Build a Blockchain Startup: Decentralized Application (dApp) Development and Entrepreneurship

Special Topics in Entrepreneurship & Innovation

INDENG 190E/290 (3 Units)

dApp Architecture

Class Description

Come learn why Marc Andreessen, creator of the modern web browser, says blockchain is “the most important invention since the internet itself,” and Andreessen Horowitz, his namesake VC fund, announced on June 24, 2021 a new $2.2B Crypto Fund III to invest in blockchain startups.

The Web 3.0 movement strives for a next generation of the Internet that champions security, privacy, and openness all while creating an even more seamless experience. Protocols building with blockchain technology are leading this movement, creating platforms that will be the foundation for Web 3.0 in years to come. 

In this course, students will work in teams directly with three leading protocols to build a prototype around a use case of students’ choice, following our theme of Web 3.0. Students will have access to developer support from these protocols throughout the course, and the course will provide technical and entrepreneurial training through the instructor, mentors and guest lecturers.

Students will learn about and understand the motivation behind Web 3.0 and blockchain, dive into and build on these emerging blockchain protocols, gain practical skills while building functional prototypes, and present at an end-of-course "demo day." Teams will also compete for a coveted spot in the SCET Collider Cup and be considered for UC Berkeley’s blockchain startup accelerator - the Xcelerator.

Blockchain platforms include Polkadot (created by the co-inventor of Ethereum, Gavin Wood), Algorand, and the original smart contract platform, Ethereum.


This class requires an application for enrollment consideration.  Students from all majors, both undergraduate and graduate, are welcome.  ~60% of seats are reserved for CS / EECS majors to ensure an adequate depth of CS skills are available to each team to fulfill the technical obligations of the team.  All other majors are also encouraged to apply to meet the business and entrepreneurial obligations of the team. No blockchain experience is needed but some blockchain exposure among the cohort will be helpful to the overall success of the teams. Team selection will be guided to ensure teams are multidisciplinary in nature. The goal is to build a course full of passionate students willing to push their boundaries and build an amazing startup.  The application for Spring 2022 is now closed. Applications will be reviewed in batches and you will be notified when a decision has been made.  If admitted, you will be given permission to enroll.


Questions regarding course content, etc. can be directed to the past GSI, Sehyun Chung, at

Note: If you are a graduate student, also note that there is a graduate section INDENG 290-002 which is combined with this class.

Tommaso is a Silicon Valley-based serial entrepreneur with two exits, a Faculty member at UC Berkeley, and an author of "How to Growth Hack your Startup," and of his new co-authored book The Metaverse Economy to be published in Dec. 2021. A tech-startup investor and a philanthropist focused on the future of food, Tommaso is married and a father of 2, speaks 6 languages and is a passionate foody.

Dan is an engineer at Parity Technologies specializing in Substrate blockchain development. He is active in advocating, educating, and evangelizing distributed web technologies as the primary Steward of the Cryptorado Community. He independently consults on distributed systems architecture, business applications, technical assessments, community management and events. Dan is an avid mountaineer in his time away from the digital world.


Jocelyn Weber
SCET Director
X-Lab and Xcelerator Programs

Berkeley Haas Blockchain Initiative

The Berkeley Haas Blockchain Initiative is a partnership with Ripple to advance academic research and student engagement, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.

Web3 Foundation
Ethereum Foundation
Algorand Foundation

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