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As we head into the 21st century, you might have noticed an increase in so-called "alt-MBA" s.
If you're a budding entrepreneur or business person, you might find that the Ivy League price tag of $100,000+ for an MBA is just a bit too steep.
So the Founders Academy alt-MBA might seem like a particularly tempting option.
But is it worth the time-investment or mental exertion that a nine-month full-time course can take? And what does the course look like anyway?
The good news is that we at systeme.io have done our due diligence to present you with a breakdown of the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to considering The Founders Academy for your alt-MBA needs.
Based in the UK's thriving capital city, The Founders Academy is a London-based alt-MBA course founded by Harvard Business School graduate, and Founders Academy CEO, Riya Pabari, and her partner Asha Haji.
As you might expect from an endeavor including startup master Hoberman.
The Founders Academy's intention is to broaden the talent base for European based startup companies and encourage those who might be considering moving into the startup world.
What particularly stands out when it comes to The Founders Academy is that the course is completely free for participants.
Not only that, but in the placement part of the course, learners earn a stipend of £1800.
The course focuses on developing what it calls "Adaptability Quotient," and is broken into four sections.
The online pre-program includes a 1:1 in-person career coaching session, which includes an AQ assessment.
This provides the teaching staff with the opportunity to develop personalized learning outcomes and to provide you with pre-course online learning opportunities.
There is also a Slack channel, which allows you access to other professionals with whom you can network.
For twelve weeks, you will take part in a project-structured learning experience that will open you up to the strategies and skills needed in a startup.
They will also provide you with resources, tools, and information on how to work in a startup environment from day one.
The Founders Academy's focus is on producing "T-Shaped leaders" who have a breadth of knowledge, mastery of specific skills, and the ability to collaborate and contribute within a team.
The significant part of the course is made up of a six-month placement at one of the Founders Academy's partner startups.
The startups have been selected to reflect their potential for growth, culture, and impact.
In reality, this looks like 4.5 days a week at the startup, and then a half-day back on campus to share your findings and learn from your peers.
Founders Academy considers itself a launching pad for a career, as well as the opportunity to develop a community of graduates.
Through access to partner companies, there is an opportunity to apply for permanent positions within the partner companies.
Graduates will also be invited to help with future cohorts in a mentorship role.
The aim of the Founders Academy is to build a cohort of well-trained and focused professionals who will be able to join the startup world and, ultimately, lead the Academy to glory.
The focus is predominantly on tech-startups, so you'll want to make sure this aligns with your interests.
Cohorts are small - the first January 2020 cohort was 16 people.
In terms of personality traits, Founders Academy is looking for self-starters and creative problem solvers who love learning and see themselves as empathetic leaders.
The ability to be a team player is essential, as is having a track record of inspiring others.
Application to Founders Academy involves a screening process and is by invitation only.
There are a few non-negotiable specifics that you must meet.
There are three stages to applying.
If you're looking for a more traditional learning model, then the speed and focus of an alt-MBA is unlikely to work for you.
The same also goes for people who are looking for a specific corporate job after graduation.
The focus on the course is expressly for those who want to join the startup revolution.
If you're looking for more esoteric, and theory-based learning, you're better off looking at something like the Founders Classical Academies.
In all fairness, the Founders Academy has only just begun - the initial cohort began in January, and the course has had to contend with a global pandemic in the meantime.
So it's hard to say whether or not a Founders Academy alt-MBA is going to work out how it intends.
Over the next couple of years, it's going to be interesting to see if we hear more from successful graduates, or if the biggest names around the course are going to be those who founded it.
However, if you've found yourself in a position where you're looking at making a new career choice, or considering breaking into the world of startups, the most winning aspect of the Founders Academy is that it costs you nothing to try.
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