Near Grants

What is Near Protocol?

NEAR is a Layer 1, Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain, which means it is its own chain and not dependent on another chain. What makes NEAR unique is its scaling mechanism, which is called Nightshade sharding, and a very simplified onboarding process for new users. NEAR aims to open Web3 for mass adoption. 

The NEAR chain, or protocol, also supports the development of decentralized applications, or dApps, which means it can support smart contracts. There is a native NEAR token and ERC-20 token compatible Ethereum bridge.

Grant size: 
Varies on grant type

NEAR uses its Nightshade technology to improve transaction throughput massively. Nightshade is a variation of sharding, in which individual sets of validators process transactions in parallel across multiple sharded chains, improving the overall capacity of the blockchain. In contrast to “regular” sharding, shards in Nightshade produce a fraction of the next block, called “chunks.” In doing so, NEAR Protocol is able to achieve up to 100,000 transactions per second and achieve near-instant transaction finality thanks to a one-second block cadence while simultaneously keeping transaction fees at virtually zero.

The Near Grants Guidelines

NEAR Grants

There are four options for NEAR grants:

  • Ecosystem Grants
  • Accelerators & Incubators
  • Community-led DAOs
  • Regional Hubs


Ecosystem Grants

This fund is for supporting projects and start-ups who are building in the Web3.0 space. Funds include:

  • Aurora – projects building on the Aurora EVM
  • Proximity Labs – aimed at projects focused on DeFi
  • Mintbase – supporting projects building NFT projects
  • Human Guild – support for projects working in Gaming
  • Cypherpunk Guild – a Privacy project focused fund


Accelerators & Incubators

This fund is intended for start-ups and projects seeking to join an accelerator or incubator. Funds include:

  • MetaWeb – incubator and venture capital
  • OWC – an accelerator for Web3
  • Stealth Capital – investment fund
  • Lyric Ventures – incubator for B2B projects
  • Octopus Accelerator – accelerator for Web3 projects building appchains


Community-led DAOs
There are three core decentralized communities on NEAR that aim to support growth in the NEAR ecosystem:

  • Marketing DAO funds marketing-related projects, guilds, and other DAOs.
  • Creative DAO funds creative (read: unique) projects, guilds, and DAOs.
  • Developer DAO funds development projects, guilds, and DAOs.


Regional Hubs

These funds are intended for projects that are located in specific geographic regions. The regions are Kenya, India, Balkans, Vietnam, and South Korea (coming soon).

Application Process

Each fund has its own application and process, so first you must determine which fund to apply to. Find links to each fund on the NEAR grants page (

The first factor to deciding which NEAR grant option to apply for is whether you have already produced a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – if so, the Accelerators & Incubators is the correct option. The second factor for deciding which NEAR grant option to apply for is where you, the applicant, are geographically located. If you are in Kenya, Balkans, Vietnam, India, or South Korea – apply to Regional Hubs.

If you do not have an MVP and are located outside the Regional Hubs, you can apply for an Ecosystem Grant in the areas of DeFi (Proximity Labs), EVM (Aurora), GameFi (Human Guild), or NFTs (Mintbase). For DAO and governance topics, you can approach the Community-led DAOs.