Beginning in the summer of 2018, a Lean Startup Masterclass will be added to the lineup of academic offerings for the TASIS Summer Program (TSP), the division of the TASIS Summer Programs in Switzerland that caters to students aged 14–18.
The goal of the course, which will be taught by entrepreneur and London Business School graduate Micha Verhagen, is to teach students the basic principles of the lean startup approach to launching a new business. The class will examine how the digital innovation explosion has rapidly changed the way an entrepreneur must approach starting a new business and identify which skills are most important in this new landscape.
“The ultimate aim is to help students develop their own mindset, skillset, and toolset as they learn and apply methodologies successfully used by startups,” said Verhagen, who has worked for more than 20 years on bringing new ideas to market, both inside and outside large corporations. “It used to be very difficult for small companies to compete with large corporations, but the internet has liberalized entrepreneurship and made it much easier for startups to wrestle market share away from their larger competitors.”
The foundation of the lean startup approach is the build-measure-learn feedback loop, and the new course will emphasize experiential learning. The young entrepreneurs will report to class with their own visions for a business, and teams of 3-4 students will be responsible for developing one of the ideas into a startup. Among other tasks, students will leave the comfort of the classroom to conduct interviews with prospective customers and gain insights from real businessmen; will create an actual Facebook (or Google/LinkedIn) advertising campaign, analyzing the results and adjusting their business model accordingly; and will prepare and deliver an investor’s pitch to a jury on a Demo Day in which prizes will be awarded.
The Lean Startup Masterclass will be offered during the first session of the 2018 TASIS Summer Programs, which runs from June 23–July 19. TSP students typically have their academic classes for four hours each weekday morning, and, depending on which of the two summer sessions they attend, can choose from the following courses: English as an Additional Language (EAL), EAL Academic Writing, Intensive Italian, Intensive French, Language-Based Activities, Digital Photography, Architecture & Design, Fashion & Textile Design, Musical Theater, International Baccalaureate Preparation Course, Italian Cooking, and now the Lean Startup course.
See what the TASIS Summer Program is all about
TSP students spend their weekday afternoons studying the arts, playing sports, or enjoying the mountains and lakes of Ticino; their weekday evenings exploring Lugano or engaging in fun activities on campus; and their weekends traveling on cultural or outdoor adventure trips to destinations such as Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terre, Milan, Verona, Zurich, Basel, Interlaken, and Andermatt.
Learn more about the TASIS Summer Programs