Call for Applications for DLT TALENTS: an 18-week mentoring program to empower female talent for leadership in the blockchain space

Philipp Sandner
12 min readFeb 14, 2022

We have designed an 18-week long program with 3 phases that will help ambitious women to quickly onboard to the blockchain ecosystem (ideal age should be 18+). Our goal is to guide the way for women to become entrepreneurs, technologists, regulators, investors or influencers. This program is free of charge (EUR 0), you just have to apply. We will admit a maximum of 200 women to this program starting on April 22, 2024. Application Deadline is March 31, 2024.

Update: A new application deadline and a new date for starting this program (April 4, 2022) in the 4th batch was added. Website:


With this program, we seek to empower women to get into blockchain technology, become leaders in this quickly developing and build the basis for a successful career path field (ideal age should be 18+). Blockchain is here to change the infrastructures of finance, supply chains, trade, etc. First, implementations are conducted by large corporations and financial institutions, but also by NGOs, the UN, and others trying to be part of a changing world. Bitcoin will also stay with us for the next few years and will not fade away. It is time to onboard yourself into the blockchain ecosystem.

Here is our track record so far: Over 2,600 talented women have applied; of these, we have mentored 1000 talents in 7 batches between 2020 and 2023. After these women have passed our 18-week mentoring program many of them are ready for jobs in the blockchain space. So far, approximately 400 women have found such a job. From now on in 2023 and beyond, we will increase these numbers. We are grateful to our sponsors: Commerzbank, KfW, Avalanche, DekaBank, dwpbank and Climate Collective.

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

  • You become an entrepreneur of a great blockchain startup that is quickly funded with more than EUR 1M.
  • You become a technologist or developer ready to work on blockchain applications or token protocols.
  • You become a regulator or lawyer helping to set, change or apply the rules on which a digital society in the future will be based.
  • You become an investor or venture capital partner helping to shape the future of other startups.
  • You become a multiplicator or influencer in the blockchain area and an important “node” of the network.

If we do not achieve these goals together with some of the participating women we will coach, we will have failed.

Blockchain is 95% male and this has to change

Blockchain is a rising area. It emerged with Bitcoin back in 2008, pure software and IT. Of course, blockchain is technology often combined with finance. Maybe, this is the reason why the blockchain space is dominated by men in most countries. In fact, 95% of the people in blockchain are men. To be clear, this is just 5% women — probably less.

We think that this is a significant problem, as in this quickly developing technological field, now is the time to be present, to position yourself and to build a network. The network and the prototypes developed now will lay the foundation for essential business relationships and real-life projects in a couple of years.

You will be one of the first protagonists in this field. Mingling already now with future leaders will make this point in time the perfect one to start.

It is our goal to change this on a small scale.

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. Precisely, this is the core team driving this endeavor:

  • Denise Duve, Strategic Advisor ESG (Group Strategy) at Blocksize Capital
  • Anna C. Lange, Account Manager EMEA at Fireblocks
  • Thy-Diep (“Yip”) Ta, Founder, Co-Founder Unit Ventures
  • Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner, Head of Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
  • Michael F. Spitz, Founder and Co-CEO, 360X
  • Daniel Holk, Project Manager at Frankfurt School Blockchain Center
  • Kiana Weiss, Project Manager at Frankfurt School Blockchain Center
  • Sarah Palurovic, Project Manager at Frankfurt School Blockchain Center
  • Julian Proft, Project Manager at Frankfurt School Blockchain Center
  • Manuel Müller, Partnerships Manager at Frankfurt School Blockchain Center
  • Alexandra Overgaag,, Founder/CEO Thrilld Labs
  • Katharina Zeuch, CEO and Co-Founder of Luna Vision
  • Emily Rose Dallara, Co-Founder at Payant, Leadership & Success Coach
  • Katharina Scheutz, Business Development Manager at
  • Daniela Heynen, Management Consultant at GWP
  • Daniela Schleh, Consultant at the Bavarian Ministry for Digitalisation
  • Sunny Jiang, Founder and CEO at MaasVentures
  • Arelly Kissinger, Project Manager at KfW
  • Laura Stopic, Business Expert DLT Lab at Commerzbank AG
  • Jocelyne Royer, VP Marketing & Community at Exclusible
  • Anne Köhler, Project Lead International Corporates Transformation Office at Commerzbank
  • Dr. Yahya Al-Salqan, CEO and Co-Founder at and

In our bi-weekly Zoom sessions, we will invite other blockchain experts. For this, we have built the following network of current (and past) mentors and coaches:

What can you expect from our DLT TALENTS program?

Starting with our eighth batch on April 22, 2024, we will establish a small program, select a maximum of 200 high-potential women and coach them over the course of a 3-phase program across 18 weeks to become entrepreneurs, technologists, regulators, investors or multiplicators in this field. Every two weeks, we will hold Zoom sessions to deepen your knowledge and get you ready for a first job in the blockchain domain.

This program is different. We will not do mentoring the classical way and we do not want to do lecturing. This is successfully done elsewhere. With our stringent 3-phase program, we will focus on empowering women to build a footprint in the blockchain ecosystem and become entrepreneurs, technologists, regulators, investors or multiplicators in this field.

These are the key principles of our program:

  • You are your own teacher. We want to empower participants to learn the basics of the technology through using blended learning concepts built upon peer learning. This is NOT a university lecture. We will facilitate the learning journey by providing you with a diligently curated study guide. It’s important that you commit to self-studying the proposed concepts and come prepared to 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 learning 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 do it” mentality.
  • Content is queen. We will ask you to become a blockchain co-creator, e.g., by writing a blog article or creating a video on a blockchain topic (e.g., on Medium or YouTube) and get public exposure. We want to foster execution. But no worries, we will assure that what you write will be brilliant! We ask to do so because we have made the experience that by “owning” one’s topic, the study journey deepens and accelerates.

Why should you apply for this program?

Enter into Blockchain. This program should allow you to get an easy entry into the blockchain ecosystem. We believe that this program strongly improves your employability and that your future career path will significantly benefit.

Structured Learning Journey. You will also be equipped with the knowledge to understand blockchain technology and to judge applications of crypto assets and DLT. You will be able to “access” this very special domain with extremely varying characters — from entrepreneurs to regulators, investors and corporates. Our learning guides and facilitated peer sessions are designed in a way to help you understand the core essentials in a short time period. Our guest speakers are experts in their own fields in the blockchain universe.

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

It is a blockchain “bootcamp”. Please only consider applying if you are up to the challenge. We are waiting for your application. Shortly outline what brought your attention to blockchain and why you are the right woman.

How exactly does the program look like?

We aim to develop the participants into specialists in a chosen domain. To achieve this, however, it is necessary first of all to learn the basics of the technology and also to gain insight 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). These phases accompany the participants from the beginner level (basics phase) upwards to the generalist (multi-disciplinary phase) and specialist levels (concentration phase).

Figure 1: DLT TALENTS’ 3-phase program over the course of 18 weeks to empower ambitious women (screenshot from the first batch but we kept the structure and did not change it)

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 to the meetings.

Table 1: Program schedule

What is the agenda for each Zoom session?

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

  • Warm welcome (5 min)
  • Participant presentations (35 min)
  • Reflections from the group (10 min)
  • Assignment for next session (5 min)
  • Guest speaker presentations, if scheduled (20 min)
  • Q&A (10 min)
  • Outlook next topics (5 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 was so fascinating about it?
  • 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 hindrances?
  • 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 slides within this single joint document. We do this to foster knowledge exchange and reduce technical frictions when presenting. We then have guest lecturers, which we invite. Questions on their presentations will be discussed thereafter. Each session closes with an outlook towards the new section.

What are the key characteristics of the DLT TALENTS program to be summarized?

  • Starting: Monday, April 22, 2024 (batch 1). The Monday sessions start at 17:30 CEST/CET.
  • Duration: 18 weeks (ending August 26, 2024).
  • Working mode: bi-weekly Zoom sessions with assignments to be worked on in the meantime.
  • Hours of classes: in the afternoons (CEST/CET).
  • Cost: EUR 0 (scholarship program).
  • Size: maximum of 100 women.
  • Application: required; i.e. application form, letter of motivation (as PDF) and resume/CV (as PDF).
  • Language: English or German.

Who should apply for this program and where to apply?

You should definitely apply if you fulfill the following criteria:

  • You are female.
  • Your age is 18+.
  • You have at least 12 free hours per week to dig into the area of blockchain.
  • You love technology and ideally also finance.
  • You are good at mathematics.
  • You speak and write English quite well.
  • You have already had leadership experiences in your life (can be in extra-curricular).
  • You could imagine slightly touching programming and IT development.
  • It is OK for you to speak up for your interests and in public.
  • 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/Tuesday starting on April 22, 2024.

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 — we will respond to you as soon as possible. The program starts on April 22, 2024, and will consist of a maximum of 200 ambitious women. The application deadline is March 31, 2024; 23:59 CEST/CET.

More information about this program:


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.

Do you want to learn more about how blockchain will change our world?

  • 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


Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner has founded the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center (FSBC). From 2018 to 2021, he was ranked among the “top 30” economists by the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), a major newspaper in Germany. He has been a member of the FinTech Council and the Digital Finance Forum of the Federal Ministry of Finance in Germany. He is also on the Board of Directors of FiveT Fintech Fund and Blockchain Founders Group — companies active in the field of blockchain startups. The expertise of Prof. Sandner includes crypto assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, decentralized finance (DeFi), the digital euro, tokenization of assets, and digital identity. You can contact him via mail ( via LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter (@philippsandner).



Philipp Sandner

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