Everything you need to know about Start Smart inc.
Behind every great student, there is a great parent.
At Start Smart inc., we know the importance of having a strong support network and that starts at home. Embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is a major step for a student and we want to make sure the whole family is on board. You can now sign up for a free "parent account" and follow along your son or daughter's entrepreneurial journey every step of the way. We will work with you and your student to ensure they get the most out of the program.
1. Is your student a good fit for the program? 2. What can you expect from this investment? 3. Program Outline 4. Our mission and commitment 5. Payment & Pricing 6. How to use the platform 7. FAQ
1. Is your student a good fit for the program?
The summer Startup Program is built for University, college and high potential high school students. We are looking for motivated students who are open to learning new skills and overcoming challenges. We prioritize attitude and mindset over previous experience so if your child is eager to learn and ready to commit, they may be a great fit for the program. We want to work with students that will see the process through and launch their startup at the end of the 20 week program. After launch, we want to continue to work with our students to grow and build the network so our student’s success is our success.
2. What can you expect from this investment?
Career-focused skill development
We focus on helping students build the most sought after skills in the workplace. These include: creativity, adaptability, persuasion, collaboration and emotional intelligence. At each stage of the process, we ensure that learning is a top priority with the ultimate goal of helping our students excel post graduation.
True experiential learning
Real experiences, real learning. The root of experiential learning occurs when there are real world rewards and consequences. Starting a business is no excersize, it is a real world experience with a chance of not succeeding. We help students stay accountable to their startup and encourage reflection throughout the process for ongoing learning.
To succeed at a summer service business, you must get out of your comfort zone. Students are guided through the process of learning how to execute a service, work with customers, spread the word about their business and celebrate the many small accomplishments that occur through the process. At the end of the program, we are certain our students will have a different outlook of what they are capable of.
A well connected student
Perhaps the most well recognized benefits of post secondary education is building your network and developing connections for future employment. Unfortunately, finding the right people to connect with isn’t always easy. Through this network, our students work with highly motivated peers who are driven to succeed and grow. Going through this life-changing process together will foster stronger relationships and long-term network benefits as we continue to grow.
3. Program Outline
Application period: September 8th - November 30th Students will submit an application to be accepted directly through the Start Smart inc. Platform. To increase the chances of acceptance, it is encouraged that students reach out directly to email@example.com with a message stating why they would like to enrol in the program. Attitude and mindset are key indicators of success in this program and will increase the chances of acceptance.
Acceptance: Upon application review*** Applications will be reviewed weekly and selected students will be informed if they have been accepted. We encourage your student to apply as early as possible in order to ensure the best chance of acceptance. Acceptances will be awarded weekly to top candidates. Once accepted, students will be encourage to make use of the network and prepare for the entrepreneurial journey ahead.
Enrolment: December 6th, 2020 (final enrolment day) Once enrolled, students will begin by creating a profile on the network if they have not done so already. They will have access to all other student profiles and will be encouraged to make introductions and add each other as friends through the network. Once all students are enrolled and profiles have been created, students will be segmented into smaller groups (6-8) to work through the program together. In these groups, students will collaborate at all stages of building their startup.
Weeks 1 & 2 - December 7th - December 20th - Welcome! The first 2 weeks of the program are designed to get students prepared for the journey ahead. Students will have a series of warmup activities and challenges to prepare for building their startup. They will also be acquainted with their peers will establish these relationships early on as they will collaborate and support each other through the 20 week period.
**Holiday Break - December 21st - January 3rd**
Weeks 3 & 4 - January 4th - January 17th - Starting up In this section, we determine the business structure, business idea and business name. We also register a company email and phone number and wrap up with registering your business. By the end of this section, the business will officially be up and running!
Weeks 5 & 6 - January 18th - January 31st - Building & Develop the Idea With the business set-up and ready to go, we’ll start working on developing the idea and business model. This section is modeled after the lean startup methodology which we have tailored to summer service businesses. This section will help you get a good understanding of the value that is being offered to the student's customers and will serve as a roadmap for how you build the business.
Weeks 7 & 8 - February 1st - February 14th - Planning the Startup This section takes a unique spin on a traditional business plan. We will break down the most important components of the business plan and get down to the specific details that students will have to think about when running their business. Business planning will help give students an idea of what they need to do to effectively run the business.
Weeks 9 & 10 - February 15th - February 28th - Building an Activity Schedule
This section we will create an activity schedule for the rest of the most important activities in getting started. The hardest part is knowing what to prioritize and this will help you put your focus in the right place.
Weeks 11 & 12 - March 1st - March 14th - Setting up for Success Here we will work on the most important activities to get the student's business up and running including: getting a vehicle, creating your logo, getting a uniform, creating your business cards and more!
Weeks 13 & 14 - March 15th - March 28th - Key Activities Execution (+exam prep)
In this section we break down the most important activities and work through them together. This includes a sales pitch, booking and scheduling process, creating a process for the service, building a website and setting up the social media accounts and more! We will go through each activity in depth and work alongside the video tutorials as we go.
Weeks 15 & 16 - March 29th - April 11th - Key Activities Execution (+exam prep) We will continue to work through key activities and help our students have success with their exams for university and college credits.
Weeks 17 & 18 - April 12th - April 25th -
We will continue to work through key activities and help our students have success with their exams for university and college credits.
Weeks 19 & 20 - April 26th - May 9th - "Launch Period"
Once our students have officially launched their summer service business, we will work with them to foster the best chance of success. Included are smart tips for: sales + customer service, marketing, operations and accounting. These video tutorials will help overcome the obstacles of starting up and help you avoid making unnecessary mistakes.
After Launch: We will have check-ins through the early stages of starting up to make sure you are on track with your startup and I will provide additional support where necessary.
After completing this program, your student will officially be a "Start Smart inc. Certified Entrepreneur". Along with the skills learned through the experience, this will be of great value to the student's resume and linkedin profile!
***Key Notes: This program outline has been built around the busy student schedule. Students will be expected to put no more than 15-20 hours per week towards their startup and adjustments will be made if necessary to ensure the best chance of success in both academics and the summer startup.
4. Our mission and commitment
Our mission is to help students gain real world skills to excel after graduation. At Start Smart inc., we strongly believe in the value entrepreneurial skills can provide for students in all fields of study. We also believe that students should be able to own their success and use this as a stepping stone for success later in life. What they build is theres to keep, sell or expand. Ultimately, we want to bridge the gap between post secondary education and the rapidly changing economic landscape by giving students the chance to develop in demand skills before graduating from school.
5. Payment & Pricing
The cost of the program is a one-time fee of $1,200 CAD (+HST). Included in this price is the full 20-week startup program (200+ tutorial videos and handcrafted documents), hands-on mentorship (50+ hours) and lifetime access to the growing network and resources. Payment can be made directly via the platform using credit, debit or PayPal.
6. How to use the platform
To use the platform, you must first create a username and password. Once logged in, you will create a "parent account" by updating your profile to reflect this.
Profile - Update the fields as you wish. All information listed will be only be accessible to all students and parents on the platform. Be sure to indicate that your account is a parent account.
Course content - Each section is built out in the content section of the platform. Simply click, "I'm currently enrolled" or access directly through your profile.
Daily News - This is a custom created newsfeed from all Start Smart inc. social media pages and other relevant sources. This is simply a newsfeed for entrepreneurship related content and should not be used as a general source of news. Access by selecting the "Daily News" icon on the top bar of the after login page.
Community - The community is designed similar to a Facebook newsfeed with a list of general discussion posts, course specific discussions, group specific discussions, polls and more! To access this, simply select the "community" button on the top bar.
Best Resources - This is the resource hub for start smart inc. Here you will find additional content for review at any time. Included is a personal notebook where students can keep notes from course materials, case studies from successful student entrepreneurs and various sections divided by topic including personal development, ideas & stories and the entrepreneur zone for additional resources on startup topics. To access this, simply select the "best resources" button on the top bar.
Inbox - What is a network without communication? At Start Smart inc., we've built out a direct messaging app for students to collaborate directly with one another or Matt. This chat feature can be used in a variety of ways to facilitate communication throughout the program. To access this, simply select the "inbox" button on the top bar.
People - This is where you'll find all the profiles of students and parents in the network. Here you can select to add friends to your network (this is encouraged) and learn about others in the program. To access this, simply select the "People" button on the top bar.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the application process work?
To apply, click here. Students must first create an account to login then they will be directed to the application form. Simply fill out the form and you will hear back within a week of applying. If the student is accepted, they will be officially enrolled in the Summer Startup Program and their entrepreneurial journey has begun!
Who is eligible to apply?
Our current Summer Startup Program is built for university, college and high potential secondary students. All students are eligible, including students pursuing alternative majors outside of business. We are not accepting non-students at this time but if you feel that you are a good fit for this program, please reach out to me directly.
My son or daughter doesn't have a business idea yet, are they still eligible?
Absolutely! Our focus is on helping you start a summer service business. This can include landscaping, painting, window washing and more (think "college pro" but without the restrictions and fees). The first section of the online tutorials is designed to take your through the ideation process. We break up the types of businesses students can get started with no previous experience and help them decide which one is best for them!
What happens when a student gets accepted?
Once accepted, the student will have full access to the online course content and platform. The incubator officially begins December 7th, 2020. Students are encouraged to begin reviewing the course content and start to brainstorm for their startup but we will officially kick things off after the application period has closed.
Do you have any resources for parents?
Yes, of course. If this page does not cover your questions, don't hesitate to reach out directly. We encourage parents to create a "parent account" on the platform to review the progress of the student to ensure they are on track. Starting a business is a major milestone in a young adults' life and we are committed to making it easy for parents to follow along our students' journey and see the amazing things being accomplished by other young people in the our communities. We also welcome your participation in weekly discussions and full use of platform features to post feedback and comments to benefit your young adult.
How does payment work?
Payment is completed online upon acceptance. You will have the option to pay with credit, debit or via paypal.
Are there any ongoing fees?
Nope! We have designed this program for your child's success and we don't want to take away from that. Our one-time registration fee is the only fee you will ever have with us. After that, your student can enjoy lifetime access to the platform, including additional features and benefits as we continue to grow.
I’m very interested but cannot afford the price. Can my son or daughter still join?
The price point we have set has been researched thoroughly and based on the value we provide. We strongly believe in the value of starting a business while in school and we are committed to helping as many students as possible to achieve this. Payment plans can be arranged on a case by case basis for exceptional circumstances. Please reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does my son or daughter need prior experience to join?
Nope! this program is designed to help students with no previous experience in business or entrepreneurship. Each unit is broken down to specific action oriented steps with insights that will help students build their startup. Students will also have the support of Matt and their peer group along the way so they'll always have a helping hand at their disposal.
How long is the program and when does my son or daughter launch their startup?
Through this program, they will be building your startup through the school year with the goal of launching after final exams in second semester. Our goal is to get all students launched before May 1st and hit the ground running. After launch, we will continue to support our students along the way and they will always have access to the network for support after launch.