General Information on Startlab
Who is the Startlab solution for ?
Startlab is designed for any teacher who wants to prepare their learners for the future by developing their entrepreneurial spirit and their soft skills. The programme is perfect for:
- Universities - particularly in undergraduate courses, to give learners a taste of entrepreneurship and introduce them to the "design thinking" method for creating projects
- Secondary/high schools - for learners aged 15 and over, getting them to work in teams, giving them a taste of the world of business, and helping them as they start thinking about their future choices
- Training centres - giving learners a context to actively learn and develop their employability
- Any other structure wanting to motivate learners through concrete projects
What services and tools are included in Startlab ?
- An app with a fun, 5-step educational course
- A 5-episode web series and 5 tutorials
- A Startlab x Sorbonne Entrepreneur certificate once the course is completed
- Educational resources for both teachers and learners
- Support for the project manager as they set up the course, and a license management tool
- Training for teachers at the start of the programme and support throughout
How long does the Startlab programme last ?
Startlab can be adapted to your learning/teaching time. The course can last 1 week, 1 month, or even 1 semester, depending on your needs and availability. To inspire young learners to start creating projects, you will need around 20 hours or more of face-to-face time, although you can distribute this across the time frame that suits you.
Can Startlab be used in non-academic contexts ?
Globally, Startlab has been designed for anyone who wants to teach young people to create projects and develop their transferable skills.
For example, Startlab is perfectly suited to being used in training and induction contexts for young adults. The programme gets learners working on creating their own projects and discovering the world of entrepreneurship.
Do you need to be teaching management or economics to use Startlab ?
No, it's not limited to those subjects at all. Any teacher who wants to develop their learners' entrepreneurial spirit can use Startlab. Through the Startlab programme, learners will get to grips with the basics of project development, through a structured approach largely based on the "design thinking" concept. Of course, we cover some economic concepts, but they're accessible to all learners and are part of the project creation work.
How long does it take to get started with Startlab ?
The Startlab solution has been designed to be easy to use. You'll be able to take a tour around the whole solution in less than an hour, but we recommend accounting for a little longer if you want to really delve into all of the resources. Just like with any new educational tool, we advise taking the time to familiarise yourself with the resources and adapt them to your programme and educational aims.
We regularly offer webinars to introduce teachers to the system and answer any questions.
Is there training for teachers ?
Yes, teachers get a one-hour training session to support them with getting to grips with the solution, during which they can ask any questions they may have. A comprehensive educational guide is also provided to the teacher, helping them to get started with the product. Overall, we're always on-hand to advise and guide you as you get started with Startlab, and we can give you pertinent user tips and examples. Our team is here to listen to what you need and respond to any queries or requests as quickly as possible.
Do you have to do every step, from 1 to 5 ?
No, not at all. You can choose to focus on some steps more than others. You do need to do at least steps 1 to 5, but you could, for example, choose not to do the budgeting step (step 3). The educational guide has an appendix containing a chapter summary, so that you can select the steps that are most relevant and of interest to your learners, your educational aims, and your time restrictions. You'll also find session agenda suggestions, formatted for 20, 30 and 40 hours.
Can several teachers work on the same project ?
Yes, several teachers can support learners with a project. Startlab offers teachers numerous opportunities to contribute their expertise and specialist areas over the various phases of the project: Preparing their oral presentation (French), planning a budget (economics, management, maths), designing a logo and advertisement (art and graphic design), amongst others. You can invite any colleague to contribute to your challenge via the teacher dashboard. Make sure that your establishment's resource manager has created a Startlab account for each teacher you want to collaborate with.
Can you launch several projects within one establishment ?
Of course. A teacher can lead one project with their Year 11 class whilst one of their colleagues guides a Year 10 class through the course. Each project can be carried out at its own pace. Plus, there's no limit on how many challenges a teacher can create, so they can use Startlab with different classes.
How many learners are there per group ?
To ensure that learners get full benefit from their learning course, we suggest that you divide them into teams of 3-6 learners. This way, each team member can get involved in the project whilst each group also maintains a diversity of member profiles. This is just a recommendation, and you can of course adapt it to suit your needs. There should be no more than 6 members per team. You can have as many teams as you like. For example, this way, a class of 30 learners can be split into 10 teams of 3, 5 teams of 6, or 8 teams of different sizes.
Do the learners all need to work on the same project ?
It's entirely up to you to decide how the learners work: A collective project set by you for the whole class/establishment, or each team of learners chooses their own project.
Can I set a work theme or topic for my learners ?
Of course, you can set a theme if you like. It's entirely up to you to decide how the learners work. For example, some establishments have decided to have learners work on themes such as waste reduction, improving life within the establishment, or even new modes of transport.
What are the transferable skills worked on during the programme ?
Startlab enables the development of several transferable skills, mainly including:
- Teamwork and project management
- Creativity in finding and implementing solutions
- Communication within groups and verbal communication
- Independence, taking initiative and motivating others
- Decision-making and critical thinking
- Empathy and listening skills
- Logic and reasoning, and using digital tools
Does Startlab just cover economics throughout the course ?
No, not at all. First and foremost, Startlab is a process designed to teach young people to develop their own projects - whether it's a mini business or a charity project. We do introduce some economic concepts, but they're all accessible and simple.
Can I use Startlab for career orientation ?
Startlab isn't designed specifically as an orientation platform, so to speak. Nevertheless, over the course of the Startlab programme, young learners will discover certain career options through their project work. Several young learners have told us that they found career ideas through completing the programme.
Which careers are covered in Startlab ?
In extra tasks, learners have the opportunity to discover certain careers. These careers are related to the project's various development steps. For example, in Step 4 which covers communication, we introduce the web designer career path. In Step 2, which covers market research, we highlight sales and marketing careers. Through the web series, we showcase various other careers, particularly with the ethics mode and fablabs, etc. We try to present as many careers that are currently relevant and which offer recruitment opportunities.
Do you get a certificate for completing the Startlab programme ?
Yes, at the end of the course you have the option of issuing a Startlab x Sorbonne Entrepreneur certificate. This certificate can of course be credited, and you can even organise a certificate ceremony - like a mini graduation. The certificates are issued by teachers based on their observations.
Are educational resources provided ?
Educational resources are provided and can be accessed within Startlab. You'll find presentations to accompany each face-to-face session, worksheets, activity sheets and educational videos (5 episodes and 5 tutorials).
In the team spaces and profile, you can also find numerous activities available for learners, which will expand their knowledge and enrich their projects. However, you're free to use any resources that seem pertinent to you, or to add resources in to adapt the course to your programme.
Do you need any specific equipment ?
All you need is access to the internet. The solution can be used on computer, tablet or smartphone. To ensure optimal use of our resource for teachers, we recommend using a computer, particularly for downloading and using our educational resources.
We also recommend using a video projector, a whiteboard, post-it notes, felt-tip pens and other material resources for group phases, especially the brainstorming phase.
Which systems can be used to access Startlab ?
Startlab can be used on Microsoft Windows, MacOS/iOS or Android.