Voice of Blockchain 2019: University Blockchain Consortium Panel Recap

Image for post
Image for post

On September 30th and October 1st of 2019, Miami University Blockchain Club members traveled to Chicago, Illinois for the Voice of Blockchain 2019 conference. Miami University Blockchain Club was among four university blockchain initiatives represented in a panel speaking on the University Blockchain Consortium. Speaking for MUBC was Jack Gilcrest, VP of Research (that’s me!). Also represented were Marquette Blockchain Labs, Spartan Blockchain Solutions, and Blockchain at Michigan. I learned a great deal from each organization’s representative; each has taken a unique approach to conquering the fledgling space of decentralized computing. Consequentially, I wanted to summarize my experience with the University Blockchain Consortium panel members by providing MUBC’s Medium readers a window into the high-octane lives of some of America’s top university blockchain players!

Image for post
Image for post
Alec Shaw, Co-Founder & Current Adviser to Marquette Blockchain Labs

Academically, Alec Shaw co-founded Marquette Blockchain Lab back in 2017. Marquette Blockchain Lab hosted the 1st Milwuakee Blockchain Conference in November of 2018, bringing more than 300 paying attendees to Marquette to hear expert sessions, keynote presentations, and a podcast. Alec hosted a few more podcasts on Voice of Blockchain Day 2… expect Nisreen, myself, and Andrew coming up in some of his next shows!

Privately, Alec co-founded Euphrates with Davis Marklinas. Currently Alec serves as the Head of Business Development. From building proof-of-concepts for global enterprises, to educating executives on the impacts of blockchain technology, to designing the architecture of a blockchain-based identity platform, Alec has established himself as competent decentralization consultant through both Euphrates and Marquette Blockchain Labs.

Image for post
Image for post
Nisreen Bahrainwala, President of Blockchain at Michigan

Nisreen Bahrainwala, President of Blockchain at Michigan, has always been passionate about STEM. Her first exposure to engineering and technology was through FIRST Robotics. She routinely sacrificed her hours after school and most Saturdays to further her knowledge and help her team, winning the Entrepreneurship Award four times over two years. Since then, she has held internships revolving around robotics and machine learning.

Of course, Nisreen is quite active in the blockchain space as well. In May 2019, she took on the role of President at Blockchain at Michigan. She has since vigorously prioritized building an educational track and working towards an accredited university course. Blockchain at Michigan offers both technical and non-technical workshop series to expose club members to all aspects of this emerging field. Coming from a technical background herself, Nisreen has made sure her club helps students create and deploy Solidity decentralized applications.

Privately, Nisreen is a co-founder and the CEO of Vivica. Spawned out of a first-place finish at the International Blockchain Olympiad, Vivica presents a solution to over-prescription and doctor shopping as it relates to the ongoing Opiod Crisis in America. There is no doubt that Nisreen is a capable innovator, both technically and practically, in the blockchain space.

Image for post
Image for post
Andrew Marquadt, President of Spartan Blockchain Solutions

Andrew Marquadt is a part of two profitable academic initiatives. He co-founded and currently presides over the Spartan Blockchain Solutions, an impressive not-for-profit, student-run consultancy. Andrew personally oversees all organizational initiatives, from student-lead client engagements, to proactively managing all stakeholder relationships, to providing expertise on how to best implement solutions for Spartan Blockchain’s clients. Under Andrew’s leadership, the organization has cemented itself in both the blockchain space and the local Michigan community.

Andrew is also a senior consultant for Spectrum Consulting Group. Like Spartan Blockchain, Spectrum is a not-for-profit student organization. Andrew routinely leads client-facing market research and processes improvement projects in the private transportation and public utility sectors. Andrew will undoubtedly be among the elite executives championing distributed ledger technology from the top down.

I am grateful for the opportunity to engage with Alec, Nisreen, and Andrew. After all, it isn’t every day that the top minds among university blockchain programs convene in such an intimate context. The University Blockchain Consortium aims to make our cooperation more routine, however. I look forward to bringing MUBC’s Medium new updates on the collaborative progress made by Miami University Blockchain Club, Marquette Blockchain Lab, Blockchain at Michigan, and Spartant Blockchain Solutions!

This article was written by Jack Gilcrest, VP of Research at MUBC. Miami University Blockchain Club is one of the premier University Clubs and educational resources in the nation, with a membership of over 200 individuals, and offerings ranging from conferences, hackathons, projects, speakers, professional development, and research. MUBC believes in building future leaders by connecting them with the Blockchain Ecosystem to foster innovation. Reach us on any of our social media accounts and learn more on our Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and email.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store