Call for Applications for Bitcoin Talents: An 18-Week Mentoring Program Empowering Talent in the Bitcoin Ecosystem

We have designed an 18-week long program with 3 phases that will help ambitious and young career starters to break into the Bitcoin ecosystem. Our goal is to guide the way for you to become entrepreneurs, technologists, lawyers, investors, or multiplicators in the growing Bitcoin space. This program is completely free, you just have to apply. We will admit a maximum of 100 applicants to this program starting on January 17, 2023. The application deadline is December 26, 2022.

Introduction

With this program, we seek to empower innovators to dive into Bitcoin, to understand the largest (measured by market capitalization) blockchain project out there, to become leaders in this quickly developing field, and to build the basis for a successful career path. With Bitcoin, a new financial architecture (and asset, think “digital gold”) has arisen globally allowing people previously excluded from the international financial system to participate. Bitcoin is the most well-known and biggest blockchain project. It does not depend on the participation of traditional players like banks that act as financial intermediaries but is accessible to virtually anyone in a peer-to-peer manner with the minimum requirements of having a PC or smartphone, access to the Internet, and the willingness to learn. Thus, Bitcoin expands transactions on a blockchain from basic peer-to-peer cash functionality to the more complex Lightning network, starting to reach new markets (“banking the unbanked”). With the current time of crises, it is more than rational to understand Bitcoin deeply. It is time to onboard yourself into this exciting and buzzing ecosystem.

Here is our track record so far: By now, more than 3500 talented people have applied so far with our other Talents programs; of these, we have mentored more than 900 from 2021 to 2022.

After our “Bitcoin talents” have passed our 18-week mentoring program many of them will be ready for jobs in this space. We expect that approximately 30 talents will easily find a job in the Bitcoin space, where more and more companies are being founded — and established companies thrive to understand this technology. In the future, we expect 1,200 applications per year and we will educate 400 talents per year.

We envision that participants passing our program sooner or later can follow these career paths:

  • You become an entrepreneur of a successful startup in the Bitcoin ecosystem that is quickly valued at more than US $1,000,000
  • You become a technologist or developer ready to work on Bitcoin applications and/or 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 Bitcoin space and an important “node” of the network

Background: Preparing for a more decentralized financial sector

There are many scenarios set to reshape the financial sector not too far in the future. There is enormous transformative potential once blockchain networks can replace middlemen and even institutions. And Bitcoin is not limited to a country — like other decentral networks, it is international by nature. As Bitcoin and blockchain are still in an early stage, it can be expected that the spaces will continue to grow rapidly on all continents. We need future-proof individuals to understand Bitcoin and to be ready to spearhead the blockchain era and to shape the financial future for everyone’s benefit.

Now is a critical moment to seize this opportunity and to immerse yourself in the ecosystem, position yourself, and build a network. The network and the startups developed today will lay the foundation for essential professional relationships and real-life projects in a couple of months or years.

Who is operating this program?

This program is operated by the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center and partnering organizations. If you are interested as an organization in supporting this program, please contact us. This is the core team driving this endeavor:

In our bi-weekly Zoom sessions, we will invite other blockchain and Bitcoin experts. For this, we draw on a pool of mentors and coaches:

What can you expect from our Bitcoin Talents program?

Starting with our first cohort on January 17, 2023, we will select a maximum of 100 high-potential candidates and coach them over the course of a 3-phase program over 18 weeks to become entrepreneurs, technologists, lawyers, investors, or multiplicators in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Every two weeks, we will hold a Zoom session to deepen your knowledge and to advance your career in the Bitcoin space.

This program is different. We will not do mentoring the conventional way and we do not do lectures. This is done elsewhere. With our stringent 3-phase program and remote group coaching sessions, we will focus on empowering you to build a footprint in the Bitcoin space and become entrepreneurs, technologists, lawyers, investors, or multiplicators in this field. Remote sessions happening bi-weekly are a key tactic to bring together people from different countries.

These are the key principles of our program:

  • You are your own teacher. We want to empower participants to learn about Bitcoin 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 Bitcoin co-creator, for instance by writing a blog article, interviewing other Bitcoin experts or creating a video on a Bitcoin-related 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 you 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?

Enter into the Bitcoin space. This program should allow you to get an easy entry into the Bitcoin space. We believe that this program strongly improves your employability and that your future career path will experience a significant boost.

Structured learning journey. You will also be equipped with the knowledge to understand Bitcoin as a concept (and network, maybe as a “way of thinking”) and to assess Bitcoin use cases. You will be able to “access” this very special domain with extremely varying characters — from entrepreneurs to lawyers, investors, and corporates. Our mentors and facilitated peer sessions are designed in a way to help you understand the core essentials in a short period of time. Our guest speakers are experts in their fields in the Bitcoin universe.

Thriving network. Finally, we will provide a network and contacts to professionals in the Bitcoin space. This is of particular importance because, in such a small yet dynamic and growing field, the breadth and depth of one’s personal network are key.

A Bitcoin “boot camp”. Please only consider applying if you are up to the challenge. We are awaiting your application. In your application, shortly outline what brought your attention to Bitcoin and why you are the right candidate.

What exactly does the program look like?

We aim to develop all participants into specialists in their chosen domain. To achieve this, however, it is necessary to first learn the basics of Bitcoin and also to gain insights into as many stakeholder domains as possible. To achieve this, we have developed a 3-phase model, which forms the backbone of the entire program — the basics phase, the multi-disciplinary phase, and ultimately the concentration phase (see Figure 1 below). These phases accompany the participants from the beginner level (basics phase) upwards to the generalist level (multi-disciplinary phase) and up to the specialist level (concentration phase).

Bitcoin Talents 3-phase program over the course of 18 weeks to empower future Bitcoin leaders

We meet every two weeks virtually as a group. These meetings last 90 minutes, and they are meant to help share our learnings, discuss open questions, and learn from experts in the field. We will ask you to come prepared for the meetings.

Table 1: Program schedule

What is the agenda for each Zoom session?

Each Zoom session will have the following structure and a duration of 90 minutes:

  • Bitcoin news (7 min)
  • Bitcoin 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)

In each Zoom session, the participants will present the findings of the assignment from the last session. The goal is not to lecture content to others. The goal is mainly to showcase what you have learned and what insights you have gotten — we call it “reflections”. Specifically, the participants should present their insights. They should not teach others. Learning of content is being done in the assignments the participants have to work on alone. The reflections will follow a structured format:

  • 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?

After the participant presentations, we will discuss the patterns that occurred regarding the insights of the entire group. The goal is to deepen and enrich our mutual understanding of the topic at hand. Thereafter, the assignment for the next session will be presented. All participants will work in one joint Google Slides document. Link sharing will be turned on and everybody will work on her/his slides within this single joint document. We do this to foster knowledge exchange and reduce technical frictions when presenting. We then have guest lecturers hold a keynote presentation. Questions on their presentations will be discussed subsequently. Each session closes with an outlook on the next session.

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

  • Starting Tuesday, January 17, 2023
  • The sessions start at 4:30 PM (CEST/CET)
  • Duration: 18 weeks (ending Tuesday, May 23, 2023)
  • Working mode: bi-weekly Zoom sessions with assignments to be worked on in the meantime
  • Cost: $0 (scholarship program)
  • Size: maximum of 100
  • Application: required (see URL to the application form below)
  • Language: English

Who should apply for this program and where to apply?

You should apply if you fulfill the following criteria:

  • Your age is 18+
  • You have at least 12 free hours per week to dig into the area of blockchain and Bitcoin
  • 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., software development experience)
  • You have a solid understanding of at least one programming language
  • You are motivated to learn more about Bitcoin and the Bitcoin ecosystem
  • 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 Tuesday starting on January 17, 2023; The Tuesday sessions start at 4:30 PM (CEST/CET).

If you have decided to apply, simply apply via this application form. In case you have questions, please contact us via an email addressed to team@fs-blockchain.de — we will respond to you as soon as possible. The application deadline is December 26, 2022; 11:59 PM (CEST/CET).

Remarks

If you like this article, we would be happy if you forward it to your colleagues or share it on social networks. If you are an expert in the field and want to criticize or endorse the article or some of its parts, feel free to leave a private note here or contextually and we will respond or address it.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Philipp Sandner

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