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ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: David Uhryniak '93

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Posted on Wednesday, May 8, 2024

As a finance student at Westminster in the early 90s, a WC email address was David Uhryniak’s ’93 first intro to the web. Today, the blockchain technologies professional is set to start his own venture capital firm across the blockchain ecosystem that is on the leading edge of technology, finance and investing. 

Tell us about your career path since graduating from Westminster.

Since leaving Westminster, it has been a long and winding road. I started my career in banking, evolved to covering banks as a buy-side investment analyst, then became a consultant developing strategy for global banks. I have spent the past eight years applying the emerging technology blockchain to a variety of use cases. Currently I lead ecosystem development at TRON, one of the world’s largest layer one blockchain. 

What’s next for you in your career?

Blockchain and crypto are changing the way global commerce is executed. I was in Singapore at an event for startup companies when I realized the time was now to start my own firm to work with early-stage projects across the blockchain ecosystem. TrueScope Ventures is the name of my venture capital firm with a goal of investing in projects that tokenize real world assets. Tokenization is the digital representation of an asset on a blockchain. As an investor in the firm, I can advise the projects that I find to be most promising and have a stake in their success.

What are some of the life lessons you’ve learned along the way?

Well, the first thing is that graduating from college is not the end of your education, it’s the beginning. And, if you are learning something new, like an emerging technology, you will need to do it on your own. Even today I continue to expand my knowledge through formal education and informal education. Blockchain wasn’t invented when I went to college. My background in investment management is what led me to understand the broad applications for blockchain and how it could transform financial services. From there, I learned as much as I could about the technology and to me, it was evident this emerging technology was going to be very applicable to almost every industry. 

Also, keep in mind that career paths are non-linear. You have time to change, and you have time to improve. Keep working and you will get to where you want to be. The last point is to be flexible and open to change. Being able to adapt to evolving circumstances is certainly among the keys to growth.

Why is it important for college students to learn and understand blockchain technology? And what’s one real world application of blockchain that college students can start learning and using today?

Blockchain technology and tokenization are integral components of web 3, which is the next evolution of the internet. Being knowledgeable about how to apply it, how it works, and how to use it will help to differentiate jobseekers.  I’ve held events around the world and have spoken at universities including Princeton, Harvard, Cornell and more that offer blockchain courses and seminars, as this knowledge is essential for pursuing a variety of careers. 

It is quite easy to begin integrating into web 3. One of the easiest ways is through non-fungible tokens, commonly known as NFT’s. As students buy tickets to concerts and other events, they can use an NFT ticket provider. Additionally, most major league sports, including the NFL, now provide an NFT of a ticket. 

Did you have a class or professor who made an impact on you at Westminster?

The late Bill “Doc” McTaggart was a considerable influence. I learned a bit of coding in a class taught by Blase Cindric, which was my first real exposure to technology.  

Did you have a favorite memory you’ll never forget from your time in New Wilmington?

So many memories! Those were such fun, easy-going times. I enjoyed participating in Sigma Nu activities and I really enjoyed classes in Old Main. Most of the business classes were there. I liked the heavy wooden doors and the architecture of the building. Going to class there provided me with a feeling of calm while also instilling the seriousness of education.

Connect with Dave on LinkedIn here.