Startup Deep Dive - a structured first step in becoming a founder

What do you do when you’re considering being an entrepreneur?

There are a few events that can help. Startup Weekend, Lean Startup Machine. Those events are designed around launching a startup more than skills building, and the quality of each event really depends on the local organiser and mentors.

In 2016, we think that a new approach is needed. Something community run, and designed around the growth of founders, rather than the progress of startup ideas. Deep Dive is a one-day event where you learn to launch, focusing on the skills you need and creating an experience that empowers every participant, helping them decide if being a founder is right for them and if it is, giving them the skills, support and momentum to take the next steps.

The opportunity

We’re working with AIESEC, a global student organisation, spanning 120 countries and covering 60,000 students per year. Their goal is develop world citizens with leadership skills. This means Deep Dive will be run globally, including strong presences in countries where startups aren’t common.

The challenge

To design a programme that enables everyone to be a founder, but is facilitated by non-entrepreneurs. We’ve seen horribly failed attempts at taking workshop material designed to be taught by entrepreneurs and handing it over to inexperienced students to teach. So many accelerators and innovation consultancies fail because they’ve taken this approach. A ground-up redesign is in order.

Plus, the global footprint of this programme also means that what’s taught must be relevant to that region, even though local business mentors may not available.

What we’re doing with AIESEC

We’re investing heavily in a new programme design and new forms of interactive education.

Deep Dive is being designed based on learnable facilitation skills, and modules that can regionalise easily. Entrepreneurial expertise is injected using relevance-and-recall techniques we’ve developed for our online video course, The Sources.

Train The Trainer

The programme is designed to be self-propagating - so the students can quickly become the teacher. We’re deploying this programme worldwide, training students to be entrepreneurs with Deep Dive, then supporting them to launch their own businesses within days. This gives them the experience necessary to turn around and teach the next batch coming in behind them.