StartUp Academy Overview
StartUp Academy has been specifically designed to accelerate the start-up process by walking entrepreneurs through the universal steps required to build a company. The StartUp Academy program is limited to 15-18 startup teams and consists of fifteen weekly experiential business-building sessions designed to support the development of a start-up, from creating the core business model to understanding how to generate revenue quickly.
Each three hour weekly session is led by local entrepreneurs and business leaders who share their unique and honest experiences with the entrepreneurs engaged in the start-up process. Each session builds upon the previous one and at the end of the program entrepreneurs will have an operating business and/or prototype ready to go to market.
So how does StartUp Academy work? It all starts with passionate, energetic entrepreneurs with an idea. StartUp Academy adds the help and support needed to build a successful company. Specifically, we provide:
- Hands on mentoring and coaching from those who have “been there and done it”
- Donated legal services to help properly form a company
- Introductions to a large network of entrepreneurs, funding sources and specialists in the start-up process
Who Can Apply to StartUp Academy?
Anyone woman with a business idea, or currently in business less than one year can apply for the StartUp Academy program. All submissions will be reviewed by a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and mentors to determine which companies will be invited to interview for one of the 15-18 places in the program.
What is the criteria used to decide which companies to invite to interview for StartUp Academy?
As we review applications we will focus on the following questions:
- How coachable is the team?
- How realistic is the idea?
- What is the market opportunity?
- Can a prototype, beta or market-ready product or service be created within 4 / 8 / 15 weeks?
- Is the individual and/or team committed to starting a business? Are they coachable?
What kinds of ideas are best to submit for StartUp Academy?
Ideas of interest include those that can be developed into a viable business. This includes agriculture, textiles, arts, restaurants, home businesses, retail stores, technological advances, green tech, web and mobile, licensing, professional services, and franchising, to name a few.
How will the mentors select the entrepreneurs invited to join the StartUp Academy program?
When an entrepreneur is invited to meet the mentors for an interview they are one step closer to being invited to join the StartUp Academy program. Interviews will be scheduled in 15-minute increments and will be strictly adhered to. Entrepreneurs will “pitch” the business idea to the mentors and the mentors will ask questions to ascertain the following:
- The entrepreneurs’ determination / commitment to the start up
- Is the entrepreneur coachable?
- Would the entrepreneur benefit from StartUp Academy?
- Does the entrepreneur have support from their family / significant other?
- Is the idea presented valid / viable?
- Does the entrepreneur have risk capital beyond tuition?
How much does it cost to join the StartUp Academy program?
StartUp Academy tuition is KES15,000
Are there other costs associated with the StartUp Academy program?
Other costs will vary based upon business types and could include marketing materials, logo development, corporate structure, intellectual property legal costs, and website development.
Does the entrepreneur need to have a business plan?
No, one simply needs to complete the online application. We are searching for women and companies who have identified a true market opportunity and a way to fill it.
Can the entrepreneur submit more than one application?
Yes, if an entrepreneur has more than one idea. We request that the applicant does not submit more than one application for the same idea.
What services will StartUp Academy provide?
Business talent, legal services and counsel, mentoring, guidance from leading visionaries, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, introduction to great business people and contacts to help them get to the next level.
What is expected of the entrepreneur?
We want the woman entrepreneur to stay focused and work hard to build their company. We also encourage the entrepreneur to remain open to our ideas and suggestions. Other than that, we want the entrepreneur to enjoy the process of building their company!
Why is WECREATE|KENYA doing this?
WECREATE|KENYA is committed to supporting the growth of women entrepreneurs and small businesses that will make up the future economy of Kenya. We are also dedicated to providing innovative and non-traditional methods to growing entrepreneurs. When local entrepreneurs are successful we are successful.