[dropcap]A[/dropcap] little while ago, Ismay and I signed up for The Startup MBA with The Escape School; an intensive workshop held over the weekend in Shoreditch, taught and led by a couple of successful entrepreneurs. Devin Hunt, co-founder of Lyst.com (amongst other things) and Rob Fitzpatrick, Master of chuckles and Havaianas. Not really. He was a fountain of knowledge too. It kicked off on Friday evening for a couple of hours, followed by 2 full days over the weekend from 10-6pm. Yes, it was intensive and my head was on information overload, but the discussions and group work made the day go by quickly and I’ve come away feeling a lot more tooled up and inspired. And this being in Shoreditch, even the street corners were bursting with colour and inspiration.
I love the path that these two successful entrepreneurs led- they were basically just a couple of guys who knew each other from college and grad school and worked together to create both successful (and unsuccessful) ventures. You can read more about them at Founder Centric. They were really down to earth and helped humanise the startup experience- all businesses were a start up at some point. Once upon a time, that person was working from their kitchen table to build up, for example, Dropbox or Bebo or Innocent Smoothies. I’ve taken this picture from the Escape School’s twitter. Here’s Devin imparting some wisdom…and I’m horrified I appear to suffer from Resting Bored Face. Not the case, I promise.
Even though Ismay and I are already running a startup business, the lessons within this course are still relevant. It gave us some reassurance that we weren’t just winging it blindly and that we had some solid structure in place. At the same time, it gave us some food for thought about progressing onwards and points to avoid or focus on down the line.
Startups don’t starve, they drown- Derek Sivers: CD Baby Founder, TED speaker and entrepreneur
Amidst the flurry of neon post its and discussions, I met some great people- all aspiring startuppers/budding entrepreneurs. It was really good being back in a learning environment, with so many other people to bounce ideas and opinions from. The course structure and content is so good, they designed the 2 week entrepreneurship course at Oxford University’s MBA programme and UCL’s MSc of Tech Entrepreneurship. That’s some serious academia there. Even though I am ZOMGEXHAUSTED and can’t believe it’s Monday already and I’m back in the office (meltdown imminent) I whole heartedly recommend taking this course. It’s intensive, it’s hard work, and it’s a commitment, but it’s taught by an awesome bunch of guys and it’s a great chance to connect with other likeminded people. And they will give you Haribo.