Starting a business is hard. You’re often on your own, there’s a million jobs to do, and you’ve probably only done a couple of them before. Founders by nature have to be sponges, soaking up essential, practical knowledge wherever they can, whether it’s from an acquaintance who’s just raised SEIS funding for their on-demand barbers’ marketplace, or through a sheepish incognito Google for ‘how do I promote my startup’. Finding relevant, trustworthy advice can be a nightmare. Once you’re off the ground though, scaling up is even harder. There’s a whole new bunch of stuff you’ve never done before, and now you’re responsible for other people’s lives 😱
Economy of scaleups
Since 2014, our online learning platform the Digital Business Academy has been the destination of an algorithmically-defined tranche of those Google searches, by frazzled founders and improvising side-hustlers. Offering free bitesize courses on startup essentials such as ‘how to make a basic product to test‘ and ‘how to assess your competition‘, our learning platform has supported over 25,000 aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs. But for a little while now we’ve thought it’s about time we extend our digital offering to provide support through the whole of a business’s growth journey. Testament to the UK’s Darwin-confounding tech ecosystem evolution, there is new demand for mid-stage startup support from across the whole country, and almost too many Series As to count. So we’re scaling our content so you can scale your startup. The Digital Business Academy now offers courses in marketing, product, talent and funding, from ‘how entrepreneurs think up ideas‘, to ‘Raising Series B‘.
We’ve taken insights from three years’ worth of Founders’ Network – our peer learning founder community – and Upscale – our competitive offline growth programme for mid-stage UK tech companies – and distilled them into the next stage of online knowledge sharing, with universal access. Based on curated workshops by the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts, our new mid-stage courses are the first of their kind for those entrepreneurs who have passed the idea stage, have a company, and are ramping up to scale.
On the addition of new early- and mid-stage learning content for new and existing Digital Business Academy users, our Learning Lead Ed Willis said: “We’re really excited to offer these new courses for busy, ambitious entrepreneurs. They’re practical, to the point and focussed on the biggest challenges we know founders face.”
We’re acutely aware that founders are busy, time-poor people, so our courses are built to suit them. Rather than lengthy modules with broad titles and long-winded theoretical explanations (those can be great too), our courses are practical and petit – on the Digital Business Academy you can learn a new skill inside 15 minutes. They’re short enough and freely accessible so that you can pop back and refresh your expertise whenever you like. And completing multiple courses will unlock certificates and rewards such as free mentoring, funding opportunities and co-working space.
Take their word for it
We can wax lyrical about the Digital Business Academy, but who better to hear from than those founders who’ve used our courses to upskill themselves while creating and building their businesses? This is who we’ve built our new courses for. The UK’s ambitious tech entrepreneurs.
“The Digital Business Academy hugely helped me when I was in the early stages of launching my company. Understanding the metrics through which to monitor growth and performance, and creating an effective marketing plan are two examples of how I used the DBA to bolster my company’s growth” – Toby Fox, Founder, Moorspace
“The DBA’s bite-sized content and live events make it easy for me to gain the skills I need to help Branswer achieve its ambitious goals.” Kayla Herbert, Founder, Branswer
“Damn, I can sell Zest like no tomorrow, but it’s hard to really put into words how cool the Digital Business Academy is… – Kevin Shingles, Co-founder, Zest