Published on

$3k bounties & 33 merged PRs later: the case for giving grants to student startups


Between June 15 - August 15 2021 we spent ~3k to award 33 PRs to our student developer team. Before that we also spent $600 to qualify our student "bounty hunters" using a paid screening challenge on Algora (thanks to everyone on HN for sharing your thoughts, feedback & feelings about the SWE hiring process).

Our summer collaboration on Algora looked like this:

Algora summer statistics

Petros (junior at Williams College), Alan (junior at Williams College) and Jeremy (graduating senior at Dartmouth College) were amazing contributors this past summer and we're lucky to have worked with them (& continue to share bounties). Our collaboration was a flexible twist on the traditional internship and everyone reported preferring this new format.

As a two-person startup team, using Algora has given us some much needed bandwidth. Additionally:

  • our code documentation improved dramatically to onboard new contributors
  • as team leaders we became more versed in managing a (remote) team
  • we got better at spec'ing work
  • we were 100% focused on coding the entire time

If Algora can be so consequential for a small startup like ours and for college students looking to get experience building product, we can't help but wonder: what would happen if we started giving Algora grants to student startups?

Giving grants to student founders

There is a reason Why Google, Facebook, & Microsoft Were Born On College Campuses.

I met Zaf, my co-founder & Algora CTO, in probability theory class at Williams College in Massachusetts. For every two lucky co-founders like ourselves who meet in college by chance, there are tens of thousands of potential cofounders who don't get to meet while in school and thus don't start a startup. Maybe we can help.

Today, Algora Public Benefit Corporation announces Algora Grants for Student Startups. Student founders can sign up on Algora and create, share & reward $1,000 worth of coding bounties to their university peers - on us! This is an equity-free grant and all startups with at least one student founder on the team qualify. If you're a student founder, you can sign up & get started!

Algora grants to student founders