Seth Philips ’15 is a member of the Columbia Startup Lab Summer Program, a program that fosters a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among burgeoning Columbia Business School entrepreneurs. This season Philips has been primarily interning at a venture capital fund and expanding on his concept with the support of the program. Learn more about what he has been focusing on and how you can help.
WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN FOCUSING ON THIS SUMMER?
In one word: Bitcoin. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. I think Bitcoin is going to take over the world; my goal is to become the Google of Bitcoin.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA?
This summer I have been interning at a venture capital fund called the FinTech Collective. I had to write the fund's investment thesis on Bitcoin. The deeper I immersed myself in understanding how Bitcoin works, the more I realized how powerful the system is.
My business idea is still nebulous, but I believe the Bitcoin protocol applies more broadly than a currency use-case. So, the question is what is the biggest, broadest, most important application of Bitcoin? Is it Capital markets? Commodities markets? Remittance? Payments? Digital rights management? Transfer of smart assets? Elimination of escrow and other intermediaries?
WHICH RESOURCES AT COLUMBIA AND NEW YORK CITY HAVE BEEN MOST HELPFUL TO YOU?
Columbia Business School connected me to the FinTech Collective through an internship. Also, the InSITE fellowship provided me with multiple opportunities to meet venture capitalists that are investing in Bitcoin and get involved in the vibrant NYC startup community.
HOW CAN THE COMMUNITY HELP YOU NOW?
I've spent almost my entire career building my own ventures, but since I'm new to NYC I need to meet people that can from the core team for this new business. Helping me connect with other Bitcoin entrepreneurs, developers, investors, and enthusiasts would most appreciated.
HOW CAN THE COMMUNITY GET IN TOUCH WITH YOU?
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve Gilman '15
“To organize a robust community, sometimes you have to put walls around it,” says Steve Gilman ‘15 about his company, Block Party Suites.