One of 17 schools to receive part of $50M investment
In the Wharton School’s most recent MBA employment report, 14.9% of the Class of 2017 went to work in the tech sector. Of that group, just 4% went into software. That’s a basic outline of the school’s tech industry output from the last few years — but those numbers may see an uptick in future employment reports because of a new program announced Monday (June 4). Wharton is one of 17 schools around the globe partnering with Ripple, a blockchain-based global payments company, to launch The Ripple Project, a $50 million venture aimed at supporting academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and distributed ledger technology.
The Wharton School and the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania will receive an undisclosed amount of that $50 million under Ripple’s just-announced University Blockchain Research Initiative, and the money will go toward cross-disciplinary faculty research, financial aid for graduate students, and a broad range of educational programs. The Ripple Fellowship will support a select number of MBA-MS candidates each year in a newly established Wharton-Engineering dual-degree program. In fact, according to Kevin Werbach, associate professor of legal studies and business ethics at Wharton, the school’s aspirations in this field are even greater: The Ripple Project will enable faculty research at both Wharton and Penn Engineering to “unlock the full potential of blockchain to inform the creation of truly valuable solutions in the marketplace” — a process that was already well underway before Monday’s announcement.
“Wharton is already active in blockchain-related areas,” Werbach tells Poets&Quants. “That’s one reason we were among the first institutions that Ripple approached. The funding will support and expand our activities going forward.
“Student interest in blockchain and cryptocurrencies at Wharton is overwhelming. The Penn Blockchain Club has nearly 400 members, including a large Wharton contingent. I constantly had students approaching me last year asking about how to learn more about the area, or seeking feedback on projects they were already developing. Technology and entrepreneurship area already among the fastest growing areas of interest for our MBAs. Wharton’s strength in finance and our growing focus on analytics make blockchain a natural fit for our students. As the blockchain industry matures, there is a growing demand for people with the rigorous business knowledge that Wharton provides to scale and manage companies.”
Source/More: Wharton Bets Big On Blockchain