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  • Issue #46: Colosseum Renaissance Hackathon and Helius $9.5M Raise

Issue #46: Colosseum Renaissance Hackathon and Helius $9.5M Raise

Renaissance Hackathon, Helius $9.5M, Farcaster Solana Support, Encode winners, epNFT Standard, Brave BAT on Solana, Austin Federa on Unlayered

🎨 Colosseum Renaissance Hackathon Registration Opens

The Renaissance Hackathon, powered by Colosseum, is an online, global event scheduled to run from March 4 to April 8.

Participants in the hackathon stand a chance to win not only track-specific prizes but also pre-seed funding to bring their app to market.

The hackathon emphasizes both the technical and business aspects of launching a project, encouraging teams to develop fully-fledged projects within a span of five weeks.

Participants can compete in the following tracks (and sponsors):

  • Grand Prize by Symmetry

  • Consumer Apps by Solana Mobile

  • DeFi & Payments by Orca

  • DePIN by io.net

  • Infrastructure by Pyth

  • Gaming by Phantom

  • DAOs & Communities by Squads Protocol

A notable aspect of this event is the opportunity for winners to join the Colosseum Accelerator, which offers an additional $250,000 in pre-seed capital, mentorship, and resources to help integrate these projects deeper into the Solana ecosystem.

Thousands of builders have already signed up for a Colosseum account & are getting ready to compete in the Solana hackathon.

If you want to learn more make sure to checkout this AMA (March 5 at 10am PST/6pm UTC) with the co-founders of Colosseum and Austin Federa and Chase Barker from Solana Foundation.

For anyone interested in participating in the Colosseum Renaissance Hackathon, all necessary details including prizes, tracks, rules, and the entry form are laid out on the hackathon's website.

💰 Helius Raises $9.5 Million Series A

Helius has raised a $9.5 million Series A funding round led by Foundation Capital, with participation from Reciprocal Ventures, 6th Man Ventures, Chapter One, and Propel.

Founded in 2022 by former software engineers from Coinbase and AWS, the platform offers a suite of tools to simplify Solana's complexities for developers, enabling them to build fast, cheap, and scalable apps on their platform.

Since its launch, Helius has played a crucial role in the Solana ecosystem, assisting with major events like the Jupiter airdrop and Helium's migration to Solana.

Helius has remained steadfast in its commitment to Solana, leveraging its scale and performance capabilities to drive innovation.

Helius has been committed to the Solana ecosystem since day one.

Craig Burel, partner at Reciprocal Ventures

With a small team and limited funding compared to competitors, Helius has made significant strides in empowering Solana developers

We've done this with a small team, while everyone called Solana dead and with a tiny fraction of our competitors' funding. With this raise, we plan to accelerate the adoption of crypto-powered systems and Solana as much as humanly possible

Mert, CEO of Helius

With the funding, Helius plans to accelerate the adoption of crypto-powered systems and Solana itself, including generalized ZK compression and next-gen RPC tooling further enhancing the Solana developer experience.

This funding round validates Helius' mission to empower Solana developers with its scale and performance, and also signifies a trend of VC investment into Solana's ecosystem.

But the fun didn’t stop with Helius!

There were two other notable raises announced just as I was finishing this issue:

💎 Solana Developer News

Farcaster Adds Solana Address Support
With all the new entries into the decentralized social game, Farcaster has made a lot of noise with a lot of Crypto Twitter folks making the move. Now they’ve added Solana wallet address support which opens the door to Solana apps and Frames (See an NFT Minting example in the Quick Hits section below) on the Farcaster platform. 9,328 unique Farcaster FIDs verified a Solana address within 24 hours of the announcement.

Rome: Introducing Rhea and Remus
In Issue #26 I shared the announcement of Rome Protocol, a shared Solana sequencer for EVM Rollups. The introduction of Rhea and Remus APIs as core components are a step forward in bringing the functionality and utility of rollups to the Solana ecosystem. Rhea is designed to enable Solana to function as a shared sequencer for executing rollup transactions, and Remus is an API designed to enable atomic execution of cross-rollup transactions.

Encode x Solana Hackathon Winners & Summary
The 4-week Encode x Solana Hackathon finale allowed participants to showcase the projects they developed over the month. Participants had the chance to engage in several Solana workshops by the Solana Foundation, Codigo, Ironforge, and SolanaFM. In this recap, you can watch all the workshops and the presentations from the winners across the five tracks. Check out all the winners and show them some support!

⚙️ Tools & Resources

epNFT-standard is the first partial program-owned NFT Standard that leverages Transfer Hook and Instruction Introspection to create an Allowlist-based program capable of allowing Cross-Program Invocation (CPI) & Instruction only from selected programs.

soldisperse is a simple web GUI built using Next.js 13, Radix UI and Tailwind CSS for distributing SPL tokens in bulk to multiple addresses.

Fix IDL is a rewrite of Anchor IDL is a rewrite of the IDL that includes a new IDL type specification, rewritten IDL generation, and Client implementation (TS) improvements planned for inclusion in Anchor v0.30.

WNS Bug Bounty program covers the Wen New Standard program and the Wen Royalty Distribution program. The goal of this program is to promote a legal and profitable means for diagnosing and disclosing security information.

sec3-solana-txs is a curated dataset containing parsed transactions access to millions of deciphered, non-voting transactions from Solana Mainnet-beta from September 2023.

Sponsored by:

Accelerate your Solana Development

Ironforge revolutionizes Solana development by removing undifferentiated work. Unleash your potential with our suite of tools and services.

One month free Pro version with code: NEWSLETTER

⚡Quick Hits

How to Win a Colosseum Hackathon - Colosseum

Creating and Managing your SPL token with Squads - @SquadsProtocol

Creating an NFT minting Farcaster frame on Solana - Avneesh Agarwal

Brave announces self-custody BAT payouts via Solana - Brave

Simplified guide to Token Extensions - @solanafm

Outreach program to introduce young Italian adults to Solana and Blockchain technology - @L0STE_

Primer on Solana’s Token Extensions - Superteam

From Joke to Jubilation: How OPOS Ignited a Positive Solana Rally - @DefiShino

🎧 Listen to This


Unlayered catches up with Austin Federa, Head of Strategy at Solana Foundation and former Head of Communications at Solana Labs.

In particular, they focus on how Solana continues to differentiate itself from a fast-growing array of challenger blockchain ecosystems with Token Extensions.

They also chat about Solana's emphasis on grassroots growth over top-down business development approaches and how Solana positions itself across a variety of strategic sub sectors within the emergent crypto economy.

A great overview from the perspective of one of Solana's most prominent voices.

Thanks for reading ✌️

I hope you found something useful here! If you have any suggestions or feedback just let me know what you think.

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