Hi Prof_Fanatickus! Really appreciate the time and effort you spent going through the proposal and leaving thoughtful comments. Definitely a lot of things to discuss and people like you really help in lending an extra set of eyes to ensure proposals like this are a success!
A few things to clarify, all of these University Group DAOs are separate entities entirely run by students that do not fall under the particular university that they happen to attend. We are speaking with several firms that are spending a lot of time figuring out the most optimized entity structure for this application.
RDI’s participation and likely other University Centers will be predicated on gift funding to support their focus (which obviously will be very aligned with BitDAO and EduDAO to garner said funding). We are working closely with RDI and in conversation with several other University Centers discussing how to have an even more engaged relationship going forward, and as you point out, this is one of the areas RDI will be focusing on using the funding they receive!
More succinctly there are two groups we are engaging with this proposal:
University Group DAO’s = Student driven entities entirely seperate from the universities they attend.
University Centers = Faculty driven research centers that fall under University rules and guidelines.
The labor pool you’re describing is really young college kids from old money. In my opinion, this proposal does not achieve these goals. This does not address retention issues. They are not ideologically-driven and have alternative career paths if their startups fail. They can pivot out of the industry far easier. Retaining builders is the issue. I suggest introducing an amendment to the proposal–a complementary fund for smaller universities where the disenfranchised talent has a path to innovate. Or, failing that, an open-source doctrine that protects the work products of these endowments from being university IP. If you want radical young minds for cheap to enter the workforce and build, weeding out students destined for consulting in middleman operations is needed.
I don’t necessarily agree with you on all of this point. Retention issues are definitely one of the primary focuses of this initiative and very important when it comes to student orgs, but your overgeneralization of club participants is off base in my experience. I co-founded Blockchain at Berkeley and do not fit into your narrative. I joined the military to pay for school because my family could not afford it, and my family losing their house during the financial crisis right after I joined was one of the primary motivators for me to work on technology that could empower people like my family who the current system was obviously not working for. University populations in general may fit into the “old money” category you address but those students will likely join traditional consulting or venture clubs where they can better leverage their family connections. When I was at Berkeley, I was surrounded by people with similar stories who seem uniquely drawn to this technology. I could go on and on addressing my personal experience and go over in detail the leadership of the various University Groups in this proposal and how they don’t fit into this overgeneralization but I think the entire conversation is the wrong approach.
In my mind, this initiative should be data driven. As you see in the proposal, funding is entirely driven by results. We set an initial funding bar, with checks every three months to adjust based on performance and need. In the Scaling Up section, I discuss exactly what you are describing, including numerous other schools who wish to participate. We wish to be as inclusive as possible and if you know any university group who would like to participate please connect me, we will likely be adding many more during phase 2 (If this initial trial goes well).
I targetted student groups that already had been organizing, building, and educating in the absence of funding to see what they could do with a larger budget and increased support. As you mention, retention is very challenging and groups that have been around for a while have a much better chance to succeed initially, paving the way for other university groups that will need to undergo the same struggles to create something lasting. Connecting these established student groups to make a structure others can follow will hopefully give as many young, motivated individuals a chance to self select as possible. I went from disarming bombs in Afghanistan to building blockchain solutions for some of the largest companies by my Junior year at Berkeley with zero support from the actual university - it was entirely student driven as most of these student groups still are. I want every student to have this opportunity, it truly changed my life. To discount the work being done by motivated individuals in order to justify a more inclusive approach goes against the spirit I was aiming for in submitting this proposal in the first place. EduDAO is not zero sum, I hope that this proposal can end up funding every single student with an interest in blockchain and we don’t need to put down others in order to get there.
“…and propose at least one BitDAO Contribution every six months ”
That’s brilliant. Still not thrilled at the idea of giving old money more fast-tracking into a new money industry that needs deeper drivers than profit. Built as a public good, this is an easy win. But the people this will attract are not the ones you need if the goal is a regenerative model for perpetual university endowments. They will extract this fund and replenish it only insofar as the university needs a budget for overworking grad students on the research teams.
I covered it above, but once again, these University Group DAOs will be independent entities working on public goods for BitDAO and beyond. Each university’s IP rules are different but this is something we are extremely aware of to make sure that everything produced is open and usable by the public. In speaking with the faculty at RDI, this is the spirit of what they are working on as well, and will be a requirement of any University Centers we choose to work with. There is an important dichotomy within this proposal, student driven groups and faculty driven centers, funding will be allocated based on the value that each of them creates as determine by BIT holders. If the situation arises that you mention, I believe Year 2 funding will look quite different.