Un-fuck the money. (Super)charge sats.

SEC: What Is This?

This is not a conference. This is not a hackathon. Neither is this a school, or an academy, or a workshop. This is something else. Something new, something more dynamic. The goal of the Sovereign Engineering Cohort is to bring the best and brightest—the ones with the brightest fire burning inside, those who have not given up on the Web or the world—together in a beautiful place for a prolonged period of time.

Explore the unknown. Re-think how we do things online. Ship things that last.

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The vast and endless sea is the ocean of possibilities that bitcoin & nostr open up. The ships are the tools we’re going to build; the wood is the software we’re going to write.

The Crew: Who Are We?

@pablof7z Pablo is the developer behind many Nostr applications, most notably Highlighter & Zaplife, and the lead maintainer of NDK. His upbringing in ever-chaotic Argentina taught him the urgency of building tools and parallel systems that are resistant to the state and, more importantly, transcend the limited and limiting mental models that are downstream from its constraints. Formerly Head of R&D at Swan, he is now fully focused on exploring Nostr’s “and other stuff” with an R&D lens.

@dergigi Gigi is the author of 21 Lessons, a popular book about lessons learned from falling down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. His current work-in-progress book, 21 Ways, tries to illuminate Bitcoin from multiple angles. He is the creator and maintainer of and , a comprehensive list of bitcoin and nostr resources, respectively. He launched the German-speaking Bitcoin podcast “Einundzwanzig” which turned into a community movement that now spans multiple countries. He is passionate about privacy, human rights, and freedom technology. As the head of strategy and operations at OpenSats, he spends most of his day thinking about how to best support the development of free and open-source software as we transition towards an increasingly bitcoinized world.

André André is our local Madeiran, serial doer, and father of four. He takes care of the fiat side of things and is our local connector. He soon found out that working for other people was not ideal and ventured into a diversified portfolio of private businesses, as for example, Cowork Funchal, the first coworking space of Funchal, the main city in Madeira Island and An Island Apart, the biggest holiday rental management company in the archipelago. Bitcoin infects the mind, so now some of his other (ad)ventures include Monstera Media, Basalto Investments, and, most recognizable, being the founder of FREE Madeira and responsible for Bitcoin Atlantis.

MW MW is a fiat refugee, fleeing clown world in mainland EU. His dedication to the Bitcoin Standard is absolute, and he's fully committed to contribute to shaping a better world #forthekids. Looking back on 20+ years of experience as an entrepreneur in the digital agency industry, MW has skilled-up dozens of developers, being the founder of The App Academy, and worked with lots of startups and growth companies alike. Now venturing into the heart of lightness on Madeira with Sovereign Engineering, he's convinced we're witnessing the beginning of a new era, and this time we have to do it right. This second chance is all we'll ever get: to recreate the web with freedom technology, as it is supposed to be, for all the people in the world and their future prosperity.

Participants: What Are The Requirements?

We assume that you know what Bitcoin is and why it is important. We assume that you know what Lightning is, how it works, and why instant settlement of a trustless digital bearer asset is a big deal. We assume that you know what nostr is and how it can help to un-silo the Web. We assume that you know how to code and that you have tinkered with things in the past.

We are looking for people with passion and an eagerness to build. Other than that, we don't have any requirements.

Dates: When Is It Going Down?

SEC-01: Applications to the 1st cohort are now closed.

SEC-02: Applications to the 2nd cohort are now closed.

SEC-03: Applications to the 3rd cohort are now closed.

SEC-01: Jan 8 - Mar 1st
SEC-02: May 6 - Jun 28
SEC-03: Sep 30 - Nov 22
Duration: 2 months
Requirements: Eager to build


Make sure to consult the Frequently Asked Questions if you have any questions. If the FAQ doesn't answer your question, please reach out to us using the form below.


Sovereign Engineering Shipyard
Rua das Mercês 41
Funchal, Funchal 9000-224
Madeira, Portugal