[TEMP CHECK] Aave Events & Sponsorship Budget

Summary

We are thrilled to present this budget proposal on behalf of Aave Companies and our ongoing commitment to support the Aave Community. This proposal will enable the Aave DAO and Aave Companies to collaborate and continue being a gateway for new contributors to the ecosystem and drive Aave’s culture and GHO adoption at key events like DevConnect, rAAVE, and ETHGlobal Istanbul.

History

Aave Protocol has consistently been at the forefront of DeFi innovation with pioneering features. With a strong emphasis on security, usability, and composability, Aave has amassed a vibrant and engaged community of developers, users, and stakeholders.

Aave Companies recognizes the fundamental importance of the Aave Grants DAO in nurturing the DeFi ecosystem and has consistently provided support to the AGD through direct collaboration. Historically, Aave Companies has worked alongside AGD to bring sponsorship and presence at hackathons and events, designed and created the highly coveted Aave merch, and brought rAAVE to life in various cities across the globe.

Overview

Aave Companies is requesting a budget allocation of $550,000 paid in GHO for the remainder of 2023 to support a range of activations and events to continue growing and nurturing the global Aave Community. These initiatives will serve multiple purposes:

  1. Sponsoring Hackathons: Aave Companies intends to sponsor hackathons to encourage developers to build on Aave Protocol, as well as the new stablecoin, GHO. These hackathons not only provide a platform for the Aave community to connect with talented developers in both web3 and web2 but also lead to the creation of innovative DeFi projects that enhance the Aave ecosystem.

  2. Side Events: Hosting side events alongside major conferences allows the Aave community to increase community awareness, foster connections, and share technical knowledge and industry insights. These events often include panels, workshops, and discussions led by industry experts. Side events are also where Aave is able to show our commitment to inclusivity and diversity in the web3 ecosystem by tapping into new communities and audiences. We’re proud to be supporters of groups such as SheFi and BoysClub.

  3. Merch: Aave Companies recognizes the importance of high-quality merchandise in building brand recognition. We intend to continue to create highly coveted Aave and GHO branded merchandise to distribute at events, as part of community engagement efforts as well as to proliferate the ghost. We will continue to push for the use of sustainable materials, and creating merch people actually wear, use, and love.

  4. Development of the GHO Pass: With one of the core missions of the Aave community being to grow GHO by stimulating demand, expanding its utility, and accelerating its transactional velocity, we’re excited to announce Aave Companies’ development of the GHO Pass. The GHO Pass V1 will facilitate GHO purchases at both Aave events and events we sponsor. We plan to launch GHO Pass at DevConnect, where users can get early access to a select group of rAAVE tickets and drink credits, exclusive merch, and other perks.

  5. rAAVE: To celebrate and give back to the Aave community, we plan to host another edition of our vibrant and highly demanded event, rAAVE. Such events serve as an excellent opportunity for building “hype” around the Aave brand and creating a memorable experience for the Aave community. We will also explore live streaming rAAVE, and integrating GHO pass (as mentioned above). We will continue to manage ticketing logistics, press relations, as well as rAAVE social media.

Activations

Activations continue to be a key focus and driver of growth for the Aave ecosystem thanks to:

  • Creating a welcoming, engaging and memorable experience at the Aave booth.
  • Sponsoring side events, hackathons, prizes and providing exceptional support to developers.
  • Spreading Aave’s culture by distributing highly coveted merchandise.
  • Selectively hosting rAAVEs to bring the Aave community together, reward contributors and make Aave the top ecosystem in crypto.
  • Developing GHO Pass payment portal.

Future Activations Overview:

Name Date Details
ETH Global Istanbul Nov 17-19 During the week of Devconnect. ETHGlobal puts on arguably the most reputable hackathon events in the Ethereum ecosystem. Istanbul is a community with substantial and growing crypto adoption and is a prime market to engage hackers and the community with Aave and GHO.
rAAVE Nov TBD rAAVE brings the community together, helping to strengthen Aave’s culture and differentiate Aave’s ecosystem. We will host one rAAVE during the course of this proposal that is powered by GHO to help spread adoption and awareness.
Devconnect + Side Events Nov 13-19 This will be the event of the year in the Ethereum community. Hosted by the Ethereum Foundation, this event will be one of the most attended web3 events of 2023. Activating here will allow us to reach a wide audience and connect with many from our community.
Side Events Q4 Side events we’re currently considering include: SheFi Summit Istanbul, Certora at DevConnect, Scroll Day, notDevcon by ITU Blockchain, StableSummit Istanbul. Funds from any side events that are not confirmed will be rolled over to the next potential side event.

For this proposal, Aave Companies is focusing on sponsoring fewer events, while increasing the quality of Aave’s presence.

A majority of the new event spend will be used to have an impactful presence during Devconnect, ETHGlobal Istanbul, and rAAVE in order to drive hackers to build with GHO and to increase GHO utilization within the wider community. Since Devconnect week will be the marquee event of the year, any remaining budget after our main sponsorships will be allocated to side events related to DeFi or Smart Contract Security.

Next Steps

  • Get community feedback on TEMP CHECK
  • Snapshot vote
  • If Snapshot is successful then move to AIP

Conclusion

Aave Companies is deeply committed to the Aave community. We believe that the proposed one-off budget allocation of $550,000 paid in GHO for activations and events will not only enrich the ecosystem but also foster innovation, inclusivity, and recognition. We look forward to the DAO’s support in enabling these initiatives to come to life and continue to drive the growth of the Aave ecosystem. We will rollover excess budget to Q1 2024 events.

8 Likes

Thanks for presenting this budget proposal on behalf of Aave Companies, outlining your commitment to supporting the Aave Community and furthering the adoption of Aave’s culture and GHO at various events. While I appreciate the dedication to the community, I’d like to ask some questions and seek clarification regarding the significant budget allocation of $550,000 for the remainder of 2023 the majority of which appears to be earmarked for just one event.

My starting point is that Aave is already a well-established company in the DeFi space with a track record of innovation and an already vibrant community. Given its strong position, I think it’s important to justify the need for such a large budget allocation. In particular, I’d like to understand why such a substantial amount is required when Aave has already achieved recognition and success in the Defi?

Additionally, several aspects raise questions about the necessity of this budget for me. Specifically:

Booth Experience: You mention the importance of creating a welcoming, engaging, and memorable experience at the Aave booth. However, it’s essential to clarify why $550,000 is required to achieve this goal. Surely a well-designed booth can be accomplished without such a substantial budget.

Social Media: Your proposal mentions managing social media for events like rAAVE. Given Aave’s established presence, it would be beneficial to understand why additional funding is required for social media management. Surely effective social media strategies can be executed with existing resources.

Merchandise: While high-quality merchandise is good for Aave brand recognition, it would be helpful to elaborate on why a significant portion of the budget is allocated for this purpose. Are there innovative merchandising strategies that necessitate this level of investment?

GHO Pass: The development of the GHO Pass is a commendable initiative, but it’s essential to provide a breakdown of the costs associated with its development and why $550,000 is required for this purpose.

rAAVE: While hosting rAAVE events is valuable for community engagement, please specify the cost breakdown for managing ticketing logistics, press relations, and social media for these events.

Side Events: The proposal mentions sponsoring side events, but it would be beneficial to understand the rationale behind the selection of these events and how the budget will be distributed among them.

In conclusion, at the moment I believe that transparency and a detailed breakdown of expenses will help me and the Aave community better understand the necessity of the proposed budget. While I support the goal of fostering innovation in the Aave ecosystem, it’s crucial to ensure that budget allocations are both justified and optimized and at the moment I’m not wholly convinced that what has been outlined warrants a spend of over half a million dollars.

5 Likes

Generally supportive of a budget for Events & Sponsorship.

However, to properly assess this specific proposal - it would certainly be helpful to have an expected cost breakdown if possible across the mentioned events/sponsorships as mentioned by @MrKris.

A small side note, but it’d be great to hear more about the selectivity of rAAVE’s. They’re awesome for those who get to go - it’d be great to get insight into whether a wider variety of Aave community members are able to get invites? or how the guest list is chosen currently.

5 Likes

Hello @AaveLabs,

Firstly, I’d like to express my appreciation for presenting the proposal.

However, I align with the reservations highlighted by @MrKris and @Hazbob, and would like to seek clarification on a couple of additional points:

  1. In past conferences, I’ve noticed similarities between the Aave and Lens booths. Given this, how will @AaveLabs guarantee that the budget is exclusively utilized for Aave-related endeavors and not diverted to Lens activities? Would it be possible for Aave Co to provide a detailed breakdown of expenditures to transparently demonstrate that the funds are allocated solely for Aave-specific items?
  2. Concerning the GHO Pass, should it prove successful, will the proceeds from the GHO Pass be directed back to the DAO? For instance, if 10k GHO is expended, will an equivalent 10k be reimbursed to the DAO?
4 Likes

Maybe to give some clarity for everyone as we’re also involved in conference sponsoring and know the pricing of those events. Booths in blue-chip conferences and side-events can easily reach $100K as a starting point .

550k for everything that is mentioned here for 2023 only can definitely be excessive. That depends on the scale of rAAVE as well. It is mentioned in the proposal that excess budget will be used in Q1 2024. (@AaveLabs you wrote 2025, i assume it’s a typo?)

Thus, we don’t think this budget is excessive as it will be carried forward for Q1 as well.


Agreed here @MrKris, but it is also important to mention that this doesn’t mean Aave should lay back because it’s such a well established brand. It’s a strong position and by continuing the event awareness such as Hackathons, booths and rAAVE - it will help maintain that position.

On high quality merch: Can get very expensive if you’re looking for quality. Over $30-40 per piece.

Side events: Those usually cost $5-20k depending on how many entities partner up and the size of the event of course.

Hope this sheds some light on costs. We do hope and share sentiment that a more detailed breakdown follows on selection of side-events and reasoning.

In general, we’re supportive of this proposal considering that any remaining budget will be carried forward to Q1 2024.

7 Likes

I like this proposal. Given Aave’s leadership and the status of Defi, I would prefer sponsorships, hackatons, and side events over high-quality merch.

2 Likes

Thanks @AaveLabs Excited for the GHO Pass initative!

While I understand the rationale for featuring the AAVE brand at major events from a branding perspective, in my experience presence at some of the minor or upcoming events is where potential new audience, devs and users lie. I support the ask in this proposal, however I’d like to urge the community to find a solution for smaller events.

Events is where the AAVE community can shine and deliver on things that is too expensive in terms of time or money for core contributors. We don’t need to make full blown sponsorships for smaller events, in my experience, creating simple bounties for community members to walk around in AAVE swag, sponsoring hackathons and incentivising the community to participate in speaking opportunities goes a long way in establishing a global community first brand.

1 Like

Thank you for all the time given to review our proposal. Please find answers to your specific questions below:

The proposed budget is in line with previous spending for similar events and covers three major events and a side event around DevConnect – one of the most important events of the year for the Ethereum community.

This is a very important question and we thank you for asking. Although the Aave Protocol has achieved success and recognition in DeFi, it’s important to retain strong community support and engagement. We are proposing several thoughtful and well-organized events at DevConnect, including hackathons, rAAVE and smaller side events that bring the community together. Community-building and reinforcing brand values and recognition is essential to attracting and retaining web3 users.

The total allocation request for DevConnect covers several events. The booth experience and design is in line with previous spending and the Aave booth consistently outperforms, attracting a significant number of developers, community members and people who don’t know the protocol.

Social media posting, replies and monitoring is part of the work performed, but there is no direct or additional funding proposed for this.

Aave has been known for high-quality, durable and well-designed merchandise since 2018. The branding has consistently projected the quality, care and sustainability values that attract a web3 audience.

To execute on the GHO pass initiative, dedicated build time is required from the team. This initiative will support GHO adoption and ensure that the Aave community and others unfamiliar with GHO, will experience and become familiar with GHO at DevConnect and outside this event in the future.

There are no direct costs associated with social, marketing and press activities. rAAVE is an impactful and unique community event. We want to keep the details of how the event is orchestrated and related costs confidential both for flexibility reasons and for competitive reasons. The costs are a blueprint to how the event is successfully executed.

Side events selection is based on strengthening Aave’s and GHO’s presence with various strategic audiences, outreaching to new target audiences, ensuring Aave remains top-of-mind within and outside the community, and gaining awareness of GHO.

Yes, we propose that any excess allocation will be carried over into 2024 Q1. (sorry for the typo)

Thank you for recognizing the importance of continued support to build and maintain brand awareness and for your point regarding the competitive landscape we are in today.

Regarding the merch, our formula is to use sustainable materials with longevity in mind. Finding appropriate partners is always extremely hard and we are proud that our team has been able to find good, cost-effective solutions. We don’t expose the cost per piece, however, we are very mindful of costs here and in all expenditures, making sure to receive bids and assess each partner individually for cost, quality, execution and sustainability.

Thank you for the support for the proposal. We provide a top-line budget only purposely not providing insight into the investments made in each event category or specifics per event. This is both for flexibility and for competitive reasons. We propose that any excess allocation will be carried forward into 2024. We agree it is important that rAAVEs are available for Aave community members and we will find a way to provide a window of opportunity to claim a ticket. Regarding the guest list, there are indeed more people wanting to get into rAAVE than the event is able to host, which attests to its popularity and reputation as a key community event. Tickets are available via multiple avenues tied to different activities and timing, and we conduct outreach to various organizations to target different audiences and demographics to enhance diversity and attract strategic partners and developers.

We confirm that AGD has always allocated funds exclusively for Aave activities.

We plan for any proceeds from the GHO pass to go back directly into the budget for future activities that support the protocol and GHO. This is for accounting simplicity reasons.

1 Like

Hi @AaveLabs,

My question was not directed to AGD’s spending/allocation of funds, if I wanted to ask that I would have asked in the AGD threads. I’m asking you (not AGD), how will you guarantee that the budget is exclusively utilized for Aave-related endeavours and not diverted to Lens activities?

1 Like

Hi @G-Blockchain

Thank you for this clarification. We have a robust tracking system for all AGD-related expenditures. We are very careful to sequester funds and have strong internal ethical guidelines and accounting procedures that are followed to ensure funds are used appropriately. Aave Companies will ensure that the budget from this proposal (and all proposals past and in the future) will be used only for specific, community approved, Aave-related endeavors. We have always worked closely with AGD to ensure the funds are used correctly. We very much aligned with you that it is absolutely necessary that funds be used appropriately and efficiently.

1 Like

The Snapshot for this proposal is live for voting until Oct 8, 2023.

You can find it here: Snapshot

Hey @AaveLabs we had a few questions around this. Since a budget of $550k targeted towards this quarter is quite significant, could you please elaborate on what the competitive reasons are for not providing a budget breakdown? Even rough indications would be helpful in better analysing the proposal.

We also agree with @jengajojo that smaller events would be more targeted and cost effective for the DAO. While it’s important to sponsor side events at DevConnect, there should also be a balance found which is more economical.

5 Likes

@AaveLabs Thanks for the proposal. We agree with the importance of Aave events for attracting talent to the Aave ecosystem and maintaining brand recognition. However, we also share @lbsblockchain 's question, could you elaborate on the competitive reasons to not disclose a budget breakdown?

Or, if the competitive reasons are binding, as an alternative, would you be able to give a high-level spending breakdown at the end of the year, after the main events are over? Some level of accountability and transparency would be welcomed by the community.

4 Likes

Devconnect Istanbul 2023

Devconnect was a whirlwind of events, talks, workshops, hackathons and community bonding. Aave Labs are grateful to have been part of this important week for the web3 ecosystem. The team managed several DAO-sponsored events, including ETHGlobal Istanbul, the ETHGlobal Hackathon, a several side events (see breakdown below), and rAAVE Istanbul, which was the must-attend event of the Devconnect week. Additionally, with DAO support, Aave Labs developed an initiative to promote GHO adoption, the first GHO Passport and as a result was able to return $30K to the DAO treasury.

GHO Passport

GHO Passport was introduced as an onchain pass for IRL events. Each Passport was a unique soulbound NFT and included special perks for those attending Devconnect, who purchased a GHO Passport, such as exclusive GHO swag and tickets to rAAVE as well as a GHO VIP lounge at rAAVE.|359x394.6936049440396

rAAVE

rAAVE Istanbul was by far the most anticipated event of the week, a celebration for the Aave community and Devconnect participants. Over 1,200 people attended. With the support of the Aave community, Aave Labs created additional ways for people to participate via livestreaming on Rad Radio and Livepeer, where 1283 people participated – maximizing the ROI. We are excited to bring innovative ways to integrate GHO into future rAAVEs and to further improve this brand-building, community event in the future.

Ticket distribution

Tickets were distributed to different targeted diverse groups. rAAVE tickets were allotted to BGD, Aave Chan, Aave Grants and SheFi, among other key communities, who distributed them to their members. The night was full of good energy - with the crowd chanting “rAAVE rAAVE rAAVE.” Thank you to everyone who helped plan, attended and participated in this Aave DAO-sponsored community event.

Aave DAO sponsored – ETHGlobal Istanbul Hackathon

ETHGlobal Istanbul was one of the largest events during Devconnect with over 2,000 hackers. The Aave Labs team mentored hackers during the hackathon while also giving out highly coveted Aave merch – with lines out the door to claim merch. On behalf of the Aave DAO, Aave Labs DevRel, DefiSpartan hosted a workshop on “How to build DeFi applications with Aave & GHO,” which was packed (standing room only) with eager-to-learn GHO hackers.

25 hackathon projects were built on Aave and $10,000 was awarded to four of the best projects. The prize winners were…

Best DAO Tooling prize recipients:

:1st_place_medal: PePay a peer-to-peer mobile payments app inspired by Pepe’s vision of a world without payment related middlemen.

:2nd_place_medal:Stabilan which is a Decentralized Trustless Insurance Protocol. We present a use case where users can protect their assets from price crashes or stablecoins from depegging.

Best GHO Stablecoin integrations prize recipients:

:1st_place_medal:AAtomato which enables you to automate complex actions based on triggers and conditions in a safe way by remaining in custody.

:2nd_place_medal:Themis: ZKML Loyalty is is a framework for improving protocol incentives and optimizing for long-term loyalty through data-driven analysis. It delivers those improvements in a trustless manner using Zero-Knowledge Proofs over the Machine Learning model results (ZKML).

Side Events: The following side events were sponsored by the Aave DAO:

  • L2 Days, the largest conference dedicated to Ethereum scaling solutions, hosted by Scroll.

  • notDevcon, an event focused on the possibilities and societal impact of Ethereum technology, hosted by ITU Blockchain (the first university blockchain society in Turkey).

  • The unStable Summit

  • Certora x Aave meet-up

Through speaking opportunities, the Aave Labs team supported these and a variety of other events, reinforcing the Aave Protocol through, GHO and decentralized finance. For example:

  • Pragma, where Stani Kulechov spoke with Maker DAO Founder Rune Christensen on “The Future of Algorithmic Stablecoins.”

  • Hyperlink by Consensys, where Stani spoke about “What’s New in Decentralized Technology.”

  • Chainlink, where Stani discussed the opportunity of “Cross-chain GHO.”

  • The unStable Summit, where Stani spoke about “The Opportunity Driving Stablecoin Adoption” and in a separate presentation, Emilio spoke on “Navigating liquidity challenges, Stablecoin Collateralization, Liquidations, and Bridging.”

  • Avalanche House, where Emilio Frangella spoke about Institutional DeFI.

  • Certora x Aave meet-up where Emilio, Aave Labs VP of Engineering, spoke with the Certora team about “Formal verification on Aave Protocol”.

From reinforcing brand awareness and meeting with developers unfamiliar with Aave, Aave contributed to the success of Devconnect week. Thank you for your support, which successfully met the goal to reinforce Aave and GHO brand awareness and encourage development on the Protocol.

3 Likes