The Flipped Entrepreneurship Teacher

Let’s “teach” entrepreneurship the way it’s actually done in the real world.

Let’s use self-directed learning, where students have to figure out what to do next rather than giving them a syllabus, assigning them homework, and telling them what to read.

Let’s use trade books and blogs written by entrepreneurs who share personal startup experiences rather than textbooks that propose academic concepts and theories backed up by third-person examples.

Let’s use facilitation and mentoring so the students can learn the subject matter, rather than lecturing which assumes that we can teach it.

Let’s encourage experiments that might lead to failure and lessons learned, rather than using “proven” strategies that work for others in totally different contexts.

Let’s use immersion learning, where students actually do a startup, rather than reading and discussing case studies of past situations or doing a consulting project for a small business.

Let’s use business model canvases, which take 15 minutes to create, are a 1-page visual, are easy to update, and will actually be read by others, rather than business plans, which take 200+ hours to write, are 25-50 pages long, are a pain to revise, and are never read by anyone.

Let’s respond to what the students want to learn and need to learn based on their own experiences and ambitions, rather than lesson plans that assume they’re all coming from and going to the same place.

Let’s use videos, mobile apps, the cloud, and free services like real startups do, rather than slide decks, handouts, DVDs, and ridiculously expensive books and case studies.

Let’s use clarifying questions and shared experiences, which involve the students’ thinking capabilities and encourage active listening, rather than lectures which dull their interest and attention.

Let’s use ambiguity and uncertainty so they can get out of their comfort zone, rather than formulaic, step-by-step processes that give them a false impression of the entrepreneurial experience.

Let’s require customer interviews and the creation of minimum viable products, rather than doing market research on the Internet or feasibility studies.

Let’s start creating ways for students to learn entrepreneurship rather than continuing to believe that we can teach it.