of that special relationship between the self and the city; its unique plasticity, its privacy and freedom.”

— Jonathan Raban

Why Hackathons:

  • Consistent and targeted spending of capital
  • Capitalize on energy for ideas (build quick and test)
  • Build prototypes and validate ideas
  • Onboarding and ways for more people to get involved
  • Good ideas can continue building
  • Could be a funnel to allocate more resources to good projects, as a grant or an investment with the right legal understanding

Hackathon Format: Virtual, 48 hours long (tbd). The use of Citizen NFTs for projects is not required, but there may be bonus points for projects that can meaningfully use Citizen NFTs or community tokens in general, in accordance with guidelines and legal disclaimers.

A ‘live coverage’ component is envisioned, which might include interviews of the teams, updates throughout the event, b-roll of the Host City, team submitted footage, or a profile on local food.

Participants: Although the primary target is CityDAO Citizens, everyone can participate, regardless of holding a Citizen NFT, as long as the project fits the theme. Teams must consist of 2 or more people.

Themes: Each hackathon will have a theme. This theme provides focus and ensures projects are related to CityDAOs realm. Themes that could be considered are ones related to cities, physical land, real estate, radical market schemes, etc and decided by the Organizing Team (could change).

Host City: Each period (tbd how often) there will be a symbolic ‘Host City’. Although the vast majority of participants will participate virtually, we can give the opportunity to have local people meetup to work on hackathon projects, watch the final presentations together, or have an excuse to meet face to face.

Presentations: Hackathon participants are required to present their work (live or recorded) at the end of the hackathon. Timing is based on preferences of the Host City.

Judges: Should we rank choice vote winners with Citizen NFTs? Should there be a small panel of elected individuals, outside jurors?

Partnerships: It may make sense to partner with another project or DAO to get enough interest and variety of projects. Would also consider a partnership (or find the right people) to facilitate the organizing of the first hackathon if it made sense.

2. Project Team

Initiators: alexthims, tippi fifestarr, cromewar, you?

Hackathon Organizing Team: you?

Host City Organizers: you?

3. Proposal Budget

Grants Guild has signaled they would sponsor the first Hackathon. This is money that has already been approved via previous CIP and is in the Grants Guild Safe.

“Hackathon [city_name]” Prizes: USDC 20k? Tiers?

Hackathon Organizing Team:* USDC 5-10k?

Paid via Coordinape:

  • Setup a Circle
  • Setup a CoVault
  • Organizing Team Members (not Initiators) are added to the Circle
  • USDC funds for the Organizing Team are sent to the CoVault from the Grants Guild Safe
  • Epochs are 2 weeks long

Prizes are distributed by the Grants Guild Safe to an address specified by the winning Teams.

*The Organizing Team will need support from design, dev, and media guilds. Individuals from these guilds can be compensated for work related to this effort.

Host City Organizers and Event Funds: max 500 USDC? This is unknown, but the intent is these are funds to reimburse a group for food or drinks for Citizens and their web3 curious friends. This would not include anything similar to renting a venue, travel expenditures etc.

4. Timeline and Deliverables

First, trial run hackathon: ?

5. Media/Design/Dev

  • Need some help getting the word out
  • A landing page would be nice, sign up form, info on finding a team etc.
  • A ‘live coverage’ component, which might include interviews of the teams, updates throughout the event, b-roll of the Host City, team submitted footage, or a profile on local food.

6. Risks

  • The Organizing Team can’t deliver
  • Not enough people show up to participate and it’s a failure

7. Regulatory

  • CityDAO doesn’t own equity in hackathon projects.
  • Create clear guidelines for using Citizen NFTs in projects?
  • Legal disclaimers for prizes.


  • Although envisioned as a recurring event, one CityDAO Virtual Hackathon in 2022 would serve as a test run.
  • Choose a City as a symbolic Host City, giving people that live in that City an excuse to get together, get to know each other, participate in the hackathon, or watch it as spectators.
  • Grants Guild will provide the funding as described above, which it has already been allocated to disperse towards similar efforts.
  • Afterward, we can assess how the event went.
  • If successful, and if there’s a desire to do more hackathons on a recurring basis, a CIP will be required and move through governance procedures and allocate additional funding and resources.

  • Fully support.
  • I mentioned previously being willing to host in NYC. That being said, it would be best to start in Jan’23 after the university students return from winter break.
  • Definitely 48hrs.
  • Partner w/ 2-3 other organizations (Web2/Web3) and have them contribute to judging, theme, and prizes.
  • Hackathon Zero Theme: Each team is given a Parcel 0 NFT – build with it.

About the Host City and in real life component. At first I think this is virtual first with a very small physical presence in the Host City, and it’s scale is up to the people that are local. No airbnbs, travel expenses etc, spending should be laser focused on projects, teams, and organizing. A city should be selected where we have a couple energized citizens that want to get together. This could range from getting coffee to working on a project at a library or common space. It’s a good excuse to get some people together and bring some friends along.

What I think is fun about it is, along with the theme of the hackathon, we can use that city as the backdrop for the ‘live coverage’ component. I’ve got some of my own ideas, but envision this as the artifact that ties it all together.

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  • No stipends.
  • Ideally $2-3k budget for swag, diet coke, and pizza.
  • City chosen should have, at a minimum, a citizen willing to host.
  • Physical compliments digital by introducing new skillsets, ideas, and potential citizens to CityDAO. It is our user acquisition channel.
    • The physical components is why the hackathons will succeed.
    • We should start sell citizenships from the treasury to cover the operational expenses, fund the prices, and profit from surplus.
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LaCroix - not Diet Coke

Full support here, want to be in the team for this one.

Also would like to suggest the host City as “İstanbul”

  • Lets go international
  • There are a lot of blockchain communities in Turkey (universities mostly) and i already have some contacts (did work with them for grant guild)
  • I know @Tuncay also have some in his portfolio and he is into hackathon
  • Virtually of physically, İstanbul could be the best choice for the event

La ti da Mr. Chicago Manicure

This is a great start! A good hackathon takes about a month or two to plan unless the team is really sprinting. Since we are a DAO and kinda slow, I’d recommend shooting for a Virtual Hack sometime in Feb.


Stellar idea. That quote from Raban too is quite nice!

should we turn this into an official CIP?

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I think it needs more specifics and organizational input. I don’t think it’s ready for Snapshot tbh.

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Resurfacing this one, it felt like a winner for both the community AND the DAO - instead of solely benefitting a closed team like other proposals. I for one think the idea of a hackathon with capped funding to prove larger DAO-concepts is a better stage gate than people spit-balling their own budgets and milestones and then demanding money.

Hackathons could help bring the community together while fostering a builder environment (and speaking with actual results instead of political words). All for this one!