The Startup Leadership Program is a global not-for-profit educational program and network for the next generation of founders and entrepreneurs. Founded by VC partner, Anupendra Sharma in Boston in 2006 with a cohort of seven, the program has now educated 4,000 men and women in 19 cities around the world. Our entrepreneurs have created 1,900 companies, raising more than $700M from the world’s leading investors and accelerators, with 60 being successfully sold.
There’s no easy path to take on your start-up journey. No magic pill, no enchanted pitch template, no secret society of investors - there is only you. Your vision, your team, your energy, resilience and focus.
Making it work isn’t easy. That’s why less than 1% of start-ups take off.
But we are responding.
Last year there were 5.7 million private sector businesses in the UK, but for the first time in recent memory, we didn’t see a year on year increase. While new start-ups were obviously created – we estimate around 330,000 – that rate is slowing and being off-set by the number of companies being dissolved. Investment continued to flow with $8bn of VC funds and $40bn of exits; the UK still leads Europe. But here at ground level we see a change in the temperature - capital Investment is slowing and increasingly difficult to gain.
On top of this, automation is starting to reshape the workplace, corporates are adding and shedding people as they go, the hard and soft skills necessary for success in the 21st century are more agile and entrepreneurial. The days of a job for life. and a guaranteed pension are gone.
So as the world of work continues to change, increasing
numbers of people will look to develop their own start-ups. And what they need
most is practical advice, moral support and access to those who would help them
succeed, which is where we come in.
Each SLP fellow actively participates in six months of intensive peer-to-peer training. We focus on you, the entrepreneur and support you in the creation of your start-up. During this time, you’ll meet many experienced entrepreneurs, executives and investors. SLP fellows, supporters and mentors share a strong sense of purpose and community.
As a result, we’ve had SLP fellows meet and become co-founders, even close their own start-ups to become VCs going in to invest in other fellows – the program is designed to help you focus on what you really want to do, by surrounding yourself with people who can help you do it.
We expect significant involvement from all successful candidates. This is a very hands-on program, designed to encourage your entrepreneurial approach. Fellows will co-construct and co-organise the program during the six months of education and across all 18 classes, workshops, simulations and study groups. We call on fellows to actively participate in the development and growth of the community.
SLP is the first not-for-profit education program for
entrepreneurs. We take no equity but we have a clear and simple mission - that
the very best entrepreneurs are among the world’s greatest forces for positive
change. In return for helping you, we ask that at the end of the program you
commit to use your talent, wealth or resources to help those not as fortunate
and able to help themselves. To give back..
We are supported by amazing sponsors and mentors, all of whom, have freely and enthusiastically provided help as speakers, judges, panellists and friends. Many of our returning fellows have founded breakthrough and award-winning start-ups like Lantum, SoPost, Mangahigh, MyBnk, Aire, POQ, ClikD, Secret Sessions, Lernably, The Better Schools Project.
The program focuses on you, the entrepreneur, rather than your start-up.
And our fellows are members for life, wherever their start-ups take them.
SLP is open to all but we are selective in looking for leadership, calibre, openness and ability to contribute to the community. We want to put the best class together in each city, so fellows benefit from diverse experiences and backgrounds. The class environment and culture of our network is really important, as fellows regularly share experiences and challenges in an open and supportive environment.