Apply Now: MIT Intro to Cryptocurrencies Bootcamp for Underrepresented People of Color and Women
     

The MIT Digital Currency Initiative is excited to announce a week-long intensive bootcamp covering key cryptocurrency concepts for women and underrepresented people of color. The event will take place at the MIT Media Lab August 21–26, 2016. The Kapor Center for Social Impact and Xapo have generously donated $70,000 to cover each student’s flights, hotel and other expenses to cover the cost of the bootcamp.

To apply for the program, click here. NOTE: all applications are due by July 11th.

The bootcamp is aimed at undergraduate sophomores, juniors, and non-graduating seniors at US institutions, and will include classroom training and hands-on exercises. The objective is to provide students with a foundation of topics underlying the technology. While students do not need to have a deep background in cryptocurrencies, awareness of the new technology and/or coding experience is encouraged.

Students must be available for a phone interview between July 12 — July 19. Participants will be notified of acceptance into the program by July 22. Students should plan to arrive in Cambridge, MA on August 21 and depart on August 26.

These students will:

  • Gain hands-on technical experience
  • Engage in networking opportunities with influencers and leaders in the cryptocurrency/blockchain space
  • Be encouraged to start clubs on their campuses and develop events for their communities to engage and inform more students on topics important to the technology
  • Pursue research and internship opportunities on their home campuses

In addition, the students will engage in discussions on entrepreneurship, leadership, strategies for applying to graduate school, and approaches to effective communication.

Twenty-five students will be selected for the program. Selected students will receive up to $500 to cover air/train travel to Cambridge, MA. Room and board will be covered for all participants.

Upon acceptance into the program, students must submit a refundable $100 deposit that will be returned to them upon completion of the program. Students should also be prepared to participate in pre-work activities leading up to the bootcamp.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION AT THE DIGITAL CURRENCY INITIATIVE

Since starting in 2015, the DCI has been committed to providing opportunities in digital currency for URMs and women. We have collaborated with organizations such as Coindesk, Girls Who Code, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, CODE2040, Microsoft-sponsored TEALS programme, and National Center for Women & Information Technology to give students and young professionals educational and networking opportunities.

Through these efforts, the DCI has worked with over 200 students and young professionals worldwide.

Last month, we collaborated with the conference Consensus 2016: Making Blockchain Real to provide over $100,000 in scholarships to women and people of color. Over 200 prospective students and young professionals applied, and we were extremely impressed by the quality of the responses.

The 50 Consensus Scholars attended the multi-day event in New York City, some traveling from as far as Australia and Brazil. At the event, the scholars participated in luncheons where they networked with leaders in the space, attended information sessions identifying how the blockchain could cause industry disruption, and listened to speakers from a variety of functional and technical backgrounds.

Following the conference, a number of the scholars blogged about their experiences. Two examples of these posts can be found here and here.

It was such an incredible opportunity to learn more about blockchain and to get a greater perspective into how things are shaping for the future, and how we can be a part in shaping this. — Consensus 2016 Scholar Yael Heiblum

We’re at a crucial point for this developing technology. But realizing its potential will require significant research and development. Innovation will happen when that R&D is open to the widest breadth of ideas; so, the more diverse the community the best chance we have at success.

To apply for the bootcamp, click here. Applications are due by July 11th.

If you have any questions on the application or the event, please reach out to Gina Vargas at gmvargas@media.mit.edu.

 
July 07, 2016