Apply to the NEAR Foundation Grants Program

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Frequently Asked Questions

Where should I apply for DeFi grants?

Apply here with Proximity Labs instead!

For more background information, please check out Proximity’s official post: “Announcing a $350M Grants DAO for NEAR DeFi Projects”

Should I use this form for Education grants?

The NEAR Education Team offers grants to projects sharing their mission of educating and enabling 1 million individuals (developers, entrepreneurs and educators) by 2023. You may qualify for an education grant if you are developing:

  • Software projects – For devs of open source educational components, whether standalone or part of a team
  • Services – For educators to create tutorials, videos, workshops, or write docs for builders.
  • Other Projects – For local, national and global meetups and trainings

Visit to apply and learn more.

Grant or VC funding—which is right for my project?

The primary difference between a grant and venture capital funding is whether or not NEAR Foundation has any equity in the project. Namely, in a grant, there is no equity included in the capital allocation. While the application process is the same for grants and VC funding, your project may be subject to additional criteria and agreements for equity-based VC funding. 

Projects come to the NF Grants and Funding program at all different stages of development from ideation to MVPs to fundraising for their seed round. Receiving a grant does not exclude your project from VC funding. Most VC funding opportunities will usually occur post-grant funding once a project has developed beyond the initial grant application stage, however, each project is different. The NF Funding team is ready to support your project at any stage. Once your project is ready for VC equity funding, the funding team can work with you to identify the best opportunities for your project. There are plenty of avenues available to you for fundraising including Ecosystem Funds (MOVE Capital, OWC, and MetaWeb), traditional VCs, and in some cases, direct investments from NEAR Foundation, and the funding team can work alongside you to provide visibility and determine what is best for your project.

How long is the review process?

Typically the entire application process takes about six weeks.

Can I edit my application after I submit?

Once your team has applied, you will receive a confirmation email and can view your application’s status within Submittable. You will not be able to edit your application after submitting. If you have mistakenly submitted or forgotten key materials, you may email for our team to assist you in opening the application for editing. After receiving feedback on your application, the Funding team may also re-open editing for you to add or adjust your proposal details.

I’m new to NEAR. What should I build?

New to blockchain technology and the world of decentralization? NEAR Education is a great place to start for getting a better grasp of the fundamentals. If you’re a developer and new to Rust (NEAR’s smart contract language), you can learn Rust and get developer-certified for free here.

Have your own idea or need help building it out? The Ecosystem Success Team can specifically help give more shape to your project. You may reach out for assistance in scoping your project, finding team members within the NEAR ecosystem, and for milestone development, among other needs

I have more questions. How can I get in touch?

You can reach out at and we’ll help you out!

Application Process Overview

The Grants Committee goes through four internal rounds of approvals. Applicants move through the following evaluation stages:

  • Initial Screen
  • Technical Review
  • Interview
  • Committee Review & Decision

Read below for a more detailed explanation of the NEAR Foundation Grants and VC Funding Program process from application to finish line.

Step 1: Determine if you are applying for a grant or funding

Not sure which category to apply for? Check out our FAQ on Grants vs. Funding. If your project fits into one of these funding streams and aligns with the NEAR mission, you’re a candidate for the NEAR Foundation Grants and VC Funding Program. 

Step 2: Submit your Application

Make sure you thoroughly complete the application form and clearly state how your project will contribute to the NEAR ecosystem.

Step 3: Evaluation & Approval

The NEAR Foundation Funding Committee will review your application within two weeks. If your proposal meets the program criteria, you will be invited to an interview with two committee members.

Step 4: Acceptance or Denial Notification

All applicants will be notified whether their application has been accepted or denied. If your application is accepted, at this point, you will go through the agreement formation process.

Step 5: Onboarding

Once all your paperwork is complete, your team will onboard to the NF Grants and Funding Program. We’ll align on clear timelines, accountability metrics, and reporting expectations. Finally, the NEAR Foundation Ecosystem Success team will be in contact with you to support your project till completion.

Step 6: Launch Your Project

Refer & Earn

Up to $10K in $NEAR for successfully referring a project to the NF Grants Program.

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