ESSIF-lab stage 3 Competition Pitch Event

Sorry things have been a little quiet on here! We have been busy with preparation for the competitive ‘pitch’ or ‘hackathon’ to get into the EU, Next Generation Internet, European Self Sovereign Identity Lab Business open Call 2, Stage 3. or … EU NGI ESSIF-Lab BoC2 Stage 3 …for short!

The big event was yesterday, where we were one of 9 teams to pitch to the judges, who will decide over the next few days which 5 teams are ‘best in class’ and will get into the next stage, and receive an additional tranche of funding (€41k) on top of the €50k to be awarded for successfully completing stage 2.

It has been hard work putting together all the ‘deliverables’ for the grant application and creating the first production version of the Coop Creds product for the live demo, but I hope it has all been worth it. If we win the full amount, the funds will certainly help us all move forward on some real life trials among our co-operative communities.

Here’s a recording of a practice of the 3 minute pitch:

and the demo:

(about 8 minutes)

And here is the pitch deck itself.

We need to start thinking soon about plans for some small-scale trials, followed with something bigger and ‘co-operative’, so it would be great to have another community call around that :slight_smile:

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Awesome! Thanks for the update. :crossed_fingers:

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Hello Everyone!

I’m sorry to say that we did NOT make it through to stage 3 of the eSSIF-lab grant. We tried hard, but in the end there were other teams with a more mature market proposition than ours, and we need to do more work. The announcement letter, and our reply is below. However, we’re looking forward to receipt of the stage 2 funding and there ain’t no stopping us now. Onward!

Letter from eSSIF-Lab

Dear Team CoopCreds

We regret to inform you that, after careful consideration by the “Selection Committee” as explained in Guide for Applicants (chapter 5), your proposal has not been selected to take part in the 3rd stage of the eSSIF-Lab Business-oriented Programme.

Find below the final score and comments provided by these committee, as feedback for you to understand our decision and to potentially improve your project for the future.

Business Score 3.8
Tech Score 4.2

Here is the breakdown of your score in greater detail:

Business Case
The deliverable (business case deck) for eSSIF-Lab exceeds by far what was required for the deliverable. There is an excess of information for the concise format needed for a business case and this impacted the score. The business case however made important progress and converged towards a use case that brings together many different actors pooling resources from multiple cooperatives. The use of SSI in a festival is indeed an interesting opportunity to explore. A demonstration of SSI in such an event is encouraged. Given the level of maturity of such a concept, the necessary time required for a deployment exceeds the scope of eSSIF-lab.
For more detailed information, please contact Thomas Shamuyarira.
Tech Score
CoopCreds demonstrates a fascinating SSI use case of collaborating coops, e.g. coops of music makers and coops of music fans. It is an interesting alternative to big-tech-platform solutions, which we hope will succeed in the market. It is a clear demo how SSI credentials are issued by one coop and verified by another one, including the emphasis on governance. What was missing a bit in the technical demo is the user journey, for which purpose a user wants to collect and present these badges.

For more detailed information, please contact Oskar van Deventer.

Payment is subject to delivery of all phase 2 deliverables and resource allocations covering phase 1 and 2 of eSSIF-Lab. For any further questions, we invite you to contact Thomas Wilczek from the FundingBox team.

As with last year’s teams, your technical videos will be posted on the eSSIF-Lab channel.

We sincerely wish you every future success for your project and hope you will stay in touch with us and stay tuned for further eSSIF-Lab open calls through eSSIF-Lab community channels.

Kind regards,

The eSSIF-Lab Team

Our Reply:

Dear Thomas, and all at the eSSIF-Lab Team,

We are of course disappointed to hear we won’t be in Stage 3, but we do understand the decision of the judges and we feel it’s a fair reflection of the maturity of our proposition. We’re attempting to do something that is very ambitious, in effect building a whole new ecosystem rather than disrupting an existing market, with a few players. That is very difficult to achieve within the necessarily fixed timescales of a grant programme such as eSSIF-Lab. We welcome the discipline of the deliverables and above all the opportunity to discuss, present to and work with SSI peers, in the open. We think collaboration and co-operation is the way to succeed in ecosystem building, but sometimes you need to take the time for things to ‘emerge’, without forcing them. We could have done a lot better in refining our business case at the key stage 3 hurdle, but in the end, what you saw is where we are, and we accept the judgement is fair. Other teams have more mature market propositions and it would be unfair for them to be dropped.

You will have seen that we have been innovative in our own approach for our community stakeholder engagement, which we hope will continue to drive us forward, albeit with less funding than we hoped. We have a lot more to do on use cases and standards, and this frankly gives us a chance to do that, steadily, without the pressure of competition and deadlines. However, it does put a significant hole in our forecasts. Co-ops are generally unable to seek venture capital - they are ‘not for sale’ - and grant funding is vital to them in early stages, when income streams are unproven, and the energy and resources of the founders are depleted. We need to find alternative, ‘patient’ finance to keep going, and we would very much welcome your suggestions on that. Within the eSSIF-Lab programme we might of course consider complementary partnerships or affiliation with successful finalists in BoC 2 or any of the other calls. We would welcome your suggestions on this. Our micro-consortium was born from an introduction made by Regis, so please feel free to suggest further relationships and creative ideas.

Rieks and Oskar: We would welcome your continued support and suggestions at W3C CCG and also more introductions in DIF. We also need to build our own team in breadth and depth, potentially working with other co-operatives active in the open source world. One of the challenges here is education and on-boarding, so an education ‘track’ for co-ops (or any small enterprise) in the daunting jungle of SSI is very helpful. SSI Meetup had a great community feel to it, but perhaps DIF has now taken that on, albeit as an ‘engineering-driven organization’. In particular, we feel that co-ops are concerned with governance, front and centre, and with community as their root of trust. It’s less interesting for them to observe complex technical inter-op in a Darwinian struggle among aspiring ‘tech bro’ start-ups and marketplace giants. The SSI ‘movement’ has been heavily focused on digital-first trust economics. Co-ops remain human-first, democratic and ‘commons’ focused. We need tech focused on that, not on SSI, or decentralisation for its own sake. We will try to keep that vision and focus alive in our community and at W3C CCG.

Please keep in touch with us going forward. For our part, we will take some time to regroup and re-think our work on pilots and trials. We need to get back to some more detailed interviews and ‘action research’ with our cohort of co-ops so that we can proceed at the pace of the community. We also need to think about fundraising. Let us know if you need any further information in relation to the Stage 2 payment - obviously this is important to us as our project has no other source of funding at the moment.

With thanks and best wishes,

The Co-op Credentials team.

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