P-35: Argo Academy (An Academy Alternative) 2024 Q1


3 Major Problems

Lack of Desirable Platforms

When it comes to Protocols and Infra Tech Companies, there is a sincere lack of platforms that allow them to create their own modular courses with genuine certifications, and supporting documentation.

Missing the Trifecta

Modular Videos - OnChain Certifications - Supporting Documentation.
They’re never found in the same place, they become out of date very quickly, and they’re even harder to maintain.

The Next Generation

Within the next 2-5 years, we’re going to see an influx of engineers that spent the majority of their technical education learning via video-based platforms for a large portion of their high school and university years due to the Covid crisis between 2020-2023.

What is Argo Academy?

Argo Academy is a protocol-focused, modular education platform allowing technical
education to be natively developed with on-chain certifying courses built
directly into documentation.

Key Features

Dynamic User Accounts

Login Your Way

By using Dynamic.xyz, we allow users to login and learn however they see fit. They can use their non-custodial wallet, social auth, or even email.

Is it Web2 or Web3?

A wallet will be generated for email/social auth users, giving them the full Web3 experience with the UI/UX of Web2 auth.

On-Chain Certifications

Web2 Users Welcomed

Dynamic.xyz gives users the ability to enjoy all the features of Web3, but it feels like Web2 auth. Users can mint their course certifications without having a non-custodial wallet first.

Gasless NFT Certifications

NFT.Storage allows us to generate student certifications as ERC1155 NFTs gaslessly by using IPFS storage, creating the ultimate experience in getting certified on chain without any of the most common Web3 hurdles.

Modular Video Courses

Modular Is Easier To Commit

You want to learn the next THING in tech, but the YouTube video course is 16 hours long. Who has the time to commit to that? Let’s take that 16 hour course and break it up into 32 video modules, making it easier to see students to the end.

Modular Is Easier To Maintain

Imagine being the DevRel that spent countless days developing a full course on your protocol only for it to be obsolete in a few months because of some SDK changes…

With the Modular Framework, DevRels can easily update only select modules rather than having to redo the ENTIRE COURSE.

Cert Verification Tools

Recruitment Made Easy

The applicant SAYS they know everything about your protocol, but how can you confirm that?
With our certifications, recruitment processes can easily be expedited by using a widget that requires applicants to connect their Argo Account that queries their protocol certifications.


The Argo Academy Mission is to solve the Technical Education Trilemma. With current modular video education platforms, certifications aren’t valued and the number of available courses that are protocol/web3 infra specific a very few to none.


Because they are all built with “pay-to-learn” models, despite the certifications being worth less than the price of the course. Protocols and Infra companies don’t want to make their communities pay for education; so, they create long-form tutorials on YouTube.

Modularity in Web3 eLearning is direly needed

Though the potential reach is large, the information isn’t always reliable because Web3 Technology moves so fast that a video produced 6 months ago is most likely now out of date to the technology’s current version. This is why modularity in Web3 eLearning is direly needed, This allows a DevRel to only need to reproduce specific modules at a time rather than needed to reproduce hours of technical video content every quarter.

… Lastly…

Certifications by the protocol for the community

On-Chain eLearning certifications have so much untapped potential.

  • Expedited Community Onboarding
  • Controlled Internal Team Training
  • Tokengated Beta for New Feature Release
  • Expedited Recruitment Practices

Argo Academy aims to solve all of these problems.

Scope of Work

Project Status

Work Status
Wallet Generation for Social Auth / Email Users :ballot_box_with_check:
Non-Custodial Wallet Acct. Auth :ballot_box_with_check:
Video Storage :ballot_box_with_check:
Database :ballot_box_with_check:
Student Progression Tracking :ballot_box_with_check:
Course Modularity :ballot_box_with_check:
Instructor Portal for Uploading and Managing Courses :ballot_box_with_check:
1st Demo Completed :ballot_box_with_check:
NFT Certification Minting :x:
Certification Verification Tool Completed :x:
Home Page :x:
Course Tokengating :x:
C-Corp Entity Formed :x:

Domain of Operations

I began this project about a 45 days ago as a means to tackle the issues I stated earlier. I aim to develop it as a free-to-learn platform as well as free-to-certify, including no gas fees for certification minting. I’ve developed a demo and shot a demo video.

Within the demo video, it shows:

  • Basic Auth
  • Course Enrollment
  • Course Progression Tracking
  • Video Modules
  • Course Completion
  • Instructor Portal Login
  • Course Creation from Instructor Portal
  • Course Module Creation / Editing / Management
  • Course Analytics (# of Course Enrollments, # of Course Completions)


Up until now, this has been a solo project. I’m open to bringing in a co-founder. I’m not actively looking for additional personnel until I’ve found a co-founder and we’ve discussed an ideal team structure.

Business Model

Pitch Deck

Phase 1 (Argo Academy)

2 Options:

  1. Full Service Course Development
    This involves the white glove service of developing a full-certifying course for a partner.
  2. Partner Created Content
    A Partner will have the ability to access our platform, develop their own certifying course, and manage the modules themselves.

Note: Option 2 will NOT be available during beta. The the instructor portal is live, course development and management will only be available to team members during beta.

Extra Note: This is not a sustainable model. We will eventually run out of potential partners or competition will develop offering a different solution that may appear more attractive. The brings the necessity of the next phases.

Phase 2 (Argo Docs)

Subscription Model

Partners will have the ability to us Argo Docs for their documentation platform with all of the features available within Argo Academy, but natively within their own documentation.

Phase 3 (Argo AI)

Subscription Model

This is an addon feature that will be made available within Argo Docs.


Maintenance Cost

Month Column 2 Column 3 Column 4
1 $500 for C-Corp Filing $250 in CoS 1st Month Total: $750usd = 4200 CODE
2 $500 in CoS 2nd Month Total: $500usd = $2800 CODE
3 $500 in CoS 3rd Month Total: $500usd = $2800 CODE
Qrtrly Total: $1750usd = 9,800 CODE

Revenue Split

For Partner Certifying Courses, I propose a 3-way split:

D_D: 50%
Argo: 30%
Creator: 20%

In this case, a D_D DevRel or Software Engineer will be selected to create the course. The individual must be selected and approved by both D_D and the Partner.

Note: This is ONLY in the case that D_D brings in the partner. If a partner comes directly to Argo, Argo will only bring in D_D if it’s been requested by the partner and/or if a creator is needed to create the course.

Which leads to the last part of my proposal…


Equity is fully up to negotiation, but no deals will be considered until the Argo Academy is out of beta.

Note: I’ll be applying to Press Start Capital’s next cohort tomorrow AM (January 6th, 2024).

Value Proposition

An Aggressive Roadmap

  • January | Beta Launch:
    1st Courses will be launched by end of January. Beta Participants will be allowed to take courses and test the platform.

  • February | Test & Iterate:
    Focusing on Feedback, iterating improvements, and Deploying New Features.

  • March | Public Launch:
    With Official Announcements made during ETHDenver, we’ll be inviting the public to get certified On-Chain.

  • April | Recruitment Tooling:
    We’ll begin building and testing our Argo Cert Widget with our early partners.

Recruitment Integration

Argo Certifications will be intended to be used as an onboard and recruitment tool. I’d like to invite any/all early D_D Partners to test our various tools and features early on as they’re released.

Partner Promotion

For D_D Partner Courses, Argo will gladly integrate content that seamlessly promotes D_D Partners.

Initial Equity

Argo is willing to give 2% initial equity, giving them a revenue stream of ALL Argo courses and subscription, not just the D_D Partner Certifying Courses.


Argo would receive 9800 CODE, and 30% revenue of all D_D Partner Certifying Courses of the course of the quarter.

1 Like

I need to clearly state that I developed this on my own for a few reasons:

  1. I started this project because I genuinely think something like this could be a clear bridge from Web2 to Web3 while still giving Web3 natives the ability to maintain sovereignty by simply using their own non-custodial wallet for the learning experience.

  2. I did this for me. This has been a passion project that almost no one knew about until last week. I wanted to build something that I genuinely felt could make an impact.

  3. I didn’t join the D_D Academy efforts because I didn’t agree with the direction. I absolutely have love and respect for the D_D Academy team, and I felt it would only be disrespectful to join the team only to argue points about the direction Academy was being built in. This also does not mean that I’m not open to a conversation on collaboration and synergies.

i think the competition can be a healthy motivator and sharpen ideas. elaborate on this for me plz ^

Hey @wolovim!

Here are a few reasons:

  • Limited Scalability
    Because courses and content were being hard-coded into the Academy, an instructor portal isn’t prioritized. This makes it extremely hard to bring in instructors and creators into the platform without the needing direct assistance of a D_D Academy team member to hard-code their content into the platform.
    I understand that this may very well be part of the roadmap, it may be difficult to develop this after the fact since it’s not part of the original infrastructure.
    Also see details for Phase 2 for Argo’s considered scalability.

  • No Video Modularity
    Video-based education is taking up more and more of the space. Video workshops continue to grow year-over-year an we’re about to start catering to a new influx of engineers that spent the last 3-4 years of school learning through async videos and live classes due to COVID. This, also, should be developed directly into the infrastructure of the learning platform.

  • Gasless NFT Course Certification
    I know there are NFT certs intended for course completion with D_D Academy. Argo Academy certs will will be a compiled .svg file using the user’s username, course name, course completion date, and the user’s avatar. The NFT Cert will also be soulbound.
    Note: I’ve already built a testable version of this compilation feature, so it’s not a speculative feature.

  • Time in Production
    I started considering this project about 3 months ago and began actual development about 45 days ago. In that time, the application is almost ready for deployment, which is why my roadmap dictates a beta launch by the end of January.
    Note: I’ve already demo’d Argo Academy with several D_D members and will have a live demo for all D_D members by next Friday (January 13th).
    Also, see current progress HERE

Do you picture this more as a platform for partners or could this create a culture where DAO members could host their own course.

1 Like


Users are broken up into 3 categories:

  • Students
  • Instructors
  • Partners

Students have access to enrolling into courses, completing courses, and minting Course Completion Certifications gaslessly.

Instructors have the ability to do everything a student can, but also create and manage their own courses. Instructors will first have to complete a course in order to become instructors. Once the course has been completed completed, the token gated role of Instructor is unlocked.
Instructors will not be able to create their own certifications for minting. This is to avoid diluting the value of partner certifications (i.e. the Udemy Cert Dilemma).

Partners will have the same access as students and instructors, but will be able to create Certifications for students to gaslessly mint.

Courses created by instructors versus courses created by partners are distinctly labeled differently.


A changelog has been created to allow access to regular development updates.

Do you have any plans to open this up to other members of the DAO to contribute?

Yes, I do.

I’m actively looking for a co-founder at the moment. That is my top priority.

Contributions to the codebase will not happen until after I launch beta since I’m wrapping things up for the beta launch already.

There will be TONS of opportunity for contributing with technical learning content (both video & written). And, there will be a reward for those contributions. If they contribute to a project that involves a paying partner, they’ll receive USDC for their contributions.

Because there is an “Instructor Role” with an active instructor portal, there’s no need to hard-code any of the content into the app. It’s as simple as taking their wallet address and setting it with the Instructor Role. Also, Instructors can only edit the content they create or content they’ve been given access to, so you don’t have to worry about someone going in and editing/deleting content they shouldn’t have access to.

1/8/2024 Update

  • Updated the frontend website.
  • Setup a deform waitlist.
  • Launched a private demo to test in a live env. (everything checks out)
  • Applied to Press Start’s next cohort.

1 Like

UPDATE (1/9/2024)

  • ARGO Academy is live in Private Alpha, select D_D members will receive invites throughout the day.
  • Will be meeting with Dynamic’s CTO to help me map out user auth flow to streamline and optimize. Looking to reduce costs and maintain auth security and acct persistence. Also, possibly discussing an official partnership between Dynamic x ARGO.
  • Reached out to Eden about testing our certification widget to optimize recruitment while also asked about potentially listing my open Co-Founder role for ARGO.
1 Like

Always positive to see someones 1st proposal :clap: congrats on doing that and on shipping as much as you have shipped so far and the ambitious plan. We to encourage more of it and going 1st is always the hardest.

Some clarifying questions here that I think would he helpful for everyone when comparing this with academy:

  1. Do you see this replacing academy?
  2. If no, how do you see them co-existing?
  3. You’ve mentioned about a conversation on collaboration and synergies, can you expand on how you think that might play out with the academy team? (given you’ve mentioned not looking for a team, it shares many of the same features and ambitions etc.) - kinda same as #2.
  4. Is this video AND text or just video courses?
  5. Can you provide a video or link where people can see what you’ve built? Hard to folks to judge without this when platform is in private Alpha, voting to replace an existing platform that has content people can see with one they can’t see is a big ask.
  6. If this were to replace academy, would you consider it being branded DD or keen to continue as an independent platform? What are your perspectives on positives / negatives for each route for you/Argo, and the DAO/members
  7. From your perspective, how valuable is DD’s backing for the success in Argo, particularly in the case where it replaces Academy? Not clear to to me how the relationship between the DAO and Argo would work longer term once platform is running, why would they come via DD when they could just go to Argo directly? Feels like that makes this a venture bet on Argo vs a long-term revenue driving product for the DAO (this has good and bad elements to it imo)
  8. Did you include it being a DD project in the press start capital application? Or other on-going conversations?

TLDR competition is healthy, nice work and/plan. Would have hoped for collaboration earlier in the cycle but you’ve explained yourself here already. Interested to see how this sparks conversations and action, and generally how this plays out. Lets make ample space for this on the coordination call.

Copying this from [DRAFT] Academy Sub-DAO - 2024 Q1 re Governance rules around conflicting proposals:


I want to clarify something that I obviously missed when I wrote the proposal. When I titled it “(An Academy Alternative)”, I meant it as an alternative to the common approach of developing an academy, NOT an alternative to D_D Academy. I was trying to highlight how I developed ARGO is a very different approach to what D_D is developing.

Thanks @Crypdough.eth for pointing that out in VC5 this morning.

To be honest, it most definitely can. Is that my intention? No. I’m solving a problem that I just got tired of running into. Bad docs often lead to devs looking for articles and videos to fill in the gaps. Modular video platforms force teams to do a very deep dive into their own docs because they will have to source the docs as supporting material for videos. This will help teams identify clear discrepancies within their own docs.

Also, I’m honestly not as based of an engineer is guys like @Crypdough.eth. I love videos. I learn very well by following along and doing rather than going through docs. And, I think a lot of other devs do too. There was a 446% increase in long form technical videos on Youtube in 2023 alone.

I’m just following the trend.

Long story short, and very harshly put, I’m not trying to replace D_D Academy because, as far as I’m aware, they’re not building modular videos. I’ve only seen text-based learning modules on D_D Academy.

(This could just be my ignorance)

Uhm… difficult question.

So, I’m going to give you two answers.

As a D_D Fam Member:

As you already know, I’ve been conflicted about the decision of submitting this proposal, as I have a lot of love for all of the D_D Academy team. I don’t know enough about the D_D Academy v2 build, so I really can’t answer this question fully.

As the Pragmatic D_D Member that cares about the future of the DAO:

It’s not my job to have an answer to this question. I want what’s best for D_D. D_D Members should never shy away from building something simply because someone else is already building it. If you don’t see very clear synergies with someone else, then it should be totally ok for you to build with someone else or on your own.

If ARGO x D_D Academy co-existing is what’s best for D_D, awesome.
If it means only D_D Academy exists, I’m totally ok with that too… vis versa.
At the end of the day, it’s what’s best for, D_D.

I’m all for discussions. As I’ve stated, there may be some way for us to collaborate, but I’m currently unaware of where that may be. But, I’m open for discussions to see if there are opportunities.

Both, but heavily emphasized on video at the moment. Again, I’m following the trend of increase technical videos on Youtube and the 77% increase in Udemy Business in 2022. Read here for context: https://docs.argo.academy
I personally don’t see a strong growth trajectory with text-based courses. Modular text-based courses just seems like an overdone blog to me, which makes me feel like it’s a hard sell.

Absolutely! I’ll have a video up tonight. And, I’ll get you, @kempsterrrr, a login tomorrow morning so you can play with it.
Note: I just finished meeting with the Dynamic.xyz team, so I’m hard charging some Auth changes at the moment. I’m hoping to have those changes done and working by tomorrow AM.

I’m still considering this.

I want to brand this with D_D, but I would have to have a deeper conversation on ownership, equity, and what having a D_D branded product looks like in 1/3/5 years. I would have to consider all of the benefits and its pitfalls.

I have no problem with the D_D brand, but I wanna have my pragmatic questions answered before I fully decide.

Definitely on the table.

I detailed this part in my original proposal.

I fully intend, whether ARGO is branded as a D_D product or not, to design an agreement that gives D_D equity of ARGO.

Note: I already set up a C-Corp, so designing an agreement to get D_D on the cap table is a very real possibility.

For the Press Start Application, I stated that I proposed a partnership with Developer DAO.
Here’s the link attached to my Press Start Application:

I’m all for healthy competition. As a matter of fact, I think this SHOULD push both ARGO and D_D Academy to push for a better product. If D_D Academy launches a badass v2 and blows ARGO out of the water simply because they felt the heat of competition, then I’ll still consider it a win for D_D.

1 Like

This has my support and I would be happy elevating.


my preference is a bit more dialogue before the proposals get elevated. just shared my broad Academy vs. Argo thoughts in the Academy thread here. i can make time tomorrow for a chat with Patrick if we want to explore collabs or other happy paths. :handshake:


Why does it have to be framed as a “versus” situation? If one of the primary missions and goals of D_D is to educate and onboard developers to web3, wouldn’t having two platforms that cater to different types/styles of learners be a win/win for D_D (especially if Academy isn’t planning on catering to video learners) and the overall web3 community? I’m struggling to see the issue with having two platforms co-exist and be represented by D_D.


when i started my response draft i dont think @PSkinnerTech or Manny’s comments had been posted yet, so i’ve only now read Patrick’s latest comment clarifying the use of “alternative”.

there is accompanying video(s) in a WIP Academy partner lesson, so they’ll be present. it may be fair to say they’re catering to different learner types.

i’d love to see 1) Patrick/Argo and Academy both succeed and 2) Developer DAO try more low-risk revenue generating experiments. at a pragmatic level, my concern is if they are almost entirely overlapping and would compete for the same customers at the expense of each other.

other context in case its helpful: to date, Academy has happily agreed to have bizdev funneled through Manny and the Labs team to present potential partners with a unified offering. in other words, they get a menu of options that includes Academy lessons, instead of getting hit up by one DAO rep to pitch a hackathon and another Academy rep for content. how does that conversation go with Argo also on the menu?

i have other practical questions for @PSkinnerTech:

  • do you already have beta partners in the pipeline or are you creating the first courses yourself?
  • what is the actual scope of a modular course? proposal includes this example language, but seems an extreme case (32 30-min videos) for sake of example:
  • are you comfortable talking preliminary numbers? im a noob in this domain, but i know video creation and editing is obviously a heavier lift than text, so i’m curious what the revenue split looks like in real terms.

Great initiative.
I would encourage Argo to coordinate with Labs and Academy in order to avoid a competition for possible clients. But offering different options, and having multiple paths to reach our Mission is important.
Happy to support this proposal.



Here’s the requested demo video:

Now, to answer a few questions that were asked in Discord, but not detailed here:

Is the platform actually ready?

Absolutely! I’m excited as all I’m doing right now is testing the automated NFT Certification Feature and cleaning up the UI! This part is what I’m the most excited about, because I’ve developed a tool that takes the student’s Profile Image, their username, the Course Card, Course Description, and Course Completion Date and compiles that into a .svg file which is then minted as a NFT.

Here’s an example:

ARGO isn’t D_D branded, is this a D_D product, or is ARGO it’s own entity?

We obviously need to discuss equity, shared revenue, and more, but I’m happy to expand on this more in the future.

ARGO is already a registered Delaware C-Corp with an available Cap Table.

This is an important distinction as I already have a working CRM, Banking, Invoicing, and partner management flow.

Is ARGO ready to take partners?

If ARGO was handed a partner today, I’m very confident that I can introduce them to the platform and have them onboarded in less than 60 minutes. Onboarding would include:

  • Introduction to ARGO (Full Tutorial)
  • Q&A
  • Selecting Plan
  • Invoicing
  • Setting up Monthly Calls to Review KPIs and Course Analytics
  • Instructor Account Setup
  • Onboarding Complete

Why focus on modular video rather than text?

Whitelabel Text-Based Module eLearning Platform Already Exists in Web3

Aside from partners being able to build their own blogs and documentation, there’s already a Whitelabel Module Text-Based Academy service from an extremely well known Web3 Brand.

See Bankless’s text-based academy that has quizes, NFT Certs, and is partnered with Gitcoin, Here: https://whitelabel.banklessacademy.com/

The Data Doesn’t Lie - Video Education To The Moon :rocket: :crescent_moon:

If Longform Technical Education on Youtube was a Meme Coin, I’d be up 446% if I bought and Hodl’ed through 2023.

See the data and sources here: https://docs.argo.academy

If it’s not a Sub DAO, how does ARGO actually serve the community

1. Leading from the Front

I’m not going to sit around and wait for D_D to hand me partners. D_D needs project owners and builders that are willing to take action, no matter what. I want to inspire other D_D members to get their sh!t together, and start building again. I also want them to know that I, along with many other D_D members, are here to support new projects.

2. Only D_D Members can be instructors for Free

Though they won’t be allowed to issue NFT Certifications, D_D Members will be able to take a “Argonaut Instructor Certification”, allowing them to unlock the tokengated instructor role and grow themselves and their brand on the ARGO platform.

3. Partnering with Other D_D Projects

I’m actively seeking a partnership with Eden Protocol to test our future tool: The Certification Verification Widget. This tool will allow recruiters/recruitment platforms to verify completed certifications on Argo. I’m willing to discuss partnerships with other D_D Projects, as well.

4. Breaking Out of Discord

D_D is more than just a Discord Channel, but we certainly don’t act that way. I want Argonauts to learn about D_D through ARGO. When Argonauts complete certifications, they’re going to look for recruitment services, hackathons, and more.

Developers should learn about D_D through projects being built by D_D members, not the other way around.

@wolovim, “I don’t think the Certifications will be that valuable.”

This is where research is imperative before building.

  • Generalist certifications and/or certifications developed and provided by 3rd partners are not highly sought after by students or companies.
  • When courses and certifications are being provided by the company itself or by a certified partner, the certification hodls a 10x value in comparison to certs on platforms like Udemy. See Native Platforms like:
    – Google Certifications: Training & Tools to Grow Your Business or Career, from Google
    – Salesforce Certifications: pathfinder
  • The numbers don’t lie. Google & Salesforce are creating their own onboarding and hiring pools by developing these platforms. The little guys can’t do this on their own. This is where ARGO comes in.
  • By partnering with Argo, they can then partner with projects like Eden and develop a perfect ecosystem to certify, onboard, and hire community members. What better way to make sure team members are set for success even before being hired?

Some data:

  • As of March 2023, Salesforce Trailhead has over 12 MILLION registered users.
  • Google claims that 56% of certificate graduates reported career advancement within 6 months.
  • Google specifically states that having Google certifications is not only highly sought after, but sometimes required for specific roles.

ARGO is specifically developed and positioned to be the certified partner/platform for Web3 companies to increase the value of their communities, streamline their hiring processes and expedite new-hire onboarding.

Thanks for all of the questions in the Discord Chat! Happy to answer more! :heart_hands::pray:

1 Like