Polkadot, an advanced sharded, multi-chain, and interoperable network founded by Web 3.0 Foundation, in association with Lumos Labs, an innovation management firm, announced Skykiwi, a decentralized storage network as the winners of the inaugural edition of Polkadot Buildathon: India, Polkadot’s first-ever India-focused blockchain hackathon aimed at driving the Web3 wave in India, started in May of 2021. The top three projects stand to receive a grand prize from a pool of $14,000 USD along with go-to-market access and support in technology implementation.
PolkaMusic, a gamified music streaming experience using NFTs and Cerebrum, an open-source distributed infrastructure for training AI models were selected as the 1st runner-up and 2nd runner-up respectively, of the hackathon after a nine-week-long run hackathon interspersed with regular meetups and training workshops.
The announcement was made at the Polkadot Buildathon Demo Day, a virtual conference attendees from across the globe on June 11, 2021, where the final 5 selected start-ups, Cerebrum, Dot ID, Dotscale, PolkaMusic and SkyeKiwi pitched their products one last time. Apart from pitches from the top projects, the Demo day also featured some interesting talks from the Web3 Foundation and Parity Technologies teams. Participants could also explore a range of opportunities from the Web3 Foundation Grants Program, Substrate Builders Program, On-Chain Treasury, and even an opportunity to secure Job placement in the Polkadot Ecosystem with their knowledge of Substrate.
The surge of emerging advancements in the blockchain industry including DeFi, dApps, NFTs, etc, has resulted in a parallel surge in demand for developers and entrepreneurs in the field. According to a report by Linkedin, blockchain is the most in-demand hard skill required by top companies in 2020. India with its developer pool at a strong 4.2 million, the second largest globally, is now the hub for blockchain development. According to a leading media publication, Inc42, the number of blockchain startups in India has also gone up from 100+ in 2018 to 300+ in 2021. This has been a huge pull for global platforms to explore the Indian markets. The Polkadot Buildathon: India was established with this mission of building the Web3.0 ecosystem and providing the necessary catalyst to enhance the developer ecosystem of India and be a part of the revolution.
The hackathon was conducted in two four-week-long phases: the Ideation phase and the Integration phase. During the course of the Ideation phase, over 1200 developers applied, with 120+ project ideas developed. The participants were provided with training workshops to learn basic local node deployment and identify real-world problems that could be solved on the chain using Substrate, the blockchain-building framework used in the Polkadot ecosystem. This was followed by the Integration phase where the first cohort of the selected participants were empowered to build and improve their solutions on the Polkadot parachain further along with fine tuning their USPs that set them apart.
“This has been a very exciting and rewarding experience and we wish the winners the best for their future endeavours. We at the Web3 Foundation are delighted to have been a part of such a dynamic and strong developer community in India and look forward to working on more future projects with the community filled with the same enthusiasm, knowledge, and vigour as we witnessed throughout the Buildathon. As the world heads towards a shift into Web3, India has proved to be abreast with it, if not ahead. Our Polkadot Buildathon:India was a step into empowering the community further and enabling them to explore the limits of the partnership between their creativity and this disruptive technology. After witnessing such a spectacular turnout, we are very excited to pursue future collaborations and see what more Indian developers, entrepreneurs, innovators, startups, etc have to offer”, said Urban Osvald, Growth Manager at Web 3.0 Foundation.
The Polkadot Buildathon: India hackathon saw a strong and active participation of over 1200+ registrations from which top participants selected in its first cohort were granted $200 each, followed by the selection of the Top 5 who pitched their projects live at the Demo Day. The 9-week long hackathon was launched in partnership with Lumos Labs, an innovation management firm specialising in running technology open innovation programs in India.