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Developing a Business Model for 6W2X: A startup accelerator for students, designed by students

Introduction

Many students would love to be involved in a social enterprise startup but know that such an all-consuming passion would not be compatible with their first priority of obtaining a degree. 6W2X™ is a startup accelerator that will be designed with this in mind.

Description of 6W2X

6W2X is a social enterprise startup accelerator for students, designed by students.

An important feature is that an international ecosystem of startups will be created. Too often, students are well-meaning but create plans for businesses that they think Africans (for example) need but don't have the means to find out what Africans actually want. By having simultaneous accelerators in developing countries we will not only encourage entrepreneurship there, but also help other accelerators produce plans for sustainable social enterprises that satisfy a real need.

Another key feature of the accelerator is that it is that each startup will be designed to have an exit after only six weeks. We don't expect very many participants to be driving away in a Ferrari after a sale of their enterprise to Google. For one thing, you can't fit many people in a Ferrari. A more likely exit will be a tested business plan that will enable the enterprise to be replicated, a business in a box, a franchise model, or because the objectives have been achieved.

Six weeks may seem a short time but amazing results have been achieved by hack weekends lasting only 48 hours so we are hoping for some pretty impressive results after six weeks. Moreover, six weeks is enough time to get some real-world experience of working in teams and getting a startup underway. The best way of learning to be an entrepreneur is to be one - and this allows you to be one without losing the house!

More signifcantly, six weeks is short enough to fit inside a university vacation, or even be completed during a single term.

6W2X will itself be developed using lean startup principles. After a pivot or two it may start to look a little different, but here are some initial objectives:

  • Test the concept: discover the demand in various countries
  • Establish whether business schools and others would provide support and mentoring
  • Discover if sponsors will find it an attractive proposition
  • Develop the business model
  • Tweak the model
  • Execute

Get involved

Interested? If you would like to take part in setting up 6W2X, then please join Dreamstake and apply to join the 6W2X team. We are looking for co-founders, team members and advisors. Alternatively, please contact doug [at] mardinet [dot] org.

The following pages illustrate the lean startup process that will be followed when setting up 6W2X.