How the Academy is Innovating on Education and Training
I can count on one hand the number of teachers that had an impact on my life. And yet, twenty-seven years of my life have been spent in educational institutions as a student. Most of that experience has been very uniform: attend lectures, read, study and take memory tests.
On my first day of work, I quickly realized this education model was not ideal. I really didn’t know how to do anything. School had not prepared me with the job skills I would need to succeed in the real world. What was I personally going to do about this? I made it my goal to address these issues, do may part to advance the educational system and do so in a way that would allow me to focus on what I truly love – entrepreneurialism.
The current education model was introduced by Horace Mann to the U.S. in 1840 and largely remains intact today. It’s a several hundred years-old model characterized by standardization, age-based cohorts and time-based learning. We’re all familiar with it. It was perfect for the industrial age, but not for today.
In fact, some blame that educational model for the slowdown in startups and entrepreneurship we’ve seen over the past 30 years, and research indicates the increasingly test reliant approach stifles innovative thinking and creativity. Now, the Kauffman Foundation reports that due to a confluence of factors, we may be approaching the end of the slump. If that is the case, we’ll want to prepare people for careers in tech, even if their previous training and education failed to do that.
Enter GrowthX Academy – an immersive, project-based, hands-on program for entrepreneurs, that’s focused on sales and business development, growth marketing, and user experience (UX) design — the three key roles necessary for startup success that don’t require coding skills.
We decided to focus on 3 axes that we felt were important to the success of students and the academy:
- Student Experience
- Entrepreneurial Community
- Personal and Career Development
Student Experience – There is nothing more important than the student experience. It includes our curriculum, instructors, staff, learning model and of course the network of entrepreneurs and career development students will be introduced to and included in for life. Because the experience is so important, we’re extremely selective and admission is competitive. That means students who join the academy work alongside likeminded individuals, who share the same goals and values. They’re successful, ambitious and dedicated individuals who are trying to make a difference in the world and who want to work at a company they respect, where they are supported, and where they can have an impact.
Our instructors are world-class. All have been founders or have worked at startups for many years. They teach the real-world models, frameworks and skills people need to be productive from day one at their job.
The Academy’s flipped-classroom style approach to learning also sets students up to exponentially grow their career as they gain experience in the marketplace. This is what makes our model unique. Students read, watch, listen and prepare material outside of class, then get overviews of frameworks in class where we problem solve, work on projects and have full-participation discussions and analysis. These experiences are interlaced with visits from amazing industry mentors who come in and interact with students on the very subjects they’re learning.
Entrepreneurial Community – At GrowthX Academy, we’re building a community of students, instructors, student advisors, personal and career development coaches, investors, events and portfolio companies around the world. Once you join GrowthX Academy you become a GrowthX Insider. Students have access to this community forever! This network provides a set of enriching experiences unrivaled in any other environment on the planet. As you move forward in your career, the technologies and platforms may change, but the network you join will always be there to support your development.
Personal and Career Development – Personal development is about a growth mindset. No matter where you are today, we help students take a look inside, connect with their passions and develop both as a person and a professional.
When it comes to personal and professional development, we believe they serve each other in exponential ways. Our students begin planning their next career move starting in the first week and and will continue throughout the entire program through a series of tools, curriculum and professional support. We leverage our community together to help each individual move forward towards his or her personal and professional goals.
For too long, the educational system has been stuck in the past. We’re due for a shift. At GrowthX Academy, we’ve established an innovative new model and continue to iterate on it daily to best meet the needs and demands of our students, preparing them for life-long success in the tech industry. Feedback is a gift. and we listen everyday.
The ultimate goal of GrowthX Academy is that our students secure a job they love at a company they love working for. Period. Together we’ll build long-term relationships, and experience personal growth that will enrich everyone’s lives. I personally can’t wait to see what our amazing students will do once they complete their 12-week intensive, and move directly into the tech industry. Helping them to find success is the realization of my personal vision from that moment I first stepped into the workforce and realized I wasn’t prepared. I’m making sure that doesn’t happen to the next generation of tech professionals!