Benefits of the Student Ventures Entrepreneurship Gap Year Program:
- Progress through a structured program that requires discipline yet is fun
- Participate in a virtual manner, 100% online and does not require “live” interaction during Covid-19 times
- Work closely with an experienced entrepreneur, former venture capitalist from Silicon Valley who is also a professor of entrepreneurship and business at the university level
- Develop real skills in business and entrepreneurship
- Learn how to analyze macro trends and identify new business opportunities
- Build skills in the use of technology, including programming skills
- Start a real business and incorporate in a local or international jurisdiction
- Found a social enterprise or non-profit, or raise a search fund (MBA and postgraduate students)
- Acquire social media marketing skills
- Build new connections through online networking
- Build your social networks and personal brand
- Learn how to do online commerce and put it into practice
- Build an advisory board and find mentors
- Discover Yourself, including “what you are good at” and “what you want to do”
- Continue foreign language skills or learn a new language
- Enrich your knowledge about other regions and countries of the world through cohort interaction and guided virtual experiences
- Take university-level courses that are applicable to business online (and possibly receive credit for them), in-line with your university’s gap year or leave-of-absence policy
- Gain a level of maturity
- Achieve a higher level of GPA upon return to university or college
- Virtual internship placements with startup companies
Undergraduate Entrepreneurship Venture Year and Venture Semesters
- This program is for undergraduates who are currently enrolled in a university or college and wish to take a gap year (voluntary leave of absence); rising freshman (new high school graduates who are taking a gap year off), or “First Year Out” graduated students from universities and colleges.
- Students may also take a Gap Semester program, which run either in the Autumn or Spring. The level of intensity is varied as well, with either Full-time or Part-time options available. Some students may even wish to take two years of gap and really focus on building and growing a business that they can either operate PT when back in university, sell, or play an advisory or board role in going forward.
- As seen in the list of benefits above, gappers will gain skills in business, marketing, entrepreneurship, technology, digital design and media, and a foreign language. In addition, they will build their networks, connect with mentors and advisors, and learn more about the world. Gappers in the year-long program will not only develop a minimum viable product but will start a real business as well.
- Students may also wish to take free college-level courses that have business applicability during this time. Our program will help students access the online courses that are taught by university professors, keep them on-track, and prepare them to take exams for college-level credit through the CLEP exam system. This pursuit will most likely not conflict with university policies that prohibit enrollment in formal education programs during gap years and leaves of absences.
- Students will have the option to embark on a virtual internship with a startup company. Student Ventures Academy will identify a startup company and help place the student in an internship role if it is desired.
Postgraduate / Graduate Student Entrepreneurship Gap Year
- This accelerator program is designed for postgraduate / graduate and professional students at the Masters, MBA, Law (JD or LLM) and PhD levels. Students may wish to enter at various times, including during a deferral year, a gap year off of graduate school, or their “First Year Out”. Students will build valuable entrepreneurial and technical skills, often not taught in postgraduate programs in many universities. Some postgraduate / graduate students may start their own businesses while in school through the program as well, at their option. The Accelerator runs virtually and can be accessed from anywhere in the world. It is flexibly designed and will offer learning, advice and assistance to students in different geographies globally.
- Social Enterprise Creation: Some students may choose the social enterprise track, and set up companies that have a social mission, including B Certified Corporations. We can accommodate and customize the program for these students. If we get enough interest, we will create a separate cohort just for social enterprise startups. Some graduate / postgraduate students taking a GY or VLA may be interested in our Search Fund Accelerator Program.
Student Search Fund Accelerator (MBA, Professional, Law, Graduate / Postgraduate students)
- The Search Fund model was first developed at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business (GSB) over 30 years ago, in 1984. Since this time, it has evolved and moved beyond the jurisdiction of just MBAs. Professional, Law, Graduate and Postgraduate students have the capabilities and interest to execute on this model too.
- During the Covid-19 crisis and coming out of it, there will be numerous new small businesses available to acquire through using the Search Fund mechanism. Unfortunately, there will be many distressed companies in bankruptcy, and even closed companies that can acquired for cents on the dollar. Student Ventures has designed what our research has shown to be the first ever “MBA Search Fund Accelerator”. It will operate virtually, so that you can access the activities, learning and advisory network online wherever you may be next year. MBAs may wish to participate in this accelerator during their MBA studies, just before starting them or just after finishing them in their “First Year Out”.
- We expect that some MBAs will be taking a gap year in either the 2020-2021 or 2021-2022 era and may wish to focus their fulltime energies on raising a Search Fund and searching for acquisition targets. Other MBAs may wish to defer admission and focus on raising a Search Fund so that they can search for targets during their MBA studies instead of taking the usual route of searching for jobs. Either way the MBA Search Fund Accelerator, which runs from the end of September through the beginning of May would be valuable. Here MBAs can join a small cohort of like-minded Search Funders around the world who are raising and executing search funds. Usually MBA Search Funders find themselves without a peer group on their campuses as the incidence of Search Funds is rare.
Participants in the Search Fund Accelerator may be MBAs or graduate students. The number of non-MBA Searchers is on the rise, and the model is becoming more popular.
Unfamiliar with Search Funds? See a few of resources below.
Although a bit dated, this Note from Dartmouth on Search Funds will give you the basics: Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth University, Note on Search Funds (2005)
Wharton Magazine, “Choosing an Uncommon Investment Path” 2014
Search Funds from an investor perspective, Private Equity
Tuition Fees Student Ventures Gap Year Programs 2020-2021
Hedge fund Startup Accelerator
Student Ventures would like to gauge the interest of potential student gappers in participating in a Hedge Fund Startup accelerator. If you are interested, please denote such in the response form. If we get enough interest for a cohort, we could run such a program, pulling in expertise from the Hedge Fund industry and financial services sector.
This accelerator program would be delivered virtually and be made available to postdoctoral researchers enrolled in universities around the world. It would also be made available to pre-Postdoctoral candidates, deferrals, and new finishers of Postdoctoral assignments. The focus will be on identifying science- and research-based business opportunities and bringing these to market. We would like to gauge the interest in establishing a cohort for a Postdoctoral Accelerator.