Startup is the key program we offer. In the Startup Academy we use adult learning methods and technical support tools. Our training method is what is called “Active Learning” where participants are very active both in the theoretical sessions with discussions, case studies and exercises and in the practical parts where we get outside the building to test our ideas with the real world. There will be a high tempo with assignments between sessions. Entrepreneurs are expected to be self motivated and driven.
Those entrepreneurs who have completed the Startup Academy and are ready to actually start their business enter the Incubator.
Build on your own idea
You might come with a fairly developed idea, or maybe with a direction of what you want to do and a lot of motivation to discover and develop an idea you feel passionate about during the Startup Academy. In any case, most of the sessions you will be applying the training on your own company idea. In this way it will not be theoretical. The whole Academy is really not on academic level. We like to think about entrepreneurship as something very practical and the Startup Academy reflects that.
Yes that’s right, we do not have teachers. We don’t believe teaching is the best way for you to get the understanding of entrepreneurship and the confidence in yourself that you can do it. We believe it is more like a journey. So instead of teachers we have facilitators or “guides” that accompany you on your journey. They will share main learning points and lead discussions, reflections and exercises. Curious? Check out the Facilitator team.
The curriculum of the Startup Academy consists of the following modules:
- Think like an entrepreneur: this is all about sharpening your entrepreneurial skills
- Shape your Business Model: develop your Business Model using the Lean Startup paradigm and Business Model Canvas framework
- Validate your Assumptions: get out of your head and test your assumptions with potential customers, partners and others
- The First Milestone: design your Minimum Viable Product or Service
- Typically Dutch: understand common pitfalls in Dutch business culture and dive into Dutch taxes, legal structures and administration
During the Startup Academy a coach will be assigned to you. There are 10 hours of coaching included in the Startup Academy and during these 10 hours your coach will help you to figure out what motivates you, what hinders you in the process of starting your business or helps you to deal with any other issues you might have.
See the incubation as the crossing between a greenhouse and a lab. The point is to create an environment that inspires and facilitates experimentation, development and growth. It is a lab where your products or services are designed and tested, and where your customers become your partners. It is a greenhouse where the facilitators, coaches and mentors of Itzinya are the gardeners making sure to provide the right “temperature”, “fertilizers” and “watering”. The incubator is either in a co-working space setting, where also other companies rent a desk or a room. Or it is in a production environment where you can set up your machinery to test your production and develop your product. The incubator is aimed to help you through the first two – three years of your business.
Those of you who have completed the Startup Academy and are ready to actually start your business enter the Incubator. During the incubation phase we support you as an entrepreneur in the process of actually starting your business. We do so by offering you:
- access to a mentor to help you get started in your field in The Netherlands
- practical support on administration, legal, IT, online marketing
- access to an affordable co working space and working together and supporting each other in the bustling Itzinya Community
- access to 10 inspirational events per year
- access to the broader Itzinya network (finding franchising options, access to investors, finding business partners, trade between trusted Itzinya entrepreneurs globally)
What we expect from you
We expect you to:
- have an entrepreneurial mindset and motivation to start your business
- the willingness and ability to participate in at least 80% of the 30 sessions of 3 hours each within 3,5 months
- the desire to apply the tools you get offered in the Startup Academy to your own business idea by working on the given assignments
What entrepreneurs say about our course
Don’t wait – come and join us!
Don’t wait: come and join us! The Startup Academy runs multiple times a year. Mostly in Dutch but we do have English editions as well if there is enough demand. Please continue on our Dutch website to read more and apply.