How to build a web3 community (that funds your startup)

How to build a web3 community – I’ve spent more than a year now browsing communities, reading on Twitter, and soaking up all the information and news about web3. I’ve talked to many founders and advised a few NFT projects.

Probably one of the most popular things that has caught on is the new funding model: 

You buy an NFT/token, become part of a DAO and use it to fund a startup idea/or project. In my opinion, this is a great way to create a startup and give back to the early adopters. 

But what I’ve noticed is how clueless, planless and without strategy many web3 founders act. 

No defined target audience, no strategic plan for the community, no profound marketing – nothing. Most of them have a great vision but hope that everything will work just because of the web3 hype. 

But guess what – that doesn’t work anymore. 

Projects that made millions just because of hype wouldn’t work like that today – even BAYC would fail. You now need a good reason why someone should join your community and spend money on your NFT/token to fund your startup idea – so how do you build a web3 community that funds your startup?

It’s important to align your community’s purpose with your startup’s vision.

One of the biggest problems here is that you not only have to build a community, but also align it with the startup and product vision. 

So web3 founders who want to fund their startup idea via NFTs/tokens and have their community participate via a DAO need to think about these things much more in advance. 

For example, if you want to create a web3 startup that aims to curb ocean pollution, you also need to create a community that revolves around that issue.

The challenge here is that even before you create your startup and develop your product, you need to find people for a community who share the same vision. 

You can’t build a community that revolves around DeFi to ultimately fund a GameFi startup-why would anyone invest here? 

I think you understand what I’m getting at.

So, I’ve been thinking about how to solve that, or at least how to make it easier for founders to work on it. 

How to build a web3 community that’s right for your startup

Whether I was advising startups or developing strategies myself, I love working with Canvases.

What could be more obvious than to develop a Canvas for this as well?

That’s why I created the „Minimum Viable Web3 Community Canvas“, with which founders can develop their community purpose in advance, which ultimately fits the goal of their startup.

How to Build a Web3 Community - Minimum Viable Web3 Community Canvas
(Click to enlarge)

Download PDF here – to see it in full resolution.

How to work with the Minimum Viable Web3 Community Canvas? 

Left column, product, 1-3: 

Limit yourself to the product here. What is your vision? What problem do you want the product and your startup to solve? For whom and what does the solution look like in detail? 

Describe everything about your (future) startup here. 

Middle column, Community, 1-4: 

Here you’ll find the points that should align your startup and your community. 

Draw here everything you plan for your community and how it fits your startup and your product. This is the only way you can ultimately ensure you’re building the right community for your web3 startup’s success. 

Right column, Community, 5-10

This is where you put all the topics related to your community. What are you planning to do? How do you keep them happy? What roles do you have? Who can vote and how (DAO or not?)? etc. Everything you need to build a successful community and have your web3 community managers do a great job.  

This should give you a good overview and help you build a focused community that will ultimately support your startup. 


NFT and token projects that raised millions to fund a startup or product idea won’t work that way anymore. The hype is over, and people have realized it’s harder to make a quick buck. As a result, the focus is much more on purpose and utility than it was in 2021 or early 2022. 

As a founder looking to build a community and DAO to fund your startup, you need to think upfront about how to align the purpose of the community with the vision of your startup. This is where the Minimum Viable Web3 Community Canvas can help you get a clear view of your project.

If you have tested the Canvas, let me know more about it in the comments.


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