Imperial College London and Entrepreneur First (EF), a pre-seed investment program, have announced a new partnership focused on bringing bitcoin technology to students. Below the agreement, the institutions will support pupil innovation in the field of cryptocurrency, which includes bitcoin. The program will be offered to students from a selection of departments, which includes mathematics, computing, engineering and enterprise.
EF is already funding one Imperial alumnus working on a bitcoin startup that came out of his studies and the partnership should allow it to fund even more. The leading London-based pre-seed investment program will provide not only cash prizes for the best student projects, but also a mentorship for the entrepreneurial journey. Where appropriate students, will be encouraged to pursue bitcoin-related ideas as credit-bearing elements of their degree courses. For example, students can apply to carry out bitcoin projects as group projects or individual projects, both of which are compulsory elements of many degree courses. Introducing the idea of bitcoin network development is not something new to Imperial College London policy since it was focusing already on developing the interest of the newest economical solutions, including bitcoin. A part of this trend was Imperial Bitcoin Forum, comprised of a cross-departmental group of researchers, will work alongside EF to provide mentoring and education to students engaged in bitcoin-related projects. Among developers and network of the forum are James Smith, CEO of Elliptic, and Iain Stewart, the brains behind the ‘proof of burn’ concept.
Support and prizes
Thanks to the Imperial/EF Bitcoin Prize Fund, students can be awarded for three prizes: the amounts are – £3,000 for the best project, £1,000 for second place and £500 for third. Undoubtedly, this will be a great additional motivation for young providers of cryptocurrency business solutions. It will also offer additional funds to purchase equipment used in the projects. Grants of up to £500 are available, along with mentoring sessions and other forms of support. Entrepreneur First will be running a first-class series of workshops that are exclusively for students who register for the competition. This will include essential topics such as presentation skills, but will also explore subjects such as developing and fleshing out a business plan and making those key initial business contacts that are essential to entrepreneurs. It truly is a great opportunity for young people to test their abilities, skills and ideas and confront them with more experienced mentors. By registering for the competition, students will be opening themselves up to working with and meeting people from a variety of different departments in the College. Regular
mixers will be hold and a series of prestigious speakers will be invited from both the bitcoin and wider business world. Furthermore, the project is addressed to many people, not exclusively students, but entries from individuals and teams, undergraduates and postgraduates will be accepted as well. Moreover, organizers wants to encourage cross-college partnerships which mean if students math’s needs to be translated into software – he or she can get on the Forum and make some contacts. If their novel business idea requires a statistical analysis – mentors will provide all the required help.