Global Startup Challenge // Curriculum
About Whiteboard Youth Ventures
Whiteboard Youth Ventures, the parent of the Global Startup Challenge, is a mission driven company that empowers students to explore the path of becoming an entrepreneur. While we encourage our students to seriously consider entrepreneurship as a potential career path, we acknowledge the study of entrepreneurship as a powerful vehicle for the development of analytical thinking, practical hard-skills, better team work, and improved communication. In many ways, entrepreneurship embodies the spirit of 21st Century Learning Skills. Over the past three years, Whiteboard Youth Ventures has worked with students from over 20 countries in various capacities and now aims to expand by bringing an avenue of entrepreneurial discovery directly into the classroom.
About the Curriculum
This Whiteboard School-Based Curriculum Overview is meant to provide school administrators, department heads, and teachers an overview of the Global Startup Challenge. Whiteboard Youth Ventures maintains strict copyright and ownership over all material contained within. Schools and teachers are not permitted to borrow, implement, or in any other way use the material contained within without the express written consent of Whiteboard Youth Ventures, a division of College Apprentice, LLC.
How the Whiteboard Curriculum Was Developed
The Whiteboard curriculum was developed to answer the question, “What does a student need to know before starting a business?” The concept of minimal viable product (MVP) has taken center stage in entrepreneurship, and we have tried to transfer this important concept to the entrepreneur him- or herself. While the question of whether entrepreneurship itself can be taught will continue to spark debate for years to come, Whiteboard has chosen, instead, to focus on releasing the inner entrepreneur that we believe lives in most people.
For its guide, the Whiteboard curriculum makes use of one text, Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwaler and Yves Pigneur. This text has become a cornerstone for teaching about entrepreneurship around the world, to a large range of age groups. It provides the basis for business model construction and analysis.
The Global Startup Challenge builds off the lessons of this book. Each workshop in the GSC is designed to teach specific elements of business knowledge, and we’ve paired each unit to an important business skill. In total, we identify and teach six critical business skills: 1) Presentation and Public Speaker, 2) Branding and Social Media Campaigning, 3) Web Development and Construction, 4) Analytics and Key Performance Indicators, 5) Budgeting and Financial Analysis, and 6) Competitive Analysis.
Intertwined throughout the program is a set of skills that have taken a prominent role in curriculum design in the past ten years, 21st Century Learning Skills. Whiteboard Youth Ventures has identified and built around a nine of these learning skills utilizing a matrix-style
Teaching Methodologies and Strategies
Each workshop is designed to target specific learning objectives and answer specific inquiry questions. Lesson plans incorporate three techniques to teach, discuss, and demonstrate the application of specific knowledge. Prior to instruction, student teams are tasked with presenting the results of a case study, assigned prior to the start of the workshop. Following this set of presentations, a mentor will review important teaching points and concepts of the Unit Topic. Once formal instruction completes, students are assigned a consultation exercise, which either takes the form of an entrepreneur entering the classroom to ask for advice or a pre-designed activity. Finally, student teams are given time to apply the subject matter to their overall team project.
The flipped classroom design of workshops gives students the opportunity to self-teach material before it is formally presented. Because of the high intensity learning environment that we employ, the flipped classroom gives students the best chance of synthesizes the most material.
High Intensity Learning
The Global Startup Challenge presents a large volume of information, which we expect students to gain mastery over in a relatively short period of time. The reality is that most students will only become comfortable with a percentage of the information we attempt to transfer. Taking this into account, the team projects are designed to demonstrate the power of a complementary team. The expectation for teams is for each member to support others so that collectively, a full range of skills and knowledge can be applied.
The cornerstone of Global Startup Challenge is our competitive team project. Modeled after a game show or reality show more than a typical classroom environment, this program stress the gaining importance of team work product and team working norms. We believe this is a healthy competitive atmosphere because teams that continuously improve do so for intrinsic value.
Goals and Missions of the Global Startup Challenge
Primary Mission: Increase analytical aptitude by using entrepreneurship as a vehicle to inspire students.
Business Knowledge Goals (Areas of Knowledge):
1. Ensure students understand how business creates value for stakeholders and how that value can be transferred;
2. Explain how the value created by businesses is matched to the needs of customers and how businesses can incorporate customer feedback into design;
3. Demonstrate how value can be translated into revenue and profit in a responsible, sustainable manner.
Business Skills Goals (Areas of Practice):
1. Equip students with the minimum skill set to plan and launch a new venture;
2. Demonstrate and practice how to match brand and marketing goals to customer facing vehicles, such as a web and social media presence;
3. Ensure students understand how to create a budget, analyze key metrics, and make decisions using their analysis.