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Request For Proposal: ZIP Takeover

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Request For Proposal: ZIP Takeover

August 2020

Posted by

Aron van Ammers

CTO and Founding Partner

Before Outlier Ventures, Aron completed an MSc in Business Information Technology and has over 15 years of experience in software development in the roles of CTO, architect, designer, consultant, developer and systems engineer in both start-up and enterprise environments. He has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience with full stack software development, decentralised systems and smart contracts....read more

After several months of development Outlier Ventures internal technical team has developed a cross-blockchain cloud credit based on the increasing needs of their growing portfolio and partner ecosystem. 

Following extensive user research, design and technical implementation phases, we are now looking for a team of co-founders to take the product to market. 

The project has already over $100k in collateral signed by partners comprising an on-chain liquidity pool, as well as $40k in development fees agreed to be paid to the adopting team on completion of the first technical feature.

Submission deadline: 15 December 2020

Questions and submissions: zip@outlierventures.io

Posted by Aron van Ammers - August 2020

August 2020

Posted by

Aron van Ammers

CTO and Founding Partner

Before Outlier Ventures, Aron completed an MSc in Business Information Technology and has over 15 years of experience in software development in the roles of CTO, architect, designer, consultant, developer and systems engineer in both start-up and enterprise environments. He has extensive knowledge and hands-on experience with full stack software development, decentralised systems and smart contracts....read more

The story so far

  1. Problem: Having worked closely with a large number of enterprise partners and indie dapp developers in blockchain since 2014, we identified a recurring problem: today 

Today it is impossible to build SaaS type propositions on top of public (tokenized) blockchains: because of the volatility of the underlying tokens as a form digital commodity tokens make it impossible to plan costs and provide consistent pricing.

  1. Design: Based on the ‘cloud credit’ model familiar to enterprise via platforms such as AWS and Google Cloud, we developed a proof of concept solution that abstracted multiple tokens into a single cloud credit.
  2. Validation: We conducted user interviews with a range of Fortune 100 companies and startups, as well as indie dev shops, to validate the approach. We received a largely positive and optimistic response, but gained a more granular view of the problems common between enterprises: 

multi-chain interchange, ledger usage costs (gas), and lack of a single unit of account across blockchains are all points of friction.

  1. PoC: Having conducted user interviews, we iterated on the initial design to develop a proof of concept addressing the three key enterprise problems identified. The resulting technical solution is a: 
    1. cross-blockchain cloud credit deriving its price from compute rather than a currency. 
    2. It is backed by an on-chain liquidity pool, and currently supports Ethereum and a handful of smaller blockchains. 
    3. An open-sourced the PoC on GitHub.
  2. Collateralisation: We developed a new partner network and funnel to collateralise the project, and have thus far signed over $100k in collateralisation, as well as $40k in development fees for technical integrations with new blockchains.

The technical solution is largely in place, and we are now seeking a founder team to take this project to market, both commercially and technically via our accelerator program Basecamp’s next cohort (starting Jan 2021). This will involve deploying the solution on mainnet and completing the outstanding development contract, which is entirely EVM-based.

 

Known Technical Gaps

  1. To develop an integration between Z!P’s smart contracts on Ethereum and another EVM-based chain, for which preliminary work has been completed.
  2. To extensively test the developed solution as part of the existing Z!P codebase on an Ethereum testnet, ensuring high standards of security.
  3. To deploy the developed solution and the core Z!P codebase across the Ethereum mainnet and the aforementioned EVM chain, including the off-chain component linking the chains.
  4. To load the on-chain liquidity pool with the existing $100k in liquidity and to maintain the uptime and security of access to these funds for users, as well as the aforementioned off-chain component, e.g. running on a Linux server.
  5. To continue to develop the commercial funnel of Z!P in signing further collateralising partners and development contracts. Any monetary gain stemming from the latter are payable in full to the adopting team, i.e. ‘solicit your own business.’

 

Team composition

The ideal team will be entrepreneurially minded, composed of a mix of a skilled CTO and developer with experience in Solidity, alongside a commercial lead with strong knowledge of the blockchain industry.

 

Technology lead

The technology need will require experience in smart contract development.

Required:

  • Solidity.
  • JavaScript.
  • Web3.js.
  • Smart contract testing.
  • Technical design ability, particularly scalability.
  • A reasonable understanding of smart contract security.

Desirable:

  • Ability to pitch technical solutions to commercial audiences.
  • An understanding of crypto-economics or basic behavioural economics to assist in smart contract security.

A demonstration of the above skill set would be an Ethereum testnet deployment of an ERC20 token with an additional function returning a string containing the developer’s name. The developer would then point us to the contract address.

 

Commercial lead

The commercial lead will ideally be an experienced entrepreneur, familiar with startup life, agile, pragmatic with a solid understanding of blockchain and smart contracts.

Required:

  • Sales, ability to develop a pipe of B2B partners for the project 
  • End to end contract life-cycle management
  • A solid network in ideally both enterprise blockchain and the Web 3 startup ecosystem

Desirable:

  • An understanding of crypto-economics or basic behavioural economics to assist in smart contract security.
  • Basic software development ability, particularly smart contracts.

A demonstration of the above skill set would be a video of a B2B pitch for Z!P created from the whitepaper at https://zip.fission.name. 

The commercial lead can send this to us as an unlisted online video or MP4 file.

 

Optional additional team members

We are open to an additional developer or in cases where the two aforementioned leads have no such experience, a crypto-economics focused team member.

 

Submission content

Please make any submissions to zip@outlierventures.io.

  1. Technical lead:
    1. Profile of the technical lead (resume and/or LinkedIn) plus a link to their GitHub profile.
    2. An Ethereum testnet deployment of an ERC20 token with an additional function returning a string containing the technical lead’s name (written by the technical lead).
  2. Commercial lead:
    1. Profile of the commercial lead (resume and/or LinkedIn).
    2. A video of a B2B pitch for Z!P created from the whitepaper at https://zip.fission.name (created by the commercial lead).
  3. Optionally, profile (resume and/or LinkedIn) of an additional developer or crypto-economics team member.