ETHDenver 2020 Judging Overview
ETHDenver is the largest BUIDLathon in the world (hundreds of teams will be competing for only 20 finalist spots!), so we designed the judging process to be as fair and efficient as possible, given the enormous variety of BUIDLer skill sets, Judge backgrounds, and project types we’ll see. We’re also making a huge change this year by getting the community involved throughout the judging process! If you’re a team looking to win, you’ll need to follow the next few sections carefully to ensure your project is on point. We will of course remind you during the event of the details and have lots of Stewards onsite available for questions. We hope having this handy guide will ensure a smooth, fun, and exciting experience.
Judging Process Improvements
We are making further improvements to the judging process this year to build upon our successful changes from last year. Our high level goal this time around is to increase the “science fair” feel and activities, and experiment with cool decentralized tech! Changes include:
- Increasing judging duration from 2 hours to 3 hours.
- Making smaller judging groups, but more of them, so each team is seen 3 times.
- Giving the community a real voice in voting on winning teams, including near-total say in determining the finalists! This is a huge change we’ll outline in the next section.
[NEW!] DAO Community Voting
ETHDenver attendees will earn XP in the ETHDenver BuffiDAO throughout the event by participating in challenges, interacting with sponsors, and completing other activities. This XP can then be used to vote on project submissions as part of the judging process! In the first round, professional judges and community members will have equal voting power, but in the second round of judging (on the main stage), community members will have nearly 100% say in determining the ultimate ETHDenver finalists!
[NEW!] Advance Colorado Track
We’re excited to announce the Advance Colorado Track in partnership with the State of Colorado. Bounties and prizes offered in this track are focused on building prototypes for specific use cases that benefit the State of Colorado and its citizens. To participate, you must first submit your project to the Open or Impact track, and then also submit it to the Advance Colorado Track alongside any bounties your project qualifies for.
[NEW!] Exploration Track
We’re also excited to announce the Exploration Track, a competition for everyone and anyone, in-person or remote, to share your idea with the community and receive feedback and support from industry leaders. This track is for those who:
- Came all the way to ETHDenver and for some reason were not able to finish the hack
- Came to ETHDenver to check it out, and came up with the idea on the spot
- Have a brilliant idea of a Dapp, game, protocol or platform or any other project that involves blockchain, but can’t be at ETHDenver in person
Unlike the Advance Colorado Track, competing in this track is not part of general Open/Impact track project submissions, bounties, and judging. It has its own judges, awards, and criteria, so click here to learn more about it and participate! A special thank you to CryptoChicks and team for putting this track together.
All projects will belong to either the Open or Impact track. In addition to their core track, projects can also submit to the Advance Colorado track and complete bounties. Similar to last year, we are strongly promoting diversity and impact projects, but that doesn’t mean you can’t snag a sweet prize with some sick engineering or user experience. We designed the following criteria to reward strong projects without favoring any specific type (e.g., dApps vs developer tools).
All projects in the Open Track will be judged by the following criteria:
The Impact Track will not only be judged by the Open Track criteria, requiring great engineering and user experience, but also on the following additional categories:
Judging Schedule on Sunday, February 16th
Submitting Your Project
Submitting your project can take up to 30 minutes if you aren’t familiar with the platform, so please begin submitting your project at least 1 hour before the deadline to ensure you have time to connect with the ETHDenver team in case you have any questions about the submission process. Please remember: you will need to submit it multiple times — once for the Open or Impact track and again for the Advance Colorado Track and each bounty you incorporated.
The DAOstack blockchain-powered submission portal will be linked from the www.ethdenver.com/judging page when ETHDenver begins on February 14th and not before. Submission criteria will be finalized at that time, but you can plan to submit approximately the following:
- Project name
- Team members first names, last names, and Discord handles
- Detailed project description (no more than 4 sentences)
- A YouTube link of your demo or presentation (under 6 minutes in length)
- Track you’re submitting to (only choose one)
- Project Bounties you’re submitting to (up to 10)
- A link to all your source code on a public repo (e.g. Github)
- A publicly accessible link to your presentation, if relevant
How Teams Win
Judging will be broken up into two rounds. In the first round, each group of Open or Impact Judges will review their assigned projects and vote for up to 5 projects to advance to the final round. Although each judging group will consist of 2 judges, each judge can vote independently. Concurrently, all ETHDenver community members can also walk around, or watch YouTube submissions, and vote on their favorite projects. They can also vote for up to 5 teams. Bounty sponsors will have their own Bounty Judges reviewing projects that have completed their bounties and will circulate independently of Open and Impact judging groups. The same applies to Advance Colorado Track Judges.
The projects that advanced to the final round will then publicly present on stage to a panel of Celebrity Judges and a crowd of community members. The top 5 Open and Impact projects are called Finalists, and they will be decided by community voting through the DAO. Celebrity Judges will give out additional awards to their favorite teams, but do not decide the finalists!
Please Review the Full Details Below:
First Round — Team Guidelines
- Projects must be submitted by 8:00am on Sunday, February 16th.
- Please note: You have to submit multiple times — once to either the Open or Impact competition in the ETHDenver BuffiDAO, and also to individual DAOs for the Advance Colorado Track and each Bounty.
- For example, if your project is in the Open track, you completed an Advance Colorado Track submission and incorporated 3 bounties, you will need to submit a total of 5 times.
- At least one team member must be present and set up at the assigned judging table (viewable February 14th at ethdenver.com/judging) by 10:00am. Other team members are welcome to walk around and see the other team submissions during the science fair.
- When the Open/Impact Judges arrive at your table, you have six minutes to greet them, present your project, and answer any questions. Judges will start a timer on a device facing you to help you pace your presentation. When the alarm rings, no additional conversation regarding your project can take place. This alarm is a hard stop for the sake of fairness. For example: Greeting (1 min), Presentation (3 min), Questions (2 min).
- The top 20 Open/Impact projects will be notified at 1:30pm, and will be invited to present their project on the main stage starting at 2:00pm in the final round.
- The top 20 projects will be split proportionally based on submissions between Open and Impact tracks, with a minimum of 7 teams for the track with the smaller submission pool. For reference, 2019 saw 13 Open teams and 7 Impact teams in the final round.
First Round — Community Voting and Judge Guidelines
- All Judges will be assigned to two-person judging groups by 9:30am based on:
- Their self-identification as “Business/Operations/Investing/Design” vs “Technologist/Engineer/Developer” (to keep the same proportions between each group) and
- Preference for Open or Impact Tracks (Judges are not guaranteed to judge their preferred track, as it will depend on received submissions)
2. At 9:30am, Judges will be assigned their teams and XP, and obtain their judging packet from the organizers with judging forms for each team.
3. Starting at 10:00am Judges will see up to 15 teams, spending a maximum of six minutes per team. For example: Greeting (1 min), Presentation (3 min), Questions (2 min).
4. Also starting at 10:00am, community members (including BUIDLers) are strongly encouraged to see other projects and vote for their favorites. The community as a whole, has equal voting power to the total voting power of the professional judges, and we encourage you to use it!!
5. At the end, each community member and Judge votes independently for up to 5 teams via the DAO. Each team the Judge or community member determines deserves to move on to the main stage will get the full weight of that person’s vote. This is a binary decision so no need to worry about giving a percentage score!
- The Top 20 teams will be notified of their presenting order and must be waiting in the green room located directly right of the Rainbow Stage (Floor 1) when they are one of the next three teams to present. Teams will again have six minutes to provide their full presentation.
- Finalists will be decided 100% by the community. All community members will have up to 6 votes to bestow on Open and Impact track finalists (3 each). Professional Judges from the first round will have their XP reset to the average community member and will also be able to vote as individuals.
- Celebrity Judges will be present for the final round and will each award their own Judge’s Choice award for their favorite project, which carries its own award and monetary prize.
Bounties — How to Win
During the first round of judging, Bounty Judges will circulate separately to projects that have fulfilled their Bounty. If you completed a Bounty, please do not vacate your table until you are seen by the Bounty Judges.
- If no one is present at your table when the Bounty Judges arrive, your submission will be forfeit from Bounty Judging. We cannot predict how long it will take for Bounty Judges to get to your table, as it depends on how many entries each Bounty receives, so please be patient and take turns keeping at least one person present.
- Bounty Judges will have a variable amount of time depending on how many submissions their Bounty received. If Judges of any Bounty have fewer than six minutes per round, there will be an announcement.
Bounty Judge Guidelines
- Bounty Judges will either utilize the Open/Impact judging criteria or deploy their own to judge their Bounty submissions. Bounty judging criteria are listed in each bounty.
- After receiving the list of submissions, including table locations, at least one dedicated Bounty Judge will be deployed to visit all submitting teams within the 3 hour judging block.
- Sponsors are responsible for ensuring all submitting teams are reviewed. Please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need an emergency additional Judge to assist due to heavier than expected submission volume.
- When you are done, submit your bounty winner(s) via the DAO and email final results to email@example.com. We’ll put them in a presentation and present the winners during the Closing Ceremonies.
The ETHDenver team has been incredibly impressed with the quality of projects we’ve seen before, and picking a “winner” quickly becomes a game of inches and preferences. This is why for the second year in a row, we have chosen to split each track’s prize pool equally among the Top 5 teams in their track. For example, if there are 13 Open teams and seven Impact teams in the final round, the Top 5 Open teams will split the Open Track prize and the Top 5 Impact teams will split the Impact Track prize.
Celebrity Judges will not be deciding the Open/Impact track finalists, but will be selecting their favorite team to receive a recognition award and accompanying monetary prize. Going home with the “Vitalik’s Choice” award would be an honor to us, and, we hope, to you.
Bounties will have a huge variety of prizes including swag, tokens, cash, and more, and will give you the opportunity to be announced on the main stage!
Photos & After Party
Whether your team wins an award or not, we want to recognize every team’s efforts. At 5:00pm, immediately following the closing ceremony, music will start playing and food, beer and wine will be served. It’s time to celebrate a weekend of making new friendships and BUIDLing! Be sure to get your team together with our photographer at the photo backdrop near the entrance anytime throughout the Experience Colorado Afterparty (5:00–10:00pm), and we’ll add you to our event album.
BUIDLing Your Team
If you don’t have a team yet, don’t stress! There are several ways you can connect with other BUIDLers right now. Join our Discord and start chatting with others looking for projects in the #find-a-team channel, hop in our Telegram group, meet people at #BUIDL Week activities, or consider attending a blockchain meetup near you.
If you arrive at ETHDenver and still don’t have a team, there will be an “icebreaker” session during the day, prior to the opening ceremonies on Friday, February 14th, where you can meet teams looking for more members or connect with other solo hackers looking to partner up. If you bring an idea along, you’ll have the opportunity to share it. We’ll also have one final icebreaker session at 8:00pm, immediately following the Opening Ceremonies, at the same time #BUIDLing begins.
- You need at least two people to form a team. ETHDenver is not a solo sport; collaboration is key. The max for any one team is four people. Any mix works, but a sample team might have: back end coder, front end coder, UI/UX designer and business/project manager.
- We believe in a level playing field. As such, pre-existing projects are not allowed if you wish to be considered for prizes. You may, however, build a new feature for an existing project that is unique and standalone. Judges will make the final decision on whether a project will qualify for prize consideration.
- ETHDenver is a live, in-person event only. We are unable to host individuals or hacker teams who wish to participate virtually.
Our continued experimentation and evolving judging methodology is an integral part of making ETHDenver 2020 the best out there. We sought to maximize community involvement, set fair judging criteria, recruit a diverse set of talented Judges, and establish clear guidelines to get the very best projects discovered and rewarded. We’re confident you’ll have a great time and look forward to seeing you all next month!
If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out to our Judging and Bounties Stewards, Viktor Bunin and Gregory Rocco, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you still haven’t applied to ETHDenver 2020, join us by APPLYING today. Applications are still being accepted based on availability.