Accelerated learning, mentoring from experienced founders, and an internship in a high-growth startup: our 3-month summer program is the start of the revolution in entrepreneurship education.
Due to obstacles caused by COVID-19, we have decided to put the Slush Academy 2020 summer program on hold. We are looking forward to reviewing our plans throughout the year and will inform all applicants in case the situation changes.
Too many brilliant people are blind-sided by the race to the imaginary top and end up rehashing old models instead of creating new ones.
Come break the wheel with us. Slush Academy exists to unleash your entrepreneurial potential outside the realm of traditional education – we put practise over theory, competencies over diplomas, and resilience over safety nets.
We’ll give you a blueprint to work with, but it is your job to make the best use of the time and connections that we provide. We see you as an entrepreneur from day one.
PRACTICE OVER THEORY.
What’s in it for me, you might ask.
- A 2-week Bootcamp to upskill your entrepreneurial self
- An internship in a fast-growing startup
- A chance to develop a startup idea with your cohort
- Mentoring from accomplished entrepreneurs
Don’t worry, there are no tuition costs, the internships are paid.
COMPETENCIES OVER DIPLOMAS.
What are we looking for, then?
- A burning desire to become a groundbreaking entrepreneur
- A global mindset welcoming diversity in all its forms
- A track record of proactive problem solving
And no, we do not require you to have a university degree.
RESILIENCE OVER SAFETY NETS.
The admissions process consists of three steps: an online application, interviews with us and matchmaking with a potential internship opportunity. Challenge accepted? The application period has ended on March 30, 2020.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the online application questions?
Below is the full list of the online application questions. More detailed instructions can be found directly in the online application.
Please note that the online application has two parts – make sure that you complete and submit both parts!
PART 1 – General information
- First and last name
- Email address
- Date of birth
- Current country of residence
- Do you have a valid visa to enter Finland between May and November 2020?
- Indicate all the regions where you have a valid work permit (EU, US or none).
- Which gender identity do you identify with?
- Last education obtained
- What subject is your degree in?
- Other educational qualifications, including non-traditional education or training programs. (optional)
- Your professional online profile (LinkedIn or other). (optional)
- How did you hear about Slush Academy?
PART 2 – personal questions
- Can you commit to the full Slush Academy 2020 program?
- Are you currently employed? If yes, where and what is your role?
- How many years of professional experience do you have?
- What initiative that you are or have been the driving force behind are you most proud of? Attach a web link or a file to the initiative described previously. (optional) This can be any presentation, public documentation or visuals that will help us understand the initiative better.
- Describe a professional skill that you are particularly good at – one that sets you out from the crowd.
- Describe an experience that has significantly shaped you into who you are today.
- Prioritize the following six competencies that we believe help individuals become successful entrepreneurs using a scale from 6 to 1, where 6 is something that you master well and 1 is something that you know you need to work on. You will need to prioritize between the six competencies, which means you can use each number only once.
- Describe one of your top interests and how you explore it.
- Describe another one of your interests and how you explore it.
- What opinion do very few people agree with you on?
- What problem do you wish to see solved in your lifetime and why?
- What industry are you most interested to work in?
- If you were to found a startup, what would be your role? What professional skill that you excel at would make you successful in this role?
- Name one field that is going to shape our world in a significant way over the next decade. Why?
- As a future entrepreneur, what three challenges would you struggle with the most?
- After completing Slush Academy, what would you hope to do (found a startup, join an existing startup, become an investor or other).
- If you are not admitted to Slush Academy, what will you do instead?
- Nominate someone that should apply to this program as a participant. (optional)
- Who would recommend you for this program? (optional)
- What interesting high-growth company would you suggest as a partner for internship placements in this program. Why?
- How would you improve this application process?
- Add & answer a question that we haven’t asked you.
- Add any attachment.
Who can apply?
Anyone who wants to become an entrepreneur. We do not have age restrictions nor require a university diploma. What we look for is the genuine and deeply entrenched motivation to achieve a clear goal: becoming an entrepreneur. More on the selection criteria can be found later in this FAQ section.
Please note that Slush Academy is an education program for individuals. We do not consider applications from companies or organizations.
What are the specific selection criteria?
We may sound like a broken record, but we believe that the future of entrepreneurship lies in diversity. That is why we are looking for a mixed bunch of exciting individuals, who share the following:
- Have a deep desire to, one day, become an entrepreneur
- Have a proven track record of proactive problem solving (e.g. via previous initiatives, projects or movements that you have launched)
- Can learn fast and remain humble and engaged while doing so
- Have an edge (expertise, skillset, knowledge) in something that sets them out from the crowd
- Perseverance is their second name: Slush Academy program is demanding, just like the entrepreneurial world
- Can commit to the full 3-month program
And no, we do not require you to have a university degree.
How many participants are selected?
The 2020 cohort will accept 5-15 participants. To ensure best quality and program outcomes, we select only those individuals that we believe will benefit the most from Slush Academy. So, naturally, this number will crystallize closer to the application deadline.
Do I need a visa or a work permit to apply for Slush Academy?
If you do not currently hold a Schengen visa that will be valid between May and November 2020, you will have to apply for one.
All participants selected for the Slush Academy 2020 will attend a 2-week Bootcamp that will take place in Helsinki, Finland, in June. Attending the Bootcamp will therefore require a valid Schengen visa.
Additionally, you will need to apply for a work permit if your internship placement is in one of the countries where you currently do not hold a valid work permit.
If you require a visa to enter Finland and/or a work permit for your internship placement location, you will need to apply for those early enough to join the 2020 cohort. We can’t guarantee that your visa and/or work permit applications will be processed on time as Slush Academy does not have influence over visa and work permit granting. You should flag whether you require a visa and/or a work permit in your online application.
2020 cohort internship placements will be located within the EU.
Do I need to know the basics about startups or investing beforehand?
You don’t need to have extensive knowledge on how startups or investors work. Just the sheer fact that you are here reading about Slush Academy tells us that you are interested in the entrepreneurial world. You don’t need to be an expert in the field, but you do need to be excited about entrepreneurship.
This desire to know more will be your driving force during the program: it will speed up the learning process and ensure that participants in the same cohort can learn from each other.
Before joining the summer program, a free online course, Starting Up, will be proposed to selected participants as a way to learn the basics of entrepreneurship, so we recommend checking the course out in your free time.
I am an entrepreneur already, why should I apply?
Slush Academy will provide you with a unique placement in a high-growth startup or scaleup. This means that you will be able to see up close great companies in the making and interact with their decision-makers.
During the Bootcamp you will go through an intense track to upskill your entrepreneurial potential and meet your cohort peers – an ambitious community that will support your journey through Academy.
Last (but not least) our unique network of mentors, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors will also be made available for you.
How is the COVID-19 affecting Academy?
We are currently monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis. As with everything, our top priority is to keep our participants and partner safe. To do this, we have put some precautions in place for Slush Academy program.
Slush Academy’s chosen participants should prepare for the possibility of postponement of the Helsinki-based Bootcamp from the beginning of the program (June 2020) to its end (August 2020). This change will not affect the quality of the Bootcamp content. If the Bootcamp date were to change from June to August, the content would be more focused on post-internship self-reflection and the next steps that the participants can take in their entrepreneurial journey. Some sessions may also be held online.
Our participants should also take into account, that securing an international internship placement can be less likely in view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, therefore impacting the likelihood of guaranteeing placement in the Slush Academy 2020 program. That being said, the Academy team is putting extra effort into scouting those interesting local opportunities for the participants to support them in finding an internship placement.
The application process
What is the application process like?
The selection process for the 2020 cohort is three-step:
- Online Applications that you can fill out in your free time
- Online interview with Slush Academy within 3 weeks of your online application submission
- Matchmaking with potential host companies
Step 1: Online applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. As the online application is the first step in the selection process, please make sure that you spend enough time filling it out and allowing us to get to know you better.
Step 2: Only around 50-100 applicants will be invited to the Slush Academy interviews that will take place within 3 weeks of your online application submission.
Step 3: Only 20-40 applicants will be invited to the final stage of the application process: matchmaking with one or several of our partner companies, which will take place in April.
As participation in Slush Academy 2020 includes an internship placement, the final decision on offering you a spot in the cohort will depend on your ability to secure an internship placement.
When is the application deadline?
We know that some people plan their summers early, while others linger on until the last minute. That is why our application process is designed in a way that allows you to apply at the time that is most convenient for you. However, please note that closer to the application deadline, the more difficult it will be to secure an internship placement.
- Online Applications: Feb 10 – March 30, 2020
- Online Interview with Slush Academy: within 3 weeks of online application submission
- Matchmaking with potential host companies: April 6 – 19, 2020
Final decision: April 24, 2020
Online application opens on Feb 10, 2020 at 2pm CET and closes on March 30, 2020 at 11pm CET.
How can I apply?
You can apply via our website. The APPLY NOW button will take you directly to the application form. All attachments can be added in the application form.
Do not send your application via email as only applications completed online via the provided form will be considered.
If I am selected by Slush Academy, does that mean that I am automatically accepted to the program?
Unfortunately no. As the program is built around an internship experience, your participation in the 2020 cohort is dependent on securing an internship placement with one of our network companies.
After pre-selection from Slush Academy, only around 40 candidates will be presented to host companies for matchmaking. With our assistance, those companies will offer the internship placement, which will secure your place in the Slush Academy 2020 cohort.
Can I secure an internship placement on my own, outside of the Slush Academy network?
This will be reviewed and decided upon on a case-by-case basis. The decision will depend on the company that you secure the internship placement with and their willingness to become part of the Slush Academy network, including accepting our learning development program.
When will I know if I am selected?
The announcements for final selection of participants will be made on April 24, 2020. We will notify all selected participants individually to the email address provided in the application form. Due to individual selection processes of our partner companies, we cannot guarantee that all participants will be notified by this date exactly – slight delays may apply.
Please note that your acceptance to the program will depend on your ability to secure an internship placement with one of our partner companies.
During the program
Do I need my own laptop for the studies?
Yes, we do require you to bring your own laptop as it will come of use during the Bootcamp, and may be required of some of the placement companies.
Can I postpone my participation or attend part-time?
No, it is not possible to postpone your participation nor participate part-time.
If for some reason you cannot attend the 2020 program or need to resign during the program, you can apply again next year. We require full participation from the attendees to ensure learnings can be achieved in full.
What is the language used in the Academy?
The official language used in Academy is English.
What are the program dates?
Summer program dates are May 30 – August 31, 2020.
As part of the program you will also attend the Slush main event which takes place November 19-20, 2020.
Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-10, the chosen participants should prepare for the possibility of postponement of the Helsinki-based Bootcamp from the beginning of the program (June 2020) to its end (August 2020). This change will not affect the quality of the Bootcamp content. If the Bootcamp date were to change from June to August, the content would be more focused on post-internship self-reflection and the next steps that the participants can take in their entrepreneurial journey. Some sessions may also be held online.
What does the program include?
The program has 3 main components: Helsinki Bootcamp, Internship in a global startup hub and startup ideation with mentors. The program is designed in a way that allows you to be exposed to maximum of diverse learning methods in a short time-span – this pretty much reflects how entrepreneurship usually goes!
- Kick-off activities: May 30, 2020 in Helsinki, Finland
- Bootcamp with workshops: June 1-12, 2020 in Helsinki, Finland
- Internship: June 15 – August 21, 2020 in host company locations
- Validation: August 24 – 28, 2020 (location to be disclosed at a later date)
- Slush 2020 event reunion: Nov 19 – 20, 2020 in Helsinki, Finland
Above dates are subject to slight changes (+/- 1 week) as internship placements in individual companies will depend upon the availability of partners and program mentors.
How long is the program?
The program lasts a little above 3 months + the November 2020 Slush 2-day event in Helsinki, Finland.
How much time do I have to commit to my studies?
You will be expected to work between 20 and 40 hours/week during your internship placement.
During the Bootcamp stage, standard time will be around 40h spread between group projects, coaching sessions, company visits and time you choose to spend on your startup ideation.
Is there a tuition fee at Slush Academy?
No, there is no tuition fee for studying at Slush Academy. Additionally, the program internships are paid at around the minimum wage of the internship location. We will also cover your Slush 2020 main event ticket.
Where is the Boot Camp organized?
In Helsinki, Finland.
Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, the chosen participants should prepare for the possibility of postponement of the Helsinki-based Bootcamp from the beginning of the program (June 2020) to its end (August 2020). This change will not affect the quality of the Bootcamp content. If the Bootcamp date were to change from June to August, the content would be more focused on post-internship self-reflection and the next steps that the participants can take in their entrepreneurial journey. Some sessions may also be held online.
What companies are offering internships for Slush Academy students?
Mostly late stage startups and early stage scaleups from diverse industries. We only work with companies that have what we believe is essential to maximise learnings for future entrepreneurs:
– best managerial practices
– highly entrepreneurial company culture
– willingness to pass-on knowledge to individuals and the ecosystem
As Slush Academy 2020 is a prototype of a new education model, we wish to involve the applicants in its co-creation process as much as possible. That is why we are eager to know of any companies that you think would be interesting to include into our network. In the online application you will be prompted to propose an interesting startup or scaleup that you think we should work with and we will do our best to get them on board!
Our network of partners is continuously growing. Stay tuned for more information coming up on new partners joining us.
Where are the internships based?
One of the startups hubs in Europe. Exact locations will be disclosed at a later date and will depend on the internship placement secured by the participant.
Due to the ongoing situation with COVID-10, the chosen participants should also take into account, that securing an international internship placement can be less likely in view of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, therefore impacting the likelihood of guaranteeing placement in the Slush Academy 2020 program. That being said, the Academy team is putting extra effort into scouting those interesting local opportunities for the participants to support them in finding an internship placement.
Are the internships paid?
Yes. A reasonable salary, in most cases a minimum wage in a given location, will be paid to all interns.
Who am I receiving mentoring from? What is the role of the mentors for me?
Our mentors are seasoned entrepreneurs and investors that will help you embed the learnings from the Bootcamp and the internship into your startup idea. As in any entrepreneurial journey, it will be your job to best utilize the time spent with the mentors. During the Bootcamp, you will have a chance to meet some of the mentors. Depending on your internship location, your mentorship will take place face-2-face or online.
Why should I choose the Academy over another summer job?
Academy is not a summer job. It’s a comprehensive program that aims to expose you to the inner workings of high-growth companies, where you can apply the learnings on a continuous basis to your own startup idea. Additionally, during the program you will be exposed to novel learning practices and a network of mentors.
Are there more programs like the Academy?
In recent years we have seen a plethora of entrepreneurial programs developing across the world. We all aim to achieve the same goal: better forming of future entrepreneurs.
Slush Academy encompasses different models that are currently offered. On the crossroad between an accelerator, an internship and a school experience, we are uniquely positioned to offer a wholesome and demanding program that will help you take ownership of your path and set you on the right pathway to become a forward-thinking entrepreneur.
How does the program prepare me for a career as an entrepreneur?
We are often asked whether entrepreneurship can be taught. At Slush Academy, we believe in learning by doing – working with fellow future entrepreneurs on startups ideas, working alongside current entrepreneurs and learning from mentors. This is as close as it gets to acting as an entrepreneur before finally becoming one.
Will I found a company while at Slush Academy?
During the program, you will work closely together with peers from your cohort on a startup idea. You will be able to directly embed the learnings from the workshops, internships, mentors and VCs into your idea and have a chance to present it at the Slush main event.
How can I know more about the Academy?
If you have a question that is not resolved by any of the above answers, please contact us at [email protected].