Fintech Foundations

This online program will provide you with the opportunity to learn about the FinTech ecosystem, as well as the various sectors within FinTech and the industry as a whole.



A technological transformation is occurring across all facets of business and finance. This online program will provide you with the opportunity to learn about the FinTech ecosystem, as well as the various sectors within FinTech and the industry as a whole. Both online courses provide a snapshot of the field overall and then each will delve more deeply into application of these innovations. Specifically, Blockchain, Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) will be the focus of FinTech I, and Blockchain and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will be the focus of FinTech II. Each will also touch on current opportunities as well as emerging and future areas to watch, particularly for the entrepreneurially-minded (individuals and corporate entities). The online courses will each stress the importance of compliance and real identity in the new technology. They will look at methods to combine information, identity, and consumption all in one platform; as well as the application of AI technology to learn from the large amount of financial data without human supervision (primarily in FinTech II). These online courses are tailored to management-level personnel.



Two Online FinTech courses are offered totaling 36.0 instructional hours. They may both be completed (within 12-months) for a Certificate recognizing completion of FinTech Foundations (36.0 instructional hours). However, each course stands independently and individuals receive a completion certificate for each course whether or not they choose to complete both.

Each 18-instructional hour theory-based mini-course will be provided online over a three-week period of four-days per week. Each day will range from one hour to two hours of instruction, depending on the topic(s) covered that day, totaling six hours per week. There will be a 15-minute break between topics.

Who should attend:


Entrepreneurs who are involve in an FinTech project.


Executives who make business decisions and would like to bring technology into existing finance companies.


Investors who are interested in the future of the FinTech development.


Throughout both FinTech online courses (I and II), key industry developments are analyzed and critical insights drawn from interactions with cutting-edge practitioners with first-hand experience to discuss lessons learned. Thus, course goals include gaining awareness and understanding of the:

  • Impact FinTech innovations on the business and finance sectors to date;
  • Regulatory and legal environment of FinTech;
  • Application of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies presently and into the future, particularly where emergent opportunities might exist across a spectrum of markets
  • Context and rapid innovation environment in China and how US entrepreneurs and globally-minded entities may strategically engage with peers.
  • Fundamentals of the technologies and roles that startups and financial institutions play.
  • Financial, economic and regulatory frameworks including anti-money laundering and tax evasion regulations, in detail; as well as looking at how government and industry can work together to ensure new technology benefits society as a whole.
  • Disruptive innovation, distinguishing between sound projects in technology finance versus schemes targeting investment from inexperienced finance professionals and casual investors.
  • Business models and cultural differences and perceptions regarding technology finance in the East and West, with an emphasis on the leading role of China e-commerce in technology finance and the movement of transactions to mobile services.
  • Trajectory and emerging opportunities in the future of FinTech, including the adaptation of investment banking, commercial banking, asset management and insurance companies to the new technology era.Entrepreneurial aspects of FinTech, what a new company looks like and the applications in sharing economy, case studies that help students learn from the success and failures of various artificial intelligence, Blockchain, and other FinTech companies.

Program Curriculum


FinTech I

  • Week 1: Introduction to FinTech (6.0 hours)

Week 1 lays the groundwork for the overall course and includes introduction of Blockchain, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, scanning the global impact of cryptocurrencies, and review of the strategic implication of FinTech.

  • Week 2: Innovative Application (6.0 hours)

Week 2 dives deeper into application of Blockchain and cryptocurrencies across the sectors, looks at the regulatory and legal environments, focuses in on critical case studies that provide context and best practices as well as highlight challenges, and then highlights future opportunities with Blockchain 2.0 and the Token Economy.


  • Week 3: Emerging/Entrepreneurial Opportunities (6.0 hours)

Week 3 continues to focus on the application of these technologies and their impact in the financial sectors with a second key topic being entrepreneurship and opportunities in the future of FinTech, particularly for start-ups.


FinTech II

  • Week 1: FinTech Development & Application of Disruptive Technologies (6.0 hours)

Week 1 focuses on the fundamentals of FinTech with initial emphasis on Blockchain technology. Students will engage in classroom discussion followed by a hands-on exercise asking them to download mobile cryptowallets, receive crypto, and make payments in Bitcoin and Ethereum-based tokens. Reflection and critical analysis ofthis experience will be embedded in later assignments and discussions. Following the exercise, theoretical concepts, development milestones, and current application of disruptive innovations will be presented. Using business models and case studies, students will explore and analyze key subsectors where start-ups seek to displace or provide services to current providers. Beyond current application, students will explore the underlying technologies that enable and support accelerated development of new disruptions and business models. Platforms that facilitate peer-to-peer transactions across subsectors (personal finance, Blockchain, equity crowdfunding, lending, payments, money transfer) as well as their foundational technologies (Artificial Intelligence/AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data) will be presented and analyzed.


  • Week 2: Identifying & Assessing Emerging/Entrepreneurial Opportunities (6.0 hours)

Following the conclusion of current applications of the core supporting technologies, the course will shift to delve into the process of disruption, its impacts (positive and negative), and methods to identify and assess emergent opportunities for investment or entrepreneurial ventures. Students will situate the discussion within their individual industry, workplace, and/or business environments. Considerable time will be allocated to support a considered process of ideation among students, instructors, and guest experts representing both disruptive and incumbent perspectives. Experts will also provide insight from an executive-level perspective on the present state of AI, Machine Learning, and Big Data, and any predictive trends that may inform next evolutionary steps or hint at potential new applications for the technologies. Students will work in individually to outline/develop projects pitch presentations.

  • Week 3: Project Structuring, Presentation, Critiques & Action Planning (6.0 hours)

Week 3 will be allocated to refinement and final preparation for brief project pitches. There will be final follow-up and action planning reflection activities wrapping up the course. It is expected that projects will heavily focus on the use of Blockchain as well as AI. Peers as well as guest experts and instructors will participate in pitch presentations and initial feedback sessions. The students will then be assigned to smaller groups based on pitch focus-area/technology/industry and will rotate to meet with instructors and experts for more in-depth and focused input. These smaller groups will work to create action item outlines/templates for their projects, which will be shared as the concluding group interaction of the course – reflections and evaluations will be completed individually.

Fee & Discounts

  • $1800 for either FinTech I or FinTech II
  • $3600 for FinTech I &II


Earned degree at BA level or above, or equivalent employment experience in business management and leadership position(s).


Online Classroom, including interactive lectures, discussions, and team group work.
Zoom will be the primary platform through which classes will be taught.


A course packet with a book (or books), as well as published articles, white papers, and case studies will be shipped or emailed to students before the course start.
A computer with Zoom installed.

Faculty Director

Henry Cao

Professor of Finance and Chair of Finance Department

PhDs, UCLA and Yale

Areas of Expertise:

Asset Pricing, Behavioral Finance, Cryptocurrencies, Hedge Funds and Alternative Investments, Microstructure, Options Pricing, International Finance

Dr. Cao earned a PhD in Finance in 1995 from UCLA and a PhD in Pathology in 1991 from Yale University. In 2016, he was on the list of “China’s Most Cited Researchers” unveiled by Elsevier, the world’s famous provider of scientific, technical, and medical information.

Before joining CKGSB, he taught at UC Berkeley, UCSD, Ohio State University, Carnegie Mellon and UNC Chapel Hill. Cao’s research has been published in journals including Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Financial Economics, Journal of Economic Theory, Journal of Business, Review of Finance and Marketing Science. Cao is the co-editor of International Financial Review and sits on the editorial board of Annals of Economics and Finance and China Financial Review. Cao has been speaking about blockchain technology globally, his speech topics include “A New Paradigm of Blockchain”, “The Parallel World on Blockchian” etc.

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