We need more entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurship is taught ineffectively and passively in most universities.
We created our own 6-week, experiential entrepreneurship programme. Over 150 alumni as of this writing.
Why is entrepreneurship education so static and theoretical?
What would happen if young people could learn entrepreneurship by doing it instead of reading about it?
How much value could be created for society if young talents started their career with an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset?
The first time Christer Dalsbøe and Jacob Mørch met in 2015, these were the questions we asked ourselves. We had both just returned home from Silicon Valley, where we’d worked in startups and learned entrepreneurial skills the hard way – by getting our hands dirty.
Back in Norway, we wanted to connect with like-minded young, entrepreneurial people – but they were very hard to find, because there was no natural place for them to find each other and create a community.
We also wanted to expand our startup skills further, but the only options available to us were dull college classes taught by professors who had never started a company before, which were about getting good grades instead of creating value for real customers.
There had to be a better way. We decided to create our very own entrepreneurship education from scratch.
In 2016, 17 students completed the first cohort of Early Stage, a 6-week intensive entrepreneurship education programme for students.
They talked to real customers, brainstormed, prototyped, markt tested, failed, pivoted, launched new products to the market, relaunched, sold products and services, delivered value, dealt with customer support requests, and all the other things that happen as a new idea is brought forward into the world. In other words, they practiced entrepreneurship in the only practice arena that matters: the real world.
Since then, more alumni have followed. As of this writing, over 150 students have gone through Early Stage and had their first entrepreneurship experience.
Those alumni have created nine companies, raised millions of kroner in funding, and launched innovation projects as intrapreneurs within larger organisations. Many more use the mindset and skills they learned through Early Stage to be more effective value creators in their first jobs out of university.
Early Stage exists because we believe in a more entrepreneurial society.
Giving students the tools, skills, experiences and mindset needed to bring their ideas into the world is our way of contributing to the type of society we want to live in.
If you want to join this mission, you can to go www.earlystage.no to read more. If you are a student, consider applying for the next cohort. If you want to partner with us, get in touch directly via firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Jacob at +47 916 24 033.
Many thanks to our partners, past and present, for making Early Stage possible.