Ustvarjalnik runs entrepreneurship clubs in high schools where students start their first businesses. After covering 1/3 of the school system in Slovenia, we are scaling across the world.

About our work How you can help

A letter from the founder:

USTVARJALNIK NEEDS YOUR HELP TO SCALE ACROSS THE WORLD

Ustvarjalnik is a for-profit social venture that teaches high school students how to earn a living by doing what they love. We give our students a “sandbox” for entrepreneurship: resources, mentorship, guidance and encouragement to start their first business.

We are teaching the young generation to become more entrepreneurial and thus better prepared for an uncertain future ahead. 

We’ve had a very successful five years. Our best teenage startups have seen hundreds of thousands of userswon international competitionsraised investmentjoined accelerators and been accepted to renowned universities like Stanford, Harvard, Royal College of London, etc.

We fund our program by charging a monthly fee to schools who pay to host our clubs. 

The schools pay $220 per program per month, and our monthly costs (mentor, materials) are just under $110. This model enables us to bring impact at large scale.

After scaling our program to over 1/3 of the schools in our home country, Slovenia, we are now preparing to expand across the world.

In order to make this happen, we have partnered with Up Global (StartupWeekend.org) to scale globally. We will use their network of Startup Weekend organizers to bring our programs into new geographies (they currently operate in 700 cities where there are approx. 25,000 high schools).

We are now looking for partners who will help us kickstart this expansion. 

We are raising $100.000 to cover the upfront costs of scaling.

$100.000 will pay for a resource kit for individuals around the world to start chapters of our program, cover the costs of finding, selecting and training the mentors included in the pilot program, and to support them until they can run our program on their own.

The funds will be enough to start 150 pilot chapters in 5 countries, and will be significant for us because:

  • the learning from this initial pilot will give us the knowledge needed to expand across the world.
  • the revenues from the first pilot will enable us to grow organically from then on and there will be no need for additional fundraising.

I am inviting you to join us on our journey.

Matija Goljar,
founder and CEO
Matija_Kuli

With support from our advisory board:
Pascal Finette
Danielle Strachman
Boštjan Špetič
Eric Glustrom
Banks Benitez
Ronald Boehm
Chris Yeh
Singularity University Labs,
CEO
Peter Thiel Fellowship,
manager
Zemanta,
founder
Watson University,
president
Unreasonable Institute,
head of Scale
BOMA Invest,
president
Wasabi Ventures,
managing partner
and:
Honorary patron of Ustvarjalnik: President of Slovenia, mr. Borut Pahor

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*takes you to a new page with the contribution form


Read a more in-depth project description below: 

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Our program

Curriculum

Background

Ustvarjalnik was born out of an entrepreneurship club at a school in Slovenia. Students met once a week with their mentor and worked on their first project. Soon thereafter there were two clubs, then 8, and a year after that Ustvarjalnik expanded to 53 schools, covering 1/3 of the school system in Slovenia.

Early successes of the student teams brought attention to the small project Ustvarjalnik was in the first years. In 2013, the Slovenian public agency for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Development officially included our program in the national strategy for economic growth.

That year also marked the start of a project of curriculum development in Ustvarjalnik. Two new subjects on career skills and entrepreneurship were piloted in select high schools.

Winners of our end-of-year competitions have consistently been accepted into top universities, are sought-after recruits, started funded startups, won international science competitions…

Recently, our contribution to the business ecosystem of the country was recognised by the President of Slovenia who became our Honorary Patron. Our first project together was the biggest event in Ustvarjalnik’s history – a 3-day startup marathon, that was held in the Palace of the President of Slovenia. 17 teenage startups presented their work to a live audience on television.

We are a for-profit social venture that was founded in 2009. In 2014 we were a part of the Unreasonable Institute accelerator for social ventures. We have raised a round of capital in 2014 from Ronald BoehmChris YehPeter Ribarič and other investors that helped us transition from volunteer and part time staff to a professional team. We are nearing profitability at the current scale in Slovenia.

You can read more about our past activities in our Funder reports:

The Plan

We consider our past work in Slovenia only as a proof of concept. The experience of scaling our clubs out of one class to a third of the national school system taught us many important lessons. Most importantly, it helped us create a model for teaching students to become entrepreneurs that creates a lasting impact in a scalable and sustainable way.

We plan to scale our network of entrepreneurship clubs across the world with the help of Startup Weekend / Up Global – an international movement of local volunteers that organise Startup Weekends, events where people get together to start their first startups.

We will invite their local organisers to become the mentors of entrepreneurship clubs in their home towns and support them by sharing our experience and methodology with them. That way they can replicate our successes in their respective countries.

Our proposition to local organisers is simple. We will teach them how to be a mentor of an entrepreneurship club and show them how they can convince their local school to host it. The school will pay a monthly fee for the program and we split that fee between the mentor and Ustvarjalnik. We will provide them with support and teaching materials and invite their students to our competitions and events.

We will start in a select number of geographies and learn from the process, then in years to come we aim to organically grow around the world.

The Goal

We aim to start 150 entrepreneurship clubs in 5 countries in the next school year.

This alone will enable us to help about 3,000 students start their first business every year and do this in a sustainable way without the need for further funding.

Additionally, this will generate enough cash flow for us to grow our impact without the need for additional funding.

We plan to become a global sandbox for entrepreneurs, giving every student an opportunity to start their first business while still in high school.

There are approximately 25,000 high schools across the world that are a fit to host our program.

The ask

We are looking to raise $100,000 to cover the costs of developing all the materials and helping local teams kickstart this program in their regions.
We humbly invite you to join our movement by contributing towards our funding goal!

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www.calypsoproject.co                     www.monitiobracelet.com

Use of funds

The partnership with Up Global presents us with an unique opportunity. The network they established around the world is a perfect pipeline for our expansion. It enables us to increase our impact much faster than we would be able to on our own.

The funds we raise will be used to resource the mentors to deliver our program and help them start 150 entrepreneurship clubs in the next academic year. From then onwards, the program will be financed by the schools that will host the chapters.

MATERIALS & RESOURCES
Online resource kits with teaching aids and materials $21,000
Promotional materials, letters to principals and program descriptions, partnership and sponsorship proposals $3,000
Cost of translation $4,000
Production of training videos for mentors $16,000
ON THE GROUND TRAINING
Venue rental and other event cost $12,000
Travel and accommodation cost for the facilitation team $19,000
MENTOR SUPPORT
Salary for an administrator (part time) $12,000
Implementation of a CRM system $3,000
TOTALS
Subtotal $90,000
Cushion $10,000
TOTAL $100,000
The profits from increased scale will drive further expansion. We will invest the profit to take our program to more schools and anticipate no additional need for fundraising.

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*takes you to a new page with the contribution form


Your contribution is tax-deductible and falls under the rules of the 501(c)(3) status.

P.S. Do you want to fund an expansion of our program to where you live?
If so, send an email to matija@ustvarjalnik.org to find out more.

ustvarjalnik

Ustvarjalnik: teaching students how to earn a living by doing what they love.