Top Schools Pursue Blockchain Programs: UC Berkeley Launches Accelerator


One of the most prestigious schools in the country is investing in infrastructure for helping students to launch their blockchain dreams.

Early this year, UC Berkeley announced a 12-week accelerator program for blockchain startups.

The accelerator is part of larger view of how to integrate crypto learning at top US schools.

“Underscoring its multi-pronged approach to promoting blockchain and cryptocurrency education — via its both dedicated venture capital fund, SCET Blockchain X-Lab, and its student-led organization — UC Berkeley also notes that its Entrepreneurship Center has launched a host of new labs devoted not only to blockchain, but also to innovation in data science, artificial intelligence and sustainability,” writes Marie Huillet at Cointelegraph today, speaking of specific UC Berkeley initiatives underway this year.

Various partners are promoting these new blockchain programs: The Hass school of business in blockchain at Berkeley is a student-run organization with over 100 members that has promoted cryptocurrency course work and enrolled over 70,000 students in blockchain programs – with the help of alumni and others, the department has also launched a program to help develop blockchain proof of concepts for some big companies.

“With such a nascent technology as blockchain, we see that a lot of subject matter experts and people making an impact in the blockchain space are students,” Blockchain at Berkeley president Gloria Zhao said in a recent press statement on the school’s operations.  “Blockchain at Berkeley strives to foster the entrepreneurial spirit in our students, so we are excited to help lead this initiative and assist the next generation of blockchain innovators.”

Mentoring is a big part of the Berkeley accelerator approach – with a global reach, this program is likely to influence the next generation of graduates who come into a world where cryptocurrency is a major force in the finance sector.

Administrators and others want to help students to deal with the challenges of wading into this kind of IT.

“There can be quite a steep learning curve in developing useful blockchain applications, where individuals or a team will need to have some understanding of blockchain technology, smart contract security, relevant business use cases, and token economics,” Saiba Kataruka, Developer Marketing Lead at Zilliqa, told Forbes recently, discussing a three-month UK program called The Future of Blockchain. “Sponsoring the Future of Blockchain allows us to interact with students from various academic disciplines such as law, engineering, journalism, and humanities, to name a few, and such a cross-disciplinary conversation often leads to some rather innovative ideas for applications of blockchain technology. We are keen to support a variety of blockchain applications while giving back to academia.”