What is a cryptocurrency and why does it have value? What is an initial coin offering (ICO) and how have tech entrepreneurs raised billions of dollars in non-dilutive financing? Can existing startups add cryptocurrency to their business model? In this installment of our "View From The Top" series, you'll hear answers to these questions and more from some of the key leaders in this fast-growing field including:
- CEO of a cryptocurrency with the 3rd largest market cap
- CEO who last month broke the all-time record for an Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
- Co-Chief Investment Officer of one the largest dedicated ICO hedge funds
- Head of the Digital Currency+Blockchain Practice for one of the country's leading law firms
Building a Blockchain Project from Ground Zero,
A 6 part Deepdive
Blockchain is the technology that has been called “the new internet” and ICO funding has reached $2.8 billion worldwide in 2017, far surpassing early-stage venture funding. There is plenty of buzz around this topic but what type of project is blockchain suitable for? How does one get from an idea to a demo-able product? This series addresses these questions with insight from leading experts in this fast-changing space, culminating in the chance to pitch at the annual MIT Club of Northern California conference held in April 2018.
KICKOFF EVENT, VIEW FROM THE TOP :
Blockchain, Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency and ICOs
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Start With the End in Mind
Thursday, January 4th 2018 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Legal Considerations & Pitch Ideas
Thursday, February 13th 2018 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Technical Trends in Development
Tuesday, March 6th 2018 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Marketing and Recruiting, Pitch Selection
Thursday, April 5th 2018 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Project Pitch - Cyrpto Idol at MIT Future of Industries | Industries of Future - Conference
April 20 - 22, 2018 | 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
What is a cryptocurrency and why does it have value? What is an initial coin offering (ICO) and how have tech entrepreneurs raised billions of dollars in non-dilutive financing? Can existing startups add cryptocurrency to their business model? In this installment of our "View From The Top" series, you'll hear answers to these questions and more from some of the key leaders in this fast-growing field.
Who Is This Blockchain Series For?
This series is for individuals interested in taking an idea and building a blockchain project. While blockchain programming experience is not assumed or necessary, we do assume a level of technical expertise such that a demo product can be built if provided direction to self-learning resources (this is not a learn how to code blockchain course). You do not have to be an engineer if you would like to team up with participants who are engineers.
The guidance provided is from experts in the space regarding various aspects that need to be considered when launching a blockchain project. Since blockchain is evolving so rapidly, this often means lively debate and commentary versus a playbook-to-ICO instruction manual.
Objectives and Outcomes
- Participants will learn from experts about the main components needed when launching a blockchain project
- Participants will be supported through the process of independently creating a demo-able project from an idea
- Participants will network with other like-minded participants and potentially partner
- Participants who complete the series, including pitching a demo-able blockchain project at the final session, will receive a Certificate of Completion from the MIT Club of Northern California
Concepts Introduced and Used
- Blockchain project investment criteria
- Funding through VC, angels, ICO, or a combination
- Token valuation and Crypto-economics
- Governance, use of token proceeds, milestones for release
- Liquidity for tokens – listing on exchanges
- Building your own blockchain vs. building on an existing one
- Mining and token supply
- ERC20 token protocol
- Utility token vs. security token
- Global implications of where to run your blockchain company
- US regulations and dealing with the SEC
- Use of foundations
- Different programming languages and stacks in blockchain
- Scalability concepts – sharding, state channels, off-chain, Lightning, Raiden
- Consensus concepts – Proof of Work, Proof of Stake, Casper, other alternatives
- Privacy concepts – private or semi-private, default or not, popular algorithms
- Security and testing best practices
- How to market your project – similarities and differences to traditional startup marketing
- Building and recruiting a team
- ICO website and whitepaper
- Common ICO messaging platforms – Slack, Telegram
- Working with consultants, agencies, and advisors
- Basic understanding of what blockchain is and how it works
- Basic understanding of the differences between Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other tokens
- Basic understanding of what an ICO (initial coin offer) is
- If not planning to partner with engineer participants, some experience programming and ability to self-learn and execute
- Ability to devote time outside of sessions to develop a demo-able pitch by April
2 hour evening sessions every month from December 2017 – April 2018. Each session will focus on a theme which is important to consider when building a blockchain project and will feature guest speakers from industry.
Sessions will be held in San Francisco and refreshments will be provided.
Participants will be invited to join a private Slack channel for discussion and collaboration. The channel will generally be un-moderated, with instructor available for Slack office hours and email answering 1 hour/week from the January session through the April session.
Bonus – Webinars:
Optional webinars may be arranged to expand exposure to experts not located in the Bay Area. Participation is not required to earn the Certificate of Completion.
In a decentralized world, we realize not everyone has the capability to attend in-person sessions in San Francisco. Therefore, we offer a video only option with access to post-production session recordings. Participants selecting this option are not eligible for Slack/email support, pitch competition, or Certificate of Completion. However, participants will be invited to participate in any bonus webinars.
Final dates subject to availability of guest experts.