Finding financial partners and collecting endorsements are the difficult parts of a project dedicated to selling domain names. And you need endorsements for a community project : the more you have, better your chances are to operate your TLD if you are in competition with a similar application.
It takes long to inform about new Top-Level Domains. Even today, it is difficult to explain interested parties the impact a new domain name extension can have on their community : it just not understood yet and the price barrier makes want to run away. So there still need more time for new gTLDs to demonstrate they will be a very powerful tool for communities. I hope ICANN's 4 months campaign pushes the message.
Note this has nothing to do with what I write but why do I expect a few standard applications to try to grab community extensions ?
Now...when I read I'll be there on second round, my fear is there is no second round. 19 months maximum to process all applications also means it could take 19 months at the minimum since all applications have to be processed for the second round to start. If you add the application window of 3 months and other delays between procedures, it is possible second round wont's start before 2 good years. And if we consider it is the first time so many TLDs are launched at the same time, well, it is possible second round starts much later.