During this summer Black Pearls is hosting a groups of interns. But they are not your typical interns! We decided to pilot a unique program for high-school students from classes with IT specializations to prepare them to start up their startups. No making coffee, no coping documents. Instead they are going through 4-weeks startup marathon, learning how business works by doing it.
On the first week of internship teams doing the conceptual phase of startup – they are learning methods of generating ideas like wheel if ideas and get familiar with blue ocean strategy. They also have their first encounter with business model canvas, pivots and lean startup concept. And all of the acquired knowledge must be used instantly for their startup.
The second week focused on important market data – competition, business plan, SWOT analysis and verification of first hypothesis from business model canvas. During whole internship the participants have access to mentors and business analytics from Black Pearls. We dedicated our specialist to ensure the knowledge and experience gained by the interns would come from the experts in the fields. On a daily basis they consult with technology, design, business and promotional mentors.
Last two weeks of the program are aimed at achieving the ultimate goal – MVP (minimum viable product), all necessary documents like investment teaser and pitch for mentors and professional investors from our fund. Each day interns faces stand ups to sum their work, once a week they pitch with what they got already and every day they gain new knowledge by trainings.
“Internship program was made to fulfill the gap of entrepreneurial education in schools. The participants of 4-weeks program have a clear goal to build their startup, both technology- and business-wise – comment Dominika Łobodzińska, Black Pearls HR manager and creator of the program – At the end of the internship participants pitch their ideas for experts. Furthermore, their investment teasers are analyzed by specialist who assess and give feedback. In my opinion the most important advantage of the program is the direct contact and gaining experience from experienced business practitioners.”
We manage to carried 3 groups of 15 interns and one pilot group of 8 this summer. We believe the experienced gained in our program allow them to start their own business easier and give them opportunity to make at least few mistakes under mentors eye early on.