Aptos Winter Season 2023: Pioneering Web3 Innovation and Empowering Tech Leaders of Tomorrow

Aptos Winter School’s Paradigm for Web3 Talent Development

In the dynamic landscape of emerging technologies, Aptos Network stands as a transformative force, offering a comprehensive blockchain network designed for the future. Aptos Network is a quintessential tech platform that focuses on AI, gaming, NFTs, social media, entertainment, and decentralized finance (DeFI) and is equipped with all the essential elements to bring visionary tech ideas to life.

The Aptos Foundation joined forces with Trust Lab at IIT Bombay and launched the first edition of Aptos Winter School to nurture and empower the next generation of tech enthusiasts and developers in the country. This collaborative initiative took place from Dec 10 – Dec 23, 2023, at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay. The Aptos Winter School distinguished itself by transcending the traditional hackathon model. Instead, it sought to identify and nurture India’s brightest Web3 talent, guiding them toward building sustainable solutions that address real-world needs. The two-week program fostered innovation, collaboration, and skill development in the Aptos Network and MOVE language, bringing together Indian student developers and experienced professionals from the APTOS ecosystem.

Building Sustainable Solutions

While the Trust Lab drove the promotion/registration process, the Aptos Foundation sifted through 800 applicants from various colleges in India, and rigorously evaluated and shortlisted 55 students based on their Web3 acumen and expertise. An additional four students were recommended by the faculty of IIT Bombay. The selection process included a hands-on coding test, ensuring that participants possessed the necessary skills to thrive in the Web3 landscape.

The program’s initial phase featured diverse talks and tutorials covering topics such as Aptos ecosystem projects, token standards, dev platforms, coding best practices, storytelling, and insights into business development within the web3 space. Networking activities and team formations of three members were encouraged during this period.

Industry Insights and Mentorship

Teams then received personalized guidance from mentors and had access to the Aptos Labs and Foundation core team via Slack for additional support. Talks by faculty at IIT Bombay, researchers, and Aptos ecosystem members continued, culminating in a “Demo Day” where teams presented their projects.

Renowned founders, VCs, and researchers, including Parth Chaturvedi (CoinSwitch), Smit Khakhkhar (Delta Blockchain Fund), Akhil Sharma (Armur.ai), Parth Chadha (STAN), Vishwas Bhushan (Lync), Ankit Bhatia (OKX) among others, shared valuable insights on product design, monetization, and user-centric solutions.

Faculty members from IIT Bombay also actively participated in the program:

–    Prof. Ashutosh Gupta spoke about the usability of blockchain and Smart Contracts in real-world applications. He also spoke about the risk of applying blockchain technology to problems that are not well-suited for the technology. The discussion encouraged students to find interesting problems that can be solved by technology.
–    Prof. Saravanan Vijayakumaran taught a six-hour module on Zero-Knowledge proofs. Apart from the basics, it covered the popular Groth16 scheme and also included a case study of the Tornado Cash system that uses ZK proofs to implement a mixer on Ethereum.
–    Prof. Vinay Ribeiro explained various consensus protocols for permissionless and permissioned blockchains. These included proof-of-work, proof-of-stake, RAFT, and PBFT consensus protocols.

From Brainstorming to Demo Day: Turning Ideas into Reality

Student teams honed their skills and developed 19 innovative products addressing gaps in the Web3 ecosystem. The Demo Day marked the culmination of their efforts, with projects evaluated based on Aptos Network usage, future potential, product completeness, and technical merit.

Some of the top projects included:

–    Aptos Play: A session-based gaming platform
–    FluXtream: A toolkit enabling crypto asset streaming
–    CrysPay: Simplifies crypto payments via phone numbers
–    Rigel Finance: Aggregates yield options on Aptos Network
–    Cupcake Finance: Simplifies DeFi protocol interaction
–    HashChain: Credit-based micropayment scheme
–    Move Forward: Platform for Move programming needs
–    Scaffold Aptos: Open-source toolkit for Aptos dApps
–    DYOR APT: Platform for Aptos Network token research
–    TribeBet: A decentralized social betting platform

Key Learnings and Takeaways

The Aptos Winter School provided insights for both students and organizers. They were:

–    Transitioning from a hackathon mentality to building sustainable solutions is crucial
–    Student passion shines when tackling real-world problems with the intent to build lasting solutions

Beyond Competitions: Nurturing the Builders and Innovators of Tomorrow

Aptos Winter School went beyond recognizing winners; it cultivated untapped potential and provided a conducive environment for emerging creators to explore and realize their innovative ideas in the Web3 domain.


Together, Aptos Foundation and Trust Lab aim to create an environment where students can explore, innovate, and gain hands-on experience in the diverse realms of blockchain technology. This collaboration signifies a pivotal moment for the tech world in India, fostering a culture of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and groundbreaking advancements that will undoubtedly shape the future of technology in the region.