imapp was founded in Warsaw, Poland, in mid 2013, by Andrzej Regulski and me. This was a continuation of our work with the leading Polish thinktank Institute for Structural Studies (IBS), which I have co-founded in 2006 (and served for 6 years as a board member).
Initially, imapp was a consulting company focused on economics and policy analysis for government. One of our first major projects, The Morfa language, was inherited from IBS as a research endeavor to create a programming language friendly to economic modeling. In order to bring Morfa to fruition, we realized that we needed to assemble a best-of-class development team. Luckily, Poland is known for both its skilled developers and its excellent mathematics and computer science schools. In little time, we were able to gather a diverse group of outstanding software developers.
Among our signed-on developers was Piotr “Viggith” Janiuk, whose contacts and respect in the community brought us some interesting opportunities. First, a computational chemistry project as a long-term contractor to GSI (creator of Chematica). Next, a realtime rendering engine for broadcasters, which is still in use in Polish television (and still developed) today.
Then, in February 2014, our brains were fundamentally rewired. Piotr’s contact Wendell introduced us to Dr. Gavin Wood and the amazing
Ethereum project. In September 2014, we began to get seriously involved in core development, working with ETHDEV, primarily on the EVMJIT and C++ client. Paweł Bylica (our core Golem developer) continues to help build these important pieces of the ecosystem even now. We also attended DEVCON0 and DEVCON1, presenting both the initial concept of Golem, and idea of Nanopayments on Ethereum.
Following DEVCON1, Wendell introduced us to Omise and its Blockchain Lab, giving us the opportunity to work with (and in some cases, contribute to) many other exciting blockchain technologies, including Factom, Hydrachain, and Raiden. By now we had developed a taste for building and launching products, and we wanted to put our experience and expertise to use building something original.
Golem was in fact the first ground-up technology that leveraged nearly all of our accumulated skills and experience over the years. What began as a curious technical experiment, soon became a passion project. Subsequently, it has grown into nothing less than a vision for the future of the Internet.
Golem development up to now has been almost entirely self-funded (with a little help from BlockGrantX #1:Genesis), with approximately 60 man-months of development and support being put in over the last two years (during the first year only Aleksandra was researching all nuances, and only after DECON1 have we decided to begin serious development). Perhaps unique among potentially crowdfunded projects in the very new decentralized software space, we have an existing, proven, track record of delivering software — and making money doing it. And because we believe in Golem, we have put in a substantial amount of our own money to see it take flight.
Given what you have heard about imapp, you may wonder about the Golem team. It will be a spinoff company, with its own full-time employees, not distracted by any aspect of imapp business. In fact the majority of imapp is already working full-time on Golem, but we will make this separation of responsibilities very clear: the team will remain the same, only we hope it will grow greater and stronger over time.
Edit 10–18–2106: information on BlockGrant added.