Startup as a tool of innovative education

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In academic education, the emphasis is most often placed on the acquisition of theoretical knowledge, which students will impose later, in the process of gaining work experience, but certain practical skills that determine his qualifications as a specialist are vital. However, various programs and methods of teaching students in close connection with production are becoming increasingly popular. This allows universities to train professionals who will later require minimal adaptation to the working environment and responsibilities to perform certain work that does not require additional training. This practice is applied in a wide variety of specialties through co-education, internship and mentoring programs.

Nevertheless, there are other ways to develop students and encourage them to gain practical skills. Along with the development of innovative technologies, various tools for their introduction into everyday life began to actively develop. The developers and drivers of this implementation are small, rapidly developing companies – startups, all activities of which are aimed at creating products for mass use.

These companies are closely connected with the student environment – and the founders and employees of startups are often either students or recent university graduates. For many of them, startup development sites become real training programs that allow them to acquire practical skills in creating and managing a business, as well as a great chance to implement own business idea.

Startups are gaining increasing popularity in the field of innovation and their implementation in the daily life of society, with the main contingent of its members being young people aged 18 to 30 years. This is especially significant in the use of startups as a means of creating new jobs, which makes it popular among young people and students who try themselves in the role of entrepreneurs. A startup also involves the participation of students and recent graduates in the development of a new project. At the same time, the roles of students may vary from the founders of startups to attracted experts and temporary specialists. In addition, startups provide students with the unique opportunity to get immersed in the real working environment with real people, figures and situations to be solved.

Experience in a startup – both as a founder and as a member of a team – helps graduates to decide on the direction of their own career development and present themselves from the most advantageous side. Without any doubt, the presence of some work experience in itself has a beneficial effect on the degree of attractiveness for the employer, but also contributes to the development of communication skills with potential investors, understanding the main business processes of the company and proficiency in development tools and business efficiency. This set of skills creates unique specialists that can be demanded by both young campaigns and dynamically developing large enterprises.

Working for a startup is not much different from working for a regular project. For the participants of the students working group, the difference is that they do not just perform a certain part of the work assigned to them by the project manager, but are its full participants, are engaged in the distribution and execution of project tasks. They should take their own initiative in researching various industries of a startup product and independently determine the necessary areas of work and the amount of information used to prepare final or intermediate documents. In general, it can be said that students produce a full-fledged research work in a specific area using methodological tools and applying the received theoretical knowledge. This is much closer to the principles of final qualifying work than an internship in larger project companies, where a student often performs one, the least qualified task and does not have the opportunity to apply most of their knowledge. In such cases, having contacts of persuasive essay writers in your contact book would come in handy.

In the context of practical training of students, working with a startup has a number of features and advantages:

  1. It is the involvement of students in a real project, the results of which will depend on the quality of their training, dedication, desire to be loaded as deep as possible into the studied area, and just interest in the subject of the project.
  2. It is an opportunity for each of the working group participants to go through all the stages of project creation and promotion, see in practice how the project tasks are set and how it is coordinated with the customer, and independently participate in the formulation and distribution of tasks among the working group participants.
  3. It is a gradual and very gentle immersion in project activities for students where they not only receive support and assistance from university lecturers but also the opportunity to personally explore what pitfalls a project may have. It also shows what risk assessment and management is and what makes up the calculation of work and their cost when organizing a project, how to set deadlines for completing tasks and achieve them.
  4. It is an opportunity to better explore the industries that will emerge in the process of working for a project. Market analysis of various degrees of immersion, communication with experts on the industries involved, own research and study of industry flagships – all this helps to determine the current market situation and the main trends of its development, as well as to form own points of interest in the industry for a particular student.

There will emerge a lot of various problems and aspects during the work on the startup that can be solved both by the participants themselves and with the involvement of the supervisor and project managers, both from the university and from the customer. It is an impeccable chance for any student to grow up as a future specialist and to gain hands-on experience in the area of interest. From this perspective, the startup method of education is a great tool for students’ formation as specialists and should be used by universities all around the globe.

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