Call for Applications for DeFi Talents: An 18-Week Mentoring Program Empowering Talent for Leadership in the Decentralized Finance Space


  • You become an entrepreneur of a successful DeFi startup that is quickly valued at more than US $1,000,000
  • You become a technologist or developer ready to work on DeFi applications or token protocols
  • You become a lawyer helping to advise entrepreneurs and companies in the future
  • You become an investor (or venture capitalist) helping to shape the future of startups and protocols
  • You become a multiplicator or influencer in the DeFi space and an important “node” of the network

Background: Preparing for a more decentralized financial sector

Who is operating this program?

What can you expect from our DeFi Talents program?

  • You are your own teacher. We want to empower participants to learn DeFi through the use of blended learning concepts built upon peer learning. This is explicitly NOT a university lecture. We will facilitate the learning journey by providing you with a curated study guide. You must commit to self-studying the proposed concepts and come prepared for our joint Zoom sessions.
  • Sharing is caring. In the Zoom sessions, we will deepen the knowledge and clarify open questions. We will ask you to actively share your learnings and questions in these sessions to foster progress through guided individual and group reflection and sharing of our perspectives towards a common topic. It is key to apply your newly won knowledge with a “just get it done” mentality.
  • Content is everything. We will ask you to become a DeFi co-creator, for instance by writing a blog article, interviewing other DeFi experts or creating a video on a DeFi topic (e.g. on Medium or YouTube) and get public exposure. We want to foster execution. But no worries, we will assure you that what you write will be brilliant! We ask to do so because we have made the experience that by “owning” a specific topic, your own journey accelerates and becomes more fulfilling.

Why should you apply for this program?

What exactly does the program look like?

DeFi Talents 3-phase program over the course of 18 weeks to empower future DeFi leaders
Table 1: Program schedule

What is the agenda for each Zoom session?

  • DeFi news (7 min)
  • DeFi Talents best practice tip (3 min)
  • Participant presentations (25 min)
  • Reflections from the group (20 min)
  • Assignment for next session (5 min)
  • Guest speaker presentations, if scheduled (20 min)
  • Q&A (10 min)
  • Please share your key insight from the topic covered. What have you learned that you didn’t know before? What fascinated you?
  • Why is the topic you investigated important, or innovative to the industry? What problem was solved? How will this change our current economic system?
  • What are the potential drawbacks or obstacles?
  • Where do you have open questions?

Summary: What are the key characteristics of the DeFi Talents program?

  • Starting Monday, April 10, 2023 (batch 1) and Tuesday, April 11, 2023 (batch 2)
  • The Monday sessions start at 5:30 PM (CEST/CET) and the Tuesday sessions start at 9:00 AM (CEST/CET)
  • Duration: 18 weeks (ending Tuesday, August 15, 2023)
  • Working mode: bi-weekly Zoom sessions with assignments to be worked on in the meantime
  • Cost: $0 (scholarship program)
  • Size: maximum of 200
  • Application: required (see URL to the application form below)
  • Language: English

Who should apply for this program and where to apply?

  • Your age is 18+
  • You have at least 12 free hours per week to dig into the area of blockchain and decentralized finance
  • You love technology and ideally also finance
  • You are good at mathematics
  • You speak and write English proficiently
  • You have already had leadership experiences in your life (extra-curricular roles count as well) or deep tech experience (e.g., smart contract experience)
  • You have a solid understanding of at least one programming language
  • You are motivated to try out and compare different DeFi protocols (Aave, Compound, Uniswap, etc.) on Ethereum or another base layer
  • You feel comfortable speaking to an audience
  • You are entrepreneurial-minded
  • You are eager to fulfill the milestones of the program with a “the best I can do” attitude
  • You seek to comply with the deadlines given
  • You give your best to attend every single session of our schedule (every second Monday and Tuesday, starting on April 10, 2023; The Monday sessions start at 5:30 PM (CEST/CET) and the Tuesday sessions start at 9:00 AM (CET).


  • Blockchain knowledge: We wrote a Medium article on how to acquire the necessary blockchain knowledge within a workload of 10 working days.
  • Our two blockchain books: We have edited two books on how blockchain will change our society (Amazon link) in general and everything related to finance (Amazon link) in particular. Both books are available in print and for Kindle — currently in German and soon in English. The authors have been more than 20 well-known blockchain experts in startups, corporations and the government from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein — all contributing their expertise to these two books.
Our two books: the first one on blockchain and the society and the second one on blockchain and finance




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Philipp Sandner

Philipp Sandner


Professor | Lecturer | Author | Investor | Frankfurt School Blockchain Center