After almost two decades of accelerated financial innovation, it is time to better understand what makes fintech succeed and even more importantly – what doesn’t. There is no better place to do so than in Israel, one of the top 3 fintech hubs in the world and by far the leader in fintech startups and unicorns per capita.
The instructors, who have both an academic and vast practical experience, will walk students through topics crucial to understanding the success and failure of financial innovation using real life fintech cases. Furthermore, in many sessions, leading industry experts will discuss their battle-tested views on the necessary elements of financial innovation.
The first part of the course will provide a birds-eye view on many areas of fintech with the focus on several detailed examples of groundbreaking disruptions of traditional financial system.
The second part of the course will focus exclusively on an arguably most cutting-edge area of fintech, which has the possibility to transform completely all areas of finance as we know it and, in the process, to reduce substantially the amounts wasted on financial intermediation – blockchain technology and its current and future applications.
After students obtain subject knowledge and re-live various fintech use-cases via discussions with industry experts, they will utilize their knowledge in two major aspects. First, students will prepare a detailed suggestion plan to dilemmas of some of the start-ups whose management has participated in the course. The second major assignment will require students to prepare a proposal of a new, still nonexistent business idea/application in the field of blockchain technology. Both assignments will be presented in the form of a pitch deck.
Dr Ari Achiaz is a leading expert in both traditional finance and Fintech. Ari serves as a consultant and head of product innovation and research for several Fintech companies, mainly in the Wealthtech industry. In addition, Dr. Achiaz is the managing director of the Blockchain Research Institute at Tel Aviv University. Furthermore, he is a founding partner and head of research at a cyber crisis management consultancy company. Dr. Achiaz holds a B.A in Economics and Management, an MBA and a Ph.D. in Finance, all from the Coller School of Management at Tel Aviv University in Israel. His research involves different aspects of capital markets, innovations in financial services and interaction between Fintech and human or regulatory aspects.
Professor Evgeny Lyandres is a Professor of Finance and the Head of the Blockchain Research Institute at Tel Aviv University. Evgeny also holds Visiting Professorships at Dartmouth College (USA), Monash University (Australia), Sun Yat-Sen University (China), and Schaffhausen Institute of Technology (Switzerland), where he teaches courses on blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and Decentralized Finance (DeFi). Before returning to Israel in 2020, Professor Lyandres held a tenured position at Boston University, and previously taught at Rice University and the University of Rochester. He has published his theoretical and empirical corporate finance papers extensively in all top finance journals and presented his work over 200 times at top conferences and at Universities on five continents. Evgeny currently serves as an Editor of the Journal of Corporate Finance. In the last few years, Professor Lyandres’ research focus has largely shifted towards applications of blockchain technology in economics and finance. His work on blockchain and cryptocurrencies received wide recognition, and he was elected to the prestigious Crypto and Blockchain Economics Research Forum. Professor Lyandres’ interest in blockchain technology and in DeFi in particular extends beyond academia – he has founded a start-up that is developing a new decentralized exchange, which, once launched towards the end of 2022, is expected to allow significant improvements in the efficiency of trading in digital assets.
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