Budding fintech entrepreneurs can now embellish their academic credentials by enrolling on a financial technology applications course at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The seven-week Fintech Ventures course is being run by The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship and the Finance Group at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in collaboration with the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Harvard Law School. It is being billed as the first graduate-level course in the US to focus on building innovative financial technology businesses.
“MIT has always been at the forefront in financial innovation and as financial technology is becoming more important in the financial world, we thought it was imperative to have a class covering this new trend,” says Antoinette Schoar, Michael M. Koerner (1949) professor of entrepreneurial finance, who co-leads the course together with Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.
Students enrolled in the class will get to explore different sub-industries within the fintech space, including consumer finance, payments, trading and cryptocurrencies. Students will be asked to develop business plans for their own ventures in teams that will be eligible to compete in the next MIT Fintech Competition in early April 2016.
“The class is part of a major effort to promote fintech on campus and the Competition will be a huge incentive for students to continue with their ideas,” says Carlos Altable, the fintech practice leader at the Martin Trust Center who helped to develop the course together with Schoar and Aulet.
MIT is not the only university to take a shine to fintech. In September, The University of Lodz in Poland welcomed the first 100 graduates to a new degree course in 'Digital Banking and Finance', sponsored by local direct bank mBank and Accenture. The UK's Open University has also teamed up with fintech trade body Innovate Finance to launch a 50-hour online fintech 101 programme for people interested in breaking into the space.