TechnoSpark has been implementing the #startupdiploma program since 2018. Students has been building startups as a object of their graduation works for 10 months, and many of them having taken the entrepreneur internship continue with technology entrepreneurship. TechnoSpark School of Technology Entrepreneurship formulated the key principles of the entrepreneur internship.
1. Among the university students, we select entrepreneurs by using diagnostic technology by TechnoSpark, allowing for necessary entrepreneur skills identification. The technology has a hybrid structure: the on-line stage is available for thousands of students simultaneously, hundreds of whom qualify to participate in the final stage of the entrepreneur simulation — “Build a Company. Sell the Company” business game. As a result, only a few students who proved to be ready for the entrepreneurship inauguration experiment get selected.
2. We are convinced that only by plunging into a live case a person can obtain the entrepreneur grasp. That is why we open up real startups for students instead of creating exercise projects. We call it entrepreneur internship.
3. We DO NOT ask students to come up with a startup idea because the quality of ideas depends on the background and entrepreneur experience of their authors. We believe that entrepreneur qualities are fostered when building a startup based on a realistic hypothesis, rather than by trying to realize ones dreams. So TechnoSpark selects a hypothesis that we are ready to invest in and proposes it to an intern in the very beginning.
4. We DO NOT make our interns search for investors by themselves. It is because, in our experience, starting entrepreneurs tend to twist such task into merely project packaging, which is creating meaningless slides and grand claims. Instead, we invest in startups run by interns, them being our seed capital, and this approach and rules are exactly the same as for any of our startups.
5. The intern is responsible for technology and industry analysis, economical and investment calculations, organization of the product development and engineers’ activities, and finally, the preparation/launch of the technology product sale. These are the responsibilities of the startup’s number one, and we call such a position a business builder.
6. A business builder is not reporting to anybody. Nobody sets the interns day-to-day tasks or organizes their work: self-management is onto the students. But they are assigned to experienced venture mentors of TechnoSpark, whom any of the interns may approach for advice in case of a crisis. But this is one way only.
7. The businesses built by interns enjoy the TechnoSpark startup platform. Professional contract back-office: financial and HR management, data-infrastructure, IT, legal experts and accounting department. General and cybersecurity system. TechnoSpark equipped facilities and campus infrastructure. Our platform helps the interns to focus on essential business issues.
8. When creating their products, the interns of TechnoSpark can approach the TechnoSpark group of contract companies for some service. The group of contract companies includes 20 businesses from industrial design to CNC and additive productions. Such direct access to a developed infrastructure boosts the speed of startup development and ensures real accomplishments within the nine months of internship, not only paper reports.
9. To work on the startup, the students move to a new city. Moving away from familiar social relations, they step in the shoes of entrepreneurs, leave the comfort zone of their alma mater. Together with the university, we support them financially but do not interfere with their self-dependence.
10. During the internship, the students have individual educational tracks. These individual programs are worked out before the internship with the university curator, and in the course of building a startup, the interns shall fulfill their educational obligations. This is the experience of “double work: for students: labor being the basis, plus self-education only in the extent that you and your business allow you.
Source: Media Office of TechnoSpark