Stanford Ignite, the 11-week global innovation and entrepreneurship program, returns to Canary Wharf in September, but the time to apply is now. We quiz Yossi Feinberg, Faculty Director, in anticipation.
Yossi, could you tell us briefly about the program, who it’s aimed at firstly?
“It’s intended for anyone who wants to create a new business. It doesn’t matter if you’re an entrepreneur, or if you’re within an existing firm. We are looking for people who want to create an impact. And we give them the tools to do that.”
The program runs in New York City, São Paulo, Bangalore, Beijing, Paris and Santiago. And of course London. How does the experience compare across campuses?
“We’re running a large number of programs all over the world, and we see the basic principles in creating a new business apply anywhere. But you need to implement and execute them differently to win in a different ecosystem, country, and market. Our curriculum focuses on execution and translating the general principles into the particular project you’re working on. We teach all the fundamentals, Accounting, Finance, Marketing, Economics, then we have mentors, professors, coaches and specialists from the local community to guide the team through their specific project. The learning is tailored and specific not only to the location, but to the particular industry and particular project. It’s very practical and very relevant.”
So does everyone come up with the new venture by the end of the program?
“We get people in different stages of where they are in creating new ventures, and the objective of the program is not for everybody to come out with a particular business plan. We don’t select and incubate ventures. We select and incubate people. Some come in with an idea in their mind. Some come with the venture that they have already started to create. Some come just wanting to do something big. By the end of the program we want them to have the skill set not only to generate new ventures, but to really understand what it will take to make that venture successful, to have all the skills to create their own business, or to be able to study someone else’s business plan and understand it.”
In what practical ways does Stanford Ignite equip its participants to tackle uncertainty for their own businesses or innovative products?
“Every new venture has to deal with uncertainty, ambiguity and unawareness. We teach to deal with these three dimensions: how to execute in the face of uncertainty, how to de-risk a new venture. Dealing with ambiguity is hugely important. We provide the learning that helps to address unawareness. You need to understand the market, the industry, the competition. Figuring out all the uncertainties in front of you is what this education process tries to achieve.”
What are your favorite student success stories so far?
“I had an email from a founder from Bangalore. She told me her new venture was acquired, and how grateful she was. Emails like that make my day. You can look up it up on our website, big successes and big exits. But the best measure of success is about how impactful the individual becomes, whether they return back to their organisation or start their own company.”
Round 1 – 02 June 2016
Round 2 – 16 June 2016
Applicants must apply by the Round 1 deadline to be considered for a 50% scholarship.
For more information, click here.