NTU Singapore and HackQuest launch free Web3 Massive Open Online Course for entrepreneurs
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NTU Singapore and HackQuest launch free Web3 Massive Open Online Course for entrepreneurs


Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and Web3 developer education platform HackQuest are collaborating to launch a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) to help entrepreneurs develop projects and business ideas on Web3, the third iteration of the Internet.

Also known as Web 3.0, Web3 is the idea of a new, decentralised Internet built on blockchain technology. Focusing on user ownership and empowerment, it presents many business and entrepreneurial opportunities for individuals with applied blockchain skills and community-focused mindsets.

One of the most promising areas for Web 3.0 is decentralised finance (DeFi), which allows the creation of financial systems without traditional intermediaries.

For instance, entrepreneurs can develop platforms for lending, borrowing, and trading assets, offering users more control and potentially lower costs, while harvesting transaction data for big data analytics.

Jointly developed by HackQuest and NTU Singapore’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship initiative (NTU I&E), the new MOOC will see participants learning from Web3 experts, entrepreneurs, academics and venture capitalists in real-time online sessions, unlike the usual MOOCs which are pre-recorded and taught by a single lecturer.

The course will provide a comprehensive overview of the industry's pressing challenges and help them acquire the essential knowledge and skills for developing Web3 projects and business ideas (See Annex list of guest lecturers).

This includes the development of smart contracts which can provide automated, secure, and transparent transaction processes, beneficial across industries like real estate, legal services, and supply chain management.

Participants will also understand why the building of communities is crucial for the success of Web3 initiatives. Having decentralised governance – such as without a centralised server or authentication – means that stakeholders have to be engaged in the decision-making process, thus reflecting the interests of their communities.

This is especially important for cryptocurrency communities and blockchain services, where users actively contribute to and govern the platforms they use, exemplifying the collaborative and decentralised ethos of Web3.

The NTU I&E x HackQuest MOOC thus aims to empower aspiring innovators to conceptualise and bring ventures to life, prioritising Web3’s decentralised user ownership.

The new MOOC launched its first session on 28 May and will have weekly online lessons until 24 Sep 2024, where there will be active question and answer sessions with the guest lecturers – another unique feature of the course.

NTU Singapore’s Vice President (Innovation and Entrepreneurship) Professor Louis Phee said: “Web 3.0 has immense opportunities for commercialising deep tech research from the University as well as for our enterprising students. The free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) designed in collaboration with HackQuest will equip course participants with the required skills and expertise to turn their research and ideas into actual start-ups and spin-offs that could lead to multimillion-dollar solutions with both societal and economic impact on Singapore.”

HackQuest Co-founder Harry Zhang added: “HackQuest is on a mission to onboard millions of founders and developers to Web 3.0 by making high-quality, practical learning accessible to all. The current landscape is flooded with resources, but many lack credibility, become outdated quickly, and don't focus on the crucial step of taking ideas from concept to reality. We’re thrilled to partner with NTU, a university that shares our belief in decentralised technology and entrepreneurship spirit. Since opening for MOOC enrollment a week ago, we have seen over 500 registrations worldwide. We’re excited to see this number continue to grow as we empower the next wave of Web 3.0 pioneers together.”

The MOOC will be mandatory for participants in the Port63 Challenge, NTU’s annual flagship innovation challenge. The second edition will begin in August, and students from Singapore’s Institutes of Higher Learning and Polytechnics will join forces to apply their knowledge and address real-world challenges.

The challenge offers attractive cash prizes, funding for prototypes, and mentorships to help participants realise their ideas.

Unleashing Entrepreneurial Potential in the Web3 Era

The exponential growth of the Web3 landscape and community presents tremendous opportunities for aspiring Web3 entrepreneurs and developers to converge and rapidly prototype exciting projects.

For instance, smart contract platforms are gaining popularity, with their market expected to grow to nearly $1.08 billion by 2030, up from $190 million in 2022[1].

A smart contract is a digital agreement programmed on a blockchain that automatically executes actions such as transferring funds or signing documents once specific conditions are met.

Unlike traditional contracts, which require manual signatures and approvals, smart contracts are self-executing, with terms written directly into computer code, which ensures that agreements between parties are carried out automatically without human intervention.

Many innovative projects are also emerging in diverse areas. They include Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) – which represent unique digital assets like art and music; digital identity projects that provide secure, verifiable online identities; tokenised fan engagement platforms that enhance interaction between fans and their favourite celebrities or sports teams; and governance design initiatives which promote decentralised decision-making within organisations.

In the financial sector, composable Decentralised Finance (DeFi) projects are building interconnected applications for lending, borrowing, and trading cryptocurrencies, bypassing traditional banks. Other areas of innovation include supply chain management, ensuring product transparency and traceability; and healthcare, where blockchain securely stores patient records.

The NTU I&E x HackQuest MOOC, “Ideating and Building on Web3, will prepare course participants for this new digital landscape. While targeted at entrepreneurs, the MOOC is open to anyone interested in Web3. Other topics vital in building a Web3 start-up company include:
  • Pricing strategies,
  • Pitching and fundraising,
  • Tokenomics design (design of economic systems within blockchain networks and crypto projects) and
  • Go-to-Market strategy.
The course will be delivered in two-hour weekly sessions, both synchronous and asynchronous, allowing participants to learn at their own pace.

Registration is now open at hackquest.io/web3mooc.
[1] Forbes Technology Council. (2023, July 5). What makes smart contracts smart? Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2023/07/05/what-makes-smart-contracts-smart/?sh=2ace10113594
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  • NTU students, alumni and faculty attending an NTU Entrepreneurship & Start-Up Training (NEST) training session, which is designed to provide aspiring individuals with the skills, knowledge, and tools needed to develop new ideas and/or iterate existing solutions and translate them into successful businesses.
Regions: Asia, Singapore
Keywords: Applied science, Technology, Humanities, Education

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