Launching in a timely fashion over this Labor Day weekend, #StartupLab is a new virtual mentorship program which will see top young startup founders helping America’s workforce to adopt a more entrepreneurial approach to their careers.
A collaboration between the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) and Citi, the free program offers interactive live video chats, how-to guides, an eBook club, and weekly email lessons. Established entrepreneurs participating in #StartupLab include Slava Rubin of Indiegogo, Jason Nazar of DocStoc, and Matt Mickiewicz of 99Designs.
The beta phase of the program is now live and is open to individuals looking to boost their entrepreneurial skills, as well as members of a wide range of organizations that have signed up to participate. These include Junior Achievement, Georgetown University, BizWorld, Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Startup Weekend, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and many more.
The Young Entrepreneur Council may be familiar to you if you’re a regular TNW reader. We’ve run a number of guides based on contributions from some of its members in recent months. It previously ran the Fix Young America campaign to highlight youth unemployment.
#StartupLab takes the form of a Facebook app. Once you’ve connected your account and Liked its Facebook Page you get access to all the goodies. Content available includes mentorship videos such as Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian discussing managing the social link sharing site’s traffic, a variety of articles from experienced entrepreneurs, and an upcoming live Q&A with Jennifer Fleiss of Rent the Runway.
YEC founder Scott Gerber tells us that long-term, through the #StartupLab program, Citi and the YEC intend to disrupt the traditional mentorship model, “by utilizing data and technology to exponentially increase individualized outcomes at mass scale.
“Data, social media and connectivity have the ability to completely transform entrepreneurship education, and, in the process, help millions of people transition into entrepreneurship or become more employable. We hope to better equip the tens of thousands of incredible organizations, groups and leaders across America and around the globe that mentor aspiring entrepreneurs and students, by enabling them to instantly match the best mentors, information and resources to the best end users,” says Gerber.
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