About this course
Taking your great ideas and making them a reality is never easy. The Start-Up Lab helps you stop dreaming and start DOing, introducing you to the crucial steps necessary to get moving. This course is designed for people who have a concrete start-up idea as the course supports the actual implementation of relevant first steps. We help you focus your idea to have broader social relevance. The course provides resources and knowledge from inspiring leaders in the start-up community and offers insight into the learning experiences of other emerging social entrepreneurs. It challenges you with questions that every entrepreneur has to answer in the early phase of starting up and gives you key opportunities to exchange and discuss your ideas with other course participants who are also implementing their social ventures. This course is focused on helping you maximize on the impact you can create with your start-up.
The course consists of seven chapters divided into 3-5 units each. These units cover key steps social entrepreneurs need to tackle during the first months of establishing a new venture:
- Your idea: Add relevance and value.
- Your plan: Manage your project.
- Your legal context: Start on the right foot.
- Your finances: Build a strong sustainable business case.
- Your organization: Design your structure and operations.
- Your communication: Reach your target market.
- Your network: Build successful collaborations.
How does this work?
The course is hands-on and best suited for participants who have a concrete plan for a social venture that they want to kickstart. While you participate in the DO School Start-Up Lab, you’ll be simultaneously implementing your venture. As you work through each chapter, you’ll be experiencing the course material first hand, and make real decisions affecting the future of your start-up. Peer discussions will support you during this process.
Who is teaching?
The course is developed and taught by members of the DO School team who are working daily with emerging social entrepreneurs from around the world to create positive change. Some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and practitioners will be interviewed and share their experiences. Moreover, a range of case studies give you insight into the learnings of DO School Fellows and alumni who started out their ventures just like you do. Online peer discussions and feedback complete your learning experience.
Who should take the course?
The DO School Start-Up Lab is geared towards participants who already have a concrete plan for a social venture that they want to kickstart. We are focused on incubating projects with a strong social component, whether they’re businesses, non-profits, arts initiatives, or campaigns. While we’ll help you focus your social goals, this is something you should be interested in from the outset.
How much time will I need to participate?
Implementing a real social venture takes commitment and time - the more of both you have, the higher your chance to succeed and leave a positive impact on your society. It will take between 2 and 3 hours per week to work through the latest chapter and you will want to devote extra time discussing your ideas with peers, doing on the ground research and actually implementing your social start-up offline.
Will I get a certificate? Is the DO School accredited?
A course certificate will be awarded to participants who become active peer discussion participants, reviewing other people’s work and regularly handing in their own worksheets and progress documentation for peer review. In the end, your up-and-running social venture will be the best measure of your learning success.
The DO School community
Successful participants who gain the course certificate will get the opportunity to join the DO School Fellow and alumni community and become part of a global network of social entrepreneurs.
Please have a look at the FAQ if you have any general questions regarding the platform.