Starting in fall 2017, Finnish high school students can take courses in entrepreneurship, as a new virtual high school specialized in startup culture will be kicked off in Finland. Behind this initiative are the organizers of Slush, HundrED and educational provider Otava Academy.
In Finland, there are already several program-specific high schools which specialize in as visual arts, music, sports or drama. Startup High School will provide virtual entrepreneurial studies for all high school students, starting in fall 2017.
“Regardless of the name, the main focus of the high school is not only in the startup culture. It’s more about wanting to evoke the interest of students and giving them the opportunity of doings great things within a variety of fields. It can be charity, science or art, you name it,” explains Marianne Vikkula, CEO of Slush.
All of the teaching will take place either online or in different learning environments beyond the school gates. In the beginning the syllabus will consist of three courses. All of the syllabuses will incorporate the theory and fundamentals of entrepreneurship, different kinds of creative thinking and problem-solving tasks and practices.
“We decided to start off with three courses because we want to guarantee high-level quality teaching for our students. The plan is to add more courses to the syllabuses in the future,” explains principal Pekka Peura.
The following experts of startup culture have already agreed to give keynote speeches at Startup High School: Marianne Vikkula from Slush, Miki Kuusi from Wolt, Tuuli Kaskinen from Demos, Ilkka Paananen from Supercell, Linda Liukas from Hello Ruby, the CEO of Helsinki Design Week Kari Korkman and the founder of Sudden Coffee Kalle Freese. Keynote speeches will also be given by show business experts Jukka Hildén and Jarno Laasala from the Dudesons and Arman Alizad. The expertise of music business will be shared by the rap duo JVG.
Startup High School will be launched with a pilot experiment in Fall 2017. Ten high schools and 100 students will be selected as part of the pilot experiment.
“Our goal is that every Finnish high school could become a Startup High School in the future. We want every student to be able to attend the lectures at Startup High School despite their physical location,” says Saku Tuominen, Creative Director of HundrED.
The project is non-profit and the implementation of the pilot experiment has been enabled by the partners OP and Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation.