A programme for budding entrepreneurs
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he Sciences Po Entrepreneurship programme is open to all students who want to start a business or simply build their entrepreneurial skills.
At the end of this 5-step programme, a few students are selected to join the Sciences Po incubator and benefit from one year of support to launch their startup.
Step 1: Is entrepreneurship for you?
The programme kicks off with a lecture by charismatic entrepreneur and investor Jacques-Henry Eyraud. The lecture gives an overview of the course, and provides students with the opportunity to meet several business practitioners, including investors, entrepreneurs, and founders of successful and less successful startups. After this lecture, students can make an informed decision to enrol in the full course or not.
Step 2: Let your business idea take shape... then make a team!
In the second part of the programme, which is taught by two Sciences Po alumnae – both entrepreneurs – students attend creative workshops to help them define and develop their business idea. As well as fun activities such as risk-taking workshops, they are faced with challenges to test their concept; for instance, they might be given two weeks to interview potential customers so as to assess the viability of their business idea.
The second step also aims to make students aware of the importance of partnerships and team work. During the programme, Sciences Po students have the opportunity to meet students from other areas – computer science, for instance. These meetings are vital for young startups with projects that require technical developments, but that do not have the financial means to hire a web developer, for example.
Step 3: Develop entrepreneurial skills
In the third part of the programme, students attend seminars on demand, according to the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs. “Life is a pitch” and “Growth hacking” are two popular seminars. The first one teaches students to present and sell their project in five minutes, and “Growth hacking” helps students to set up a digital strategy.
Step 4: Build your business plan
A group of students is selected to work for one or two months on the business plan they want to develop in the Sciences Po incubator. This stage of the course is tutored by two experienced entrepreneurs, and aims to prepare these students for the incubator’s admission committee.
Step 5: Launch your startup
The students selected to join the Sciences Po incubator benefit from a year of logistical, legal and financial support, as well as access to the Sciences Po network of partners. With office space on the Sciences Po campus in Paris, they benefit from the assistance of lawyers and accountants, meet the Sciences Po business angels, attend Human Resources and Communication seminars, and more.
The Demonstration Day is one of the main highlights on the Sciences Po incubator’s agenda, where students of the Sciences Po Incubator get the chance to pitch their start up to an audience of alumni, investors and entrepreneurs. The day concludes with a cocktail party, providing an ideal setting for students to meet and network with guests from the business world.