Call for Applications for NFT Talents: An 18-Week Mentoring Program Empowering Talent for Leadership in the NFT Space
We have designed an 18-week long program with 3 phases that will help ambitious and young career starters to break into the non-fungible token (NFT) ecosystem. Our goal is to guide the way for you to become entrepreneurs, technologists, lawyers, investors, or multiplicators in the surging NFT space. This program is completely free, you just have to apply. We will admit a maximum of 200 applicants to this program starting on January 16, 2024. The application deadline is December 24, 2023.
NFT Talents launched in 2022 is part of the wider Web3 Talents education initiative operated by the Frankfurt School Blockchain Center. With this program, we seek to empower innovators to dive into blockchain technology, in particular NFTs, to become leaders in this quickly developing field, and to build the basis for a successful career path. NFTs allow you to create, buy and sell ownership of unique digital assets and keep track of who owns them using the blockchain. This is a quickly developing application field of blockchain technology with enormous potential.
Here is our track record so far: More than 1,300 talented people have applied in our three batches; of these, we have mentored 550. After these “NFT talents” have passed our 18-week mentoring program many of them will be ready for jobs in the blockchain space. We expect that approximately 150 talents will easily find a job in the NFT space. In the future, we expect 1,500 applications per year and we will educate 400 talents per year. We offer 2 batches per cohort in order to meet the increased demand for this program — one in the afternoon, and the other in the morning (Central European Time).
We envision that participants passing our program sooner or later can follow these career paths:
- You become an entrepreneur of a successful NFT project that is quickly valued at more than US $1,000,000
- You become a technologist or developer ready to work on NFT 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 NFT space and an important “node” of the network
Background: Preparing for a more decentralized world
There are many NFT use cases that will reshape the way we track ownership of both digital and physical assets in the not too distant future. There is enormous transformative potential for various sectors once smart contracts can replace middlemen and even institutions. And NFTs are not limited to a country — like decentral networks, they are international by nature. As NFTs are still in their infancy, it can be expected that NFTs will continue to provide use cases around ownership that people on all continents can access. We need future-proof individuals ready to spearhead the NFT era and to shape the future for everyone’s benefit.
Now is a critical moment to seize this opportunity and to immerse yourself in NFTs, position yourself, and build a network. The network and the prototypes 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:
- Prof. Dr. Philipp Sandner, Head of Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- Marc Anders, Program Manager, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- Cedric Heidt, Deputy Program Manager, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- Jong-Chan Chung, Research Assistant, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- Masud Sultan, Research Assistant, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- Dominik Peer, Research Assistant, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
- Stephan Raubach, Research Assistant, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
In our bi-weekly Zoom sessions, we will invite other blockchain and NFT experts. For this, we draw on a pool of mentors and coaches:
- Philipp Wagner, Digital Assets & Blockchain, Deutsche WertpapierService Bank AG
- Alex Schlicher, Founder of Fansea
- Adhikar Naidu & Aakarsh Naidu, Founder of Signa X
- Nicolas Weber, Founder of MetaGameHub DAO
- Alireza Siadat, Lawyer and Partner, Annerton
- Anna Graf, Innovation Lead Web3, Arvato Systems
- Marcel Kaiser, Business Development, Polycrypt & Co-Founder of Defiria
- Giorgi Jashiashvili, Co-Founder & CEO, Enefty
- Brendan Humphries, COO, Pine Protocol
What can you expect from our NFT Talents program?
Starting with our fourth batch on January 16, 2024, we will select a maximum of 200 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 NFT. Every two weeks, we will hold a Zoom session to deepen your knowledge and to advance your career in the NFT space.
This program is different. We will not hold lectures or do mentoring the conventional way. 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 NFT 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 NFTs 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 an NFT co-creator, for instance by writing a blog article, interviewing other NFT experts, or creating a video on an NFT 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?
Enter into NFT. This program should allow you to get an easy entry into the NFT 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 NFT as a concept and to judge NFT applications. 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 of the NFT universe.
Thriving network. Finally, we will provide a network and contacts to professionals in the NFT 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 NFT “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 NFTs and why you are the right candidate.
What exactly does the program look like?
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).
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.
What is the agenda for each Zoom session?
Each Zoom session will have the following structure and a duration of 90 minutes:
- Warm welcome / NFT news (7 min)
- NFT 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 NFT Talents program?
- Starting: Tuesday, January 16, 2024; the sessions start at 16:30 CEST/CET
- Duration: 18 weeks (ending May 21, 2024)
- Working mode: bi-weekly Zoom sessions with assignments to be worked on in the meantime
- Hours of classes: late afternoon (CEST/CET)
- Cost: $0 (scholarship program)
- Size: maximum of 200
- Application: required; i.e., application form, letter of motivation (as PDF) and resume/CV (as PDF).
- 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 non-fungible tokens
- 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 some understanding of at least one programming language
- You are motivated to try out and compare different NFT protocols 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 Tuesday, starting on January 16, 2024; the sessions start at 16:30 CEST/CET)
If you have decided to apply, simply apply via this application form (you will need to upload a motivation letter and CV as a PDF file for the application; a Gmail address is also required). In case you have questions, please contact us via an email addressed to email@example.com — we will respond to you as soon as possible. The application deadline is December 24, 2024; 23:59 CEST/CET.
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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.
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) via LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter (@philippsandner).