CB: The ICSB Academy is an intense bootcamp for college students considering careers in entrepreneurship. It is one month of preparation followed by an intensive week abroad. Previous Academies were held in Dubai, New York, and El Gouna. This June we are holding it in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
MH: Entrepreneurship bootcamps are becoming popular in universities. What makes the ICSB Academy special?
CB: The Academy is held in conjunction with the World Conference of the International Council for Small Business – a prestigious annual event that attracts the best entrepreneurship practitioners, educators, policy makers, and government officials from around the world. Academy students participate in many of the World Conference activities. I can think of no other venue where students interact one-on-one with such dignitaries, and are given such a global perspective to the field of entrepreneurship.
MH: How do students respond to the Academy format?
CB: The international setting initially takes students out of their “comfort zone.” They then focus more on their surroundings and on team building with peers from around the world. Students learn business tools and startup strategies they would never see at home. Many students tell us afterwards how this global perspective was a life-changing experience.
MH: Is this year’s Academy different from previous years?
CB: We are maintaining the depth and breadth of previous ICSB Academies: a focus on practical entrepreneurship tools while preserving a global perspective. To accommodate more advanced topics in entrepreneurship, such as complex business models and international strategies for customer discovery, this year we are starting Academy activities one month before we all convene in Buenos Aires. These pre-travel activities cover prerequisite topics so that Academy students are ready to “hit the ground running” when they land in Argentina.