What is the Tetuan Valley Startup School?
It’s an experience that tries to bring to life many of the values of our manifesto. The Tetuan Valley Startup school is a 6 week program for young wanna-be-entrepreneurs who want to experience what is it like to build a startup.
We are working on a few changes for the next edition. Read all about it here.
What is exactly this program about?
The course is a 6 week period of training and working on the implementation of an idea. Teams will choose an idea the first day and their goal will be to release a prototype by the end of the program. During each week, we will meet with all teams at our offices in what we like to call, the pizza night. During the weekly meetings, our staff will give a small lecture about how to build startups. These lectures WON’T be technical in nature, but philosophical. Our goal is to communicate principles, not technical knowledge. After the lectures each team will present their achievements of the week, to us and the rest of the teams. They will also review their pitch, to prioritize developments, focus and improve communication skills.
Finally each pizza night we’ll invite a mentor to give advice for 20min. Both, group and personal coaching will be available after that if desired. By the end of the 6 weeks we’ll do a big presentation day where everyone will show their final prototype. After the program is over and all goals, homework and milestones are met, we will chose the best teams and projects as winners and will be considered to be sent to international investors for analysis
Who is this program for?
This program is oriented nearly exclusively to young people who haven’t experienced a startup. People who don’t know what a startup is, who don’t know that there is life beyond the consultant world or being a government employee. People that are ambitious but don’t know how to project those feelings.
Who is behind this program?
We already wrote about it here, so check it out if you’ve missed it.
There are some basic requirements we expect everyone to fulfill.
- Ideas for projects MUST be innovative. This means, we won’t accept already existing ideas. We don’t expect radically new ideas, but we do expect some degree of innovation. For example, Team A: We want to build a social network for my friends. FAIL! Team B: We want to build a system to exchange homework between fellow students. OK!
- Ideas WILL be executed, so pick something that can be done in 6 weeks of work. This doesn’t mean that you should choose something that takes 1 weekend to finish and spend the other 5 weeks playing Wii. We want you to be stressed, but know yourself and pick something you can handle without spending 6 weeks with next to no sleep.
- Teams will range from 1 to 3 persons max. Teams must have at least one technical member on board. We will not accept teams that do not have at least one technical member on board. Due to previous editions we’ve learned the hard way that it’s fundamental to have the technical skills on board if you’re going to make it to the end. So please, enroll with your friendly geek, you’ll need him!
- Physical presence WILL be required, so be sure you can attend all of the sessions during the 6 week before enrolling.No excuses will be allowed for non attendance.
- The course will be conducted 100% in English. Lectures and many materials like slides, videos, etc. WILL be in English. Students are expected to be able to participate and work in English, even if you are not fluent in the language.
- This program will require you to work. Homework will be handed and weekly progress WILL be expected. Any team that doesn’t complete their homework will be red flagged and possibly expelled from the program. So, if you really really don’t feel like working, avoid yourself some pain and don’t enroll.
- Participation is a must. Constructive criticism is expected from everybody, as well as motivation for other to develop and improve their pitch and demos. If you are reserved we recommend you to leave your shyness out the door.
- This program will require you to add value to and participate in the Tetuan Valley community. As a Tetuan Valley Startup School student/alumni, you will add value to the community by developing content or programs, promoting Tetuan Valley, acting as an ambassador/mentor for the program, and expanding the Tetuan Valley network.
These are some tips we recommend you to follow. They aren’t required but would help you a lot.
- Enroll with a partner. We don’t require you to have a team to enroll in the program, but it’s highly advisable. If you want to participate try bringing a friend or a partner with you to help you with it. Best number is 2 persons per team.
- This program is aimed toward inexperienced entrepreneurs in the TIMT industry(Telecommunications, Internet, Media and Technology). So be forewarned that if you enroll and already have a very established startup with a fully developed product, you might get really bored. We do recommend candidates to have a genuine interest in the entrepreneurial realm and to have some basic understanding of what is going on today in the startup tech sector.
- Teams aren’t expected to build their companies after the program. Some might, some won’t. It’s not the goal of the program to incubate new companies but to show a new path, a new way of thinking. Teams that want to keep going with their projects will be offered coaching and coworking space in Okuri Spaces. Teams that don’t want to keep going with their projects can quit after the program ends. So there is no permanence contract with the program after it ends, it’s open to the teams to choose.
- I’m not a student anymore, may I participate? Yes, of course, we accept all age ranges, actually we love plural environments, so don’t be shy.
- If you don’t have an idea, start thinking about it. Some teams don’t have a clear idea or an idea at all. This part isn’t critical, we have tons of ideas to give you, but it’s only fair that you guys come out with a neat idea. Our recommendation is that you start thinking about it. Most of the times we say we don’t have an idea because we haven’t really thought about ideas yet, so get working on it.
For more insight on the selection process, check out this post from last edition.
Why SHOULD you enroll in the program?
After all the evil warnings and recommendation it’s fair to write WHY should you give it a try.
Attending this program you’ll get in touch with like-minded people in the entrepreneurial world, not only locally, but globally. You’ll learn how to do a good Zen presentation, how to pitch investors and how to pitch to other entrepreneurs that can give you advice. You will share experiences with other teams and establish relations with other entrepreneurs from other countries. You will learn the basics any successful startup needs to know, both from an entrepreneur perspective and from an investor perspective. You’ll learn how to take an idea from the abstract world of ideas and execute it, how to plan for it and all the surprises that you’ll find along the way.
If Kendo is the way of the sword… we will teach you the way of the startup. After that, it’s up to you to succeed. You’ll have what you need, the world will be waiting for you to come and take what you fight for!
And always remember, “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” – Buddhist Saying
Startup School runs twice per year in Madrid. The Fall program is starts early October and ends mid November, 6 weeks after. Spring edition tends to happen between March and May, depending on Easter dates.
Meetups will be schedule every Wednesday afternoon (Madrid) during those weeks. Some sporadic extra meetups might be scheduled to assist to entrepreneurial events but won’t be obligatory (although advisable).
NOTE: The previous dates are still provisional so take them with a grain of salt until we confirm them.
Fees and weird contracts claiming your soul
NON, nada, FREE as in beer. So there is no excuse for not attending the program.
If after reading all the above warnings and advice you still feel fit for it, fill in the inscription form here with your information and the information of any of your teammates (please don’t send 3 inscriptions per team member, with one per team is enough). Be also sure you mark which city is the one you’re attending if there is more than one option. Inscriptions WILL be closed one week before the startup school begins but the number of slots are fixed so BE FAST or you’ll end up with no slot.
If you have any questions, or you don’t want to attend but know someone that might fit our requirements and might be interested in attending, please send them our way filling out our contact form