You got questions? Well we have answers. See if you can’t find what you’re after below.
BENEFITS AND LEARNING
Who should attend School for Creative Startups?
Is this course for small lifestyle businesses or million-pound startups?
Is there an age limit?
I have been in business for over a year or more, do I still qualify for this course?
Do I need to have a fully realised business to qualify for this course?
What will I learn?
What are the benefits of the course?
Where are classes located?
What If I live outside of the locations you offer courses in?
What kind of success have students who’ve gone through the course had?
Why is Doug involved with S4CS?
What is Makegood Festival?
What’s included in the member site?
What happens when the course finishes?
Who teaches the course?
Are all the students taught together?
Is School for Creative Startups a charity?
How much of my time will the programme take?
Can I have a full time job and do this?
Can I still apply if I am currently a student?
Do I have to get my business off the ground when I’m on the course?
When are the live teaching sessions?
How much homework is there?
Is there a text book to support the course?
How much does it cost to participate in the programme?
How do I apply for a scholarship or bursary?
What if I have multiple co-founders?
Will Doug Richard or the School for Creative Startups take a percentage of my business?
Can I pay for the course in instalments?
How do I give a scholarship to a School for Creative Startups student?
When is the application deadline?
What is the application process?
What’s the selection criteria?
What experience do I need to apply?
Do I need to have a fully realised business to apply?
If I don’t get in this year can I apply again?
Do you have a set number of spots on the course?
How do I know if I qualify?
Can you have a few different ideas when you apply?
Do you get feedback on your application if you don’t get in?
Top tips for filling in your applications
BENEFITS AND LEARNING
WHO SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL FOR CREATIVE STARTUPS?
Any aspiring creative entrepreneur, or co-founders, who have an idea for a creative business, or already have a creative startup, and want to improve their business skills and grow their starup into a long-term success.
We consider the creative industry to be a broad sector, which includes, but is not limited to the following subsectors:
- Broadcast Media
- Culinary Arts
- Fine Art
- Performing Arts
IS THIS COURSE FOR SMALL LIFESTYLE BUSINESSES OR MILLON-POUND STARTUPS?
Both and everyone in between. We help you set goals and reach them, but these will be different for each startup depending on your aim, business model and stage of development.
IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT?
Nope. We have people of all ages on this programme. As long as you are committed to your business and our course, we don’t care about age, race, location or previous business experience.
I HAVE BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR OVER A YEAR OR MORE ALREADY, DO I STILL QUALIFY FOR THIS COURSE?
If you feel like you’re struggling to generate a profit, to grow the business or to keep up with it’s growth, then we can help. We don’t care how long you’ve been ticking over. We’re here to help you run a successful, profitable business no matter how long you’ve been at it, as long as you’re still willing to work.
DO I NEED TO HAVE A FULLY REALISED BUSINESS TO QUALIFY FOR THIS COURSE?
Nope, but you do need to at least have a solid business idea that you’ve researched and worked on and have a commitment to seeing through. As a minimum we ask is that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, that you have the creative skills to realise your goods or services to a high spec and that you’ve done some initial market research to determine that there are customers for your business – we’ll teach you the rest.
Ideal candidates have had at least some experience trying to sell your product or service professionally and have done market research. This ensures the class will be filled with people ready to get a solid business up and running.
WHAT WILL I LEARN?
The course covers everything an aspiring creative entrepreneur needs to know with information explained in a clear, jargon-free manner. Those that participate in this course will learn how to produce, market and sell their products and services profitably.
Each workshop is enlivened by real life examples that will help to address each subject matter in depth; many from Doug Richard’s own experiences and others from well known brands. At the end of the course, participants are armed with knowledge of how to build a business plan and what steps to take next.
Key learnings include:
- Action planning
- Bootstrap budgeting
- Building a brand
- Find customers online and offline
- Getting and using money
- Handling competition
- Identifying channels to market
- Pricing and selling your products or services
- Starting and running a successful creative business
- Selecting the right strategic partners
- Utilising the internet effectively
- Becoming investment ready
- Understanding your value proposition
- Financial forecasting
- Mastering communication, marketing and public relations
- Leveraging the web
- Pitching and negotiation
Click here for more details of what’s covered in each session.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THE COURSE?
This course offers a wide range of benefits including:
- In-depth, hands-on, jargon-free, practical instruction that is tailor-made to teach creatives and uses interactive learning techniques and engaging visual aids.
- 12 days of live teaching delivered by top industry experts
- Membership to our exclusive online community; home to our extensive library, podcasts, discussion board and event listings
- One-to-one support from skilled and caring staff
- Sector specific advice from the Titans of Industry network advisory network, comprised of top UK creatives
- Digital teaching tools covering a wide range of subjects and supporting the live teaching
- Involvement in the annual Makegood Festival
- Access to buyers, press, investors, and VIPS
- Funding advice and support
- Continued support long after the end of the course
WHERE ARE CLASSES LOCATED?
We currently have courses available in London and Sheffield, with more locations being announced soon.
WHAT IF I LIVE OUTSIDE OF THE LOCATIONS YOU OFFER COURES IN?
That’s up to you. As long as you can commit to getting to every live teaching session on time, every time, we don’t care where you live. You will of course face additional travel costs and commute time, but it’s your call. If you can make it work, so can we.
WHAT KIND OF SUCCESS HAVE STUDENTS WHO’VE GONE THROUGH THE COURSE HAD?
We have had lots of success stories from our graduates. Success looks different depending on the goals each business sets for themselves, however as an example, we’ve had students who are now stocked in major department stores or retail chains, and others who’ve managed to gain large sums of investment. We’ve had students open up bricks and mortar spaces and hire staff, and others who’ve partnered with blue chip brands.
You don’t have to take our word for it though, hear it from the horse’s mouth. We’ve collected loads of case studies and testimonials.
WHY IS DOUG INVOLVED WITH S4CS?
The glory of knowing that he’s helped a lot of wonderful people do wonderful things; the challenge of actively helping turn the economy around; the entertainment of meeting lots of interesting, bright and innovative entrepreneurs and lastly the joy of teaching and paying it forward (which he is actually very good at!).
WHAT IS MAKEGOOD FESTIVAL?
The end of the school year culminates with Makegood Festival - a multi-day creative festival celebrating the work of our entrepreneurs in a truly unique pop-up marketplace that runs alongside a series of professional development seminars and creative skills workshops. Throughout the event, selected students have the opportunity to showcase their goods and services to press, VIPs, investors, buyers and the general public, putting everything they’ve learned across the year into practice.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE MEMBERS SITE?
The member site is home to heaps of helpful materials including:
• A vast library full of a never-ending supplies of helpful articles
• Course materials
• Discussion boards
• Events calendar
• An alumni, class and Titans of Industry directory
• Recommended resources
• Special offers
• Audio recordings, slides and worksheets from each session
• Student profiles and emails
It’s also where our S4CS Advisors live. Our Business Advisors spend time trawling the community site answering questions, writing articles and providing general assistance to our entrepreneurs.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE COURSE FINISHES?
By the end of the year students should be well on their way to startup success with a tested business model, a clear action plan and a well-rounded arsenal of skills to keep the wheels in motion, but the learning doesn’t end there. Graduates are encouraged to continue to be part of our supportive community through our members’ site. Here, former students will continue to have access to our extensive library, discussion boards and have exclusive first access to offers and events. They will also receive monthly e-bulletins letting them know about upcoming events and opportunities including our regular investor events.
Regardless of when they leave the programme, our alumni always have an opportunity to be considered to pitch to The School for Creative Startups Angel Society for investment and we are always here if they need a little advice over the years.
WHO TEACHES THE COURSE?
The School for Creative Startups training staff is anchored by our lovely and talented S4CS team, based in both London, at our official HQ in Somerset House and in Los Angeles. They keep a constant eye on students progress and support them throughout the year. In addition to this core team of top-notch staff, we have an array of industry experts who work with us to supply cutting edge curriculum, delivered in a digestible way. Have a look at the trainers’ page for specific trainer profiles.
ARE ALL THE STUDENTS TAUGHT TOGETHER?
Yes! Business fundamentals know no sector bounds. They apply to all businesses, no matter the focus. Everyone enrolled in this course will come together for monthly teaching sessions. It is during this time that students share ideas, partner, network, cross-pollinate and make a support network for life.
IS SCHOOL FOR CREATIVE STARTUPS A CHARITY?
No. School for Creative Startups is a programme run by School for Startups Ltd which is a corporation limited by shares. As a social purpose business a portion of the profits derived by School for Startups are used to support social outcomes and for providing bursaries for programmes such as School for Creative Startups. We strive to support creative entrepreneurs and encourage new businesses in the UK.
HOW MUCH OF MY TIME WILL THE PROGRAMME TAKE?
School for Creative Startups part-time programme is for working people, running across an academic year from October until June. We understand that our entrepreneurs are super busy working on their business or temporarily on someone else’s as well as having familial obligations and we try to fit the course around these other commitments.
Everything is scheduled with long lead times to allow you time to schedule appropriately. The Programme runs from October through June – 13 full days of teaching and activities.
For those who participate in the Makegood Festival, it requires additional time for set up and breakdown, as well as four full days of participation.
Throughout the course we encourage regular meetings with advisors, as and when you feel you need them. Additionally there are some assignments, but they are directly related to running your business and should complement your work, rather than add to it.
Anything else that gets programmed is not compulsory but always recommended. We expect full commitment from our students to give them the best chance for success. It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.
CAN I HAVE A FULL TIME JOB AND DO THIS?
Participating in the School for Creative Startups programme should not prevent you from having a part or even full-time job. We recognise that most of our entrepreneurs are balancing jobs and families, as well as building their dream business and juggling it all can be a lot. It will not be easy to find time to do it all, but if you want it badly enough, there is always a way.
Visit your preferred programme page for dates and details now, allowing you plenty of time to adjust your work schedule (i.e. plan your holiday).
CAN I STILL APPLY IF I AM CURRENTLY A STUDENT?
We’d prefer your undivided attention so we’d rather you waited until you’ve completed your current studies.
DO I HAVE TO GET MY BUSINESS OFF THE GROUND WHILE ON THIS COURSE?
This is a training programme that supports those actively starting up. That means different things to different students and everyone joins the course at a different stage of their business. We expect everyone on the course to be working toward a goal of becoming a fully active, trading business. Whether that’s achieved while on the course or not is less of a concern as long as that’s the goal and it’s achieved eventually!
WHEN ARE THE LIVE TEACHING SESSIONS?
The programme runs across 9 months from October through June with at least one structured class or activity every month. Our teaching days tend to run from 9am – 6pm during weekdays followed by networking and decompressing at a nearby pub. Visit your preferred programme page for dates and details.
HOW MUCH HOMEWORK IS THERE?
That is really up to you. Starting a business is hard work and there’s a lot to do. You will be asked to prepare for classes and there will be a few assignments including drawing your business model and answering Doug’s 10 questions about your business. But beyond those tasks the ‘homework’ is starting your business, which can take every waking moment if you let it.
IS THERE A TEXT BOOK TO SUPPORT THE COURSE?
Funny you should ask. Doug’s book How to Start a Creative Business the Jargon Free Guide for Creative Entrepreneurs serves as the textbook supporting this course. It’s definitely worth reading whether or not you’re on the course, but it will aid you greatly as you work your way through the programme.
WILL THERE BE OPPORTUNITIES TO NETWORK WITH OTHER ENTREPRENEURS?
There are lots of chances to network with all kinds of people across the year and beyond. It’s our goal to foster a supportive, sharing community amongst the startups as well as with our previous graduates. We encourage group work, skill swapping, sharing networks and resources. Additionally we open our entire network to our students connecting them with top people in a wide variety of sectors for advice through our Titans of Industry programme. There is no shortage of opportunity to network.
ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES TO MEET INVESTORS?
Yes! We regularly invite investors to host our surgeries and attend our events such as Makegood Festival. Additionally we hold quarterly events for our Angel Society members who are always looking for investment ready startups who are able to pitch. Even startups that have left the course may have the opportunity to pitch for investment if they are ready.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PROGRAMME?
There is a cost to run this course, and as such there is a cost to being on this course. We know that it’s sometimes hard to access all the funds you need when you’re starting out so to help ease the financial tension School for Creative Startups have teamed up with some lovely and generous partners to offer an array of payment plans, as well as a limited number of scholarship and bursaries.
|£3,000||£280per month||£100per month|
|Upfront payment of £3,000||£300 deposit + 10x £280
* Subject to loan approval
|£300 deposit + 32x £100
* Subject to loan approval
|Total paid: £3,000||Total paid: £3,100||Total paid: £3,500|
|Prepay Discount: £500||Discount: £400||-|
|Your tuition fee covers:|
|A copy of our text book|
|120+ hours of training and support|
|Dedicated online business advisor|
|Regular one-to-one advising sessions|
|Lifetime membership to our vast online community|
|Exclusive access and advice from our Titans of Industry network|
|Access to funding opportunities such as our Angel Society and social loans|
|An invaluable support network – meet and learn with hundreds of other creative entrepreneurs|
|For those that qualify we do offer a very limited number of bursaries, which reduces the cost to £1,000 and we also offer one full scholarship on the London course. Visit your preferred programme page for tuition fee, bursary and scholarship details now.|
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A SCHOLARSHIP OR BURSARY?
On your application there will be an option to be considered for a scholarship or bursary. You will need to make a strong case for why you need and deserve the subsidised tuition fee, as bursary and scholarship places are limited and strictly for those in need.
Be convincing in your argument for why you deserve our consideration. Each case will be judged based on the quality of the application and the context for support. Please do not apply for a bursary or scholarship if you are not in real need.
WHAT IF I HAVE MULTIPLE CO-FOUNDERS?
The good news is that second or third partners receive a 50% reduction of the initial tuition fee per person. This applies to both full and bursary fees. So, for example, if the initial co-founder pays £3500 tuition, then each of the other two co-founders pays £1750 each. This is limited to a maximum total of 3 partners in total per business. All partners will have to adhere to the same payment plan.
If you attend the course as co-founders, EACH co-founder in the business is expected to attend all classes and participate fully.
WILL DOUG OR THE SCHOOL FOR CREATIVE STARTUPS TAKE A PERCENTAGE OF MY BUSINESS?
Nope. This is not Dragon’s Den. Doug is simply here to teach and support.
CAN I PAY FOR THE COURSE IN INSTALMENTS?
Yes! We have two payment plans:
|£280per month||£100per month|
|£300 deposit + 10x £280
* Subject to loan approval
|£300 deposit + 32x £100
* Subject to loan approval
|Total paid: £3,100||Total paid: £3,500|
HOW DO I GIVE A SCHOLARSHIP PLACE ON SCHOOL FOR CREATIVE STARTUPS?
We are looking for individuals or organisations that believe in the School for Creative Startups’ mission to help creative businesses succeed. A scholarship of £3500 will give one business the opportunity to attend the entire year-long programme, ensuring that they develop the tools, techniques and contacts to realise their ambition.
Delegates must apply for a scholarship through our rigorous application process overseen by our selection committee and only the most promising and in need startups will be offered this opportunity.
WHEN IS THE APPLICATION DEADLINE?
We do not have a firm and final deadline however, we do something called rolling admission. This means as soon as startups apply to the course their application is reviewed and they can be accepted, wait listed or denied right away. We don’t wait until a deadline to start accepting students, as it’s not about comparisons, rather each student is judged on his or her own merit. This means our limited spaces can all go before our deadline. So basically the sooner you apply, the better off you will be.
We will not accept applications for this coming session after 1 October 2014. If you apply after this time you’ll be considered for the next years programme.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS?
It’s pretty similar to applying to University really. Simply fill in an application form online telling us all about you and your business or idea. Once your application has been reviewed you may be invited for an interview with our selection panel. Following interviews, applicants will be notified as to the status of their application. The interview will take place in our Somerset House Offices in London.
WHAT’S THE SELECTION CRITERIA?
To be considered for a place on the School for Creative Startups programme, applicants need to have a creative ability or viable idea and the desire and dedication to turn that into a business. Applications will be judged based on the following criteria:
- The quality, uniqueness and innovation of the creative product or service
- The potential for startup success
- The need for the education and support provided on the course
- The commitment and dedication both to your startup and to the course
- The combined quality of the application and interview
WHAT EXPERIENCE DO I NEED TO APPLY?
No prior business experience is required but to be considered for a place on the School for Creative Startups programme. What is useful is research and experience with your product, service or idea.
DO I NEED TO HAVE A FULLY REALISED BUSINESS TO APPLY?
Nope, but at the very least you do need to have a solid business idea that you’ve researched and worked on and have a commitment to seeing through. All we ask is that you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and have the creative skill to realise your goods or services to a high spec – we’ll teach you the rest. Ideal candidates have had some experience trying to sell your creative work professionally and have done market research. This ensures the class will be filled with people ready to get a solid business up and running.
IF I DON’T GET IN THIS YEAR CAN I APPLY AGAIN?
Absolutely. In fact we encourage it. There can be a huge variety of reasons why your application wasn’t accepted in a given year. Don’t let it stop you from applying again as things change year to year.
DO YOU HAVE A SET NUMBER OF SPOTS ON THE COURSE?
We have a maximum number of 100 spaces on the course (that’s businesses mind you, not people, as you can join as a business with multiple partners).
HOW DO I KNOW IF I QUALIFY?
We’ll be the judge of that. Don’t rule yourself out. That’s our job! If you’re interested in the course simply apply and find out.
CAN YOU HAVE A FEW DIFFERENT IDEAS WHEN YOU APPLY?
We prefer that you have one idea that you are seriously dedicated to and have done some work on. Starting more than one business at once is not encouraged.
DO YOU GET FEEDBACK ON YOUR APPLICATION IF YOU DON’T GET IN?
If you ask for it, we’d be happy to provide feedback, but note that it may take some time before we get back to you as we have a lot of applications to sift through.
TOP TIPS FOR FILLING IN YOUR APPLICATIONS:
Images say more than words. If you have images or a logo for your work, please include them, as they will help make your application memorable (but don’t worry if you don’t have any).
We know nothing about your business so it’s best to be as clear and all-inclusive as possible because your answers are all we have to go on. It’s a good idea to try out your answers on someone who knows nothing about your business.
It’s a long application because we are trying to learn as much about you as possible. Take this opportunity to paint a picture of yourself, your business and your achievements. Personality is encouraged.