corkscrew startup school

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  • Introducing a four-week business start-up program for college students. Learn to start your own business and develop your creative problem solving skills, initiative and leadership with Corkscrew Thinking.

    Learn business start-up: Innovative Entrepreneurship Program

    More Information At

    3 Years of ExperienceIn Running This Program

    Over 200 StudentsHave Joined Us So Far

    Over 20 College PartnersLocated Around Europe

  • OverviewThis program is for students aged 17+ and teaches business start-up in order to develop three key employability skills: creative problem solving,

    self-learning initiative and confidence in leadership.


  • Key Learning OutcomesThis highly practical four week business program develops students through structured workshops, challenges &

    Learn key business concepts including customers, competitors & marketing

    More confidence in public speaking, presentations and leading groups

    Improved use of business English and communication skills to present ideas

    Improved ability to create original solutions to challenging problems

    Improved creativity finding viable business opportunities and acting upon them appropriately

    Improved ability to teach oneself key skills using the latest technologies and publicly-available materials

    Corkscrew Group 9, Daniel Beerstecher, Germany

  • Why Choose Us As Your Partner?

    Our unique approach has been developed to push the boundaries of vocational education in order to deliver the best learning experience we can. Through the new Erasmus+ funding program within the EU, we have been able to develop our unique approach and have been successful in securing funding for over 20 educational bodies since we first launched the program.

    We are now making the program available to educational bodies outside the EU as well. Corkscrew can deliver the following:

    Boosting Technical SkillsLearn design, presentation and practical business skills.

    Boosting EmployabilityLearn valuable employability skills and build your CV.

    Modernising Education & TrainingCreative challenges, group projects and mentorship in a real business environment.

    Developing EntrepreneurshipLearn every aspect of business start-up in an engaging way.

    Corkscrew Group 17, June 2014


    While traditional internships can provide first-hand business experience, they dont always provide the best learning environment for an individual.

    Not only will those joining a Corkscrew program gain a higher level of practical experience and responsibility than if they had attended a similar internship program, they will also receive hands-on training in business start-up, full 1-to-1 mentorship throughout the program as well as access to an active community of like minded international individuals. Our program has a keen focus on supporting individuals in many ways that internships simply cannot.

  • What is Corkscrew Thinking?Corkscrew Thinking is about using three key skills: Creative problem solving,

    self-learning initiative and confidence in leadership. Many employers and educators are actively looking for these three skills in candidates over qualifications and experience.



    The term was famously coined by Winston Churchill to describe creative problem solvers that could create innovative solutions. It quickly gained popularity after Corkscrew Thinkers launched Operation Mincemeat during the Second World War one of the most successful military deceptions since the Trojan Horse!


    Corkscrew Thinking is about seeing the world differently: Its about finding an original, creative solution to every situation. Its about agile learning and being resourceful enough to teach yourself new skills as and when you need them. Its about using courage and insight to lead others and fight against injustices.

    Corkscrew Thinking BasicsCorkscrew Thinking is like Design Thinking for business, combining problem solving, learning and leadership skills.

    We believe anyone can benefit from learning to act like a Corkscrew Thinker whether they are bound for education, employment or entrepreneurship. A Corkscrew Thinker is someone who can react to problems creatively, intelligently and with real passion and cultural insight.

    Facing an uncertain future, we need all of the Corkscrew Thinkers we can get.

    Corkscrew Group 13, Wendy Roberts, NL


    Corkscrew was founded in 2010 by a collective of passionate entrepreneurs who believe that the education system could benefit from an entrepreneurial mindset, and set about to develop a program that could inspire students to take action in vocational setting. We want our participants to learn more, do more and achieve more using the fundamental skills used by entrepreneurs and Corkscrew Thinkers everywhere - creative problem solving, self development and leadership.

    Were passionate about the development of young adults and we believe in giving them the best future possible. We believe our programs are helping to do just that.

    Our BackgroundNeil Finnie, Corkscrew Mentor & Founder, with Svenja Gliem, Germany


    Weve been successfully running, developing and growing this program for the last three years, accessing over 5m to deliver the program through the Leonardo Mobility and new Erasmus+ funding (KA1 VET Learners Mobility) dealing with cultural learning experiences across Europe.

    Our focus has always been on empowering individuals to do more. We believe in creating entrepreneurial environments that help individuals to develop and grow. We believe in this program 100% and we are excited to be offering this opportunity to more students this year.

    So far weve helped over 200 students improve their thinking and go on to get great jobs, join prestigious educational institutes and to start their own amazing business projects.

    We believe in constantly improving and updating the program materials to keep them timely, relevant and to give the most worthwhile and rewarding experience we can provide. Any participants on the program will get access to our materials for ever afterwards, including new content and updates to our materials - a permanent learning resource to take them where they want to go.

    So far weve successfully accessed over 5m in funding

    Were currently working with over 20 educational partners

    In three years weve worked with over 200 students

    Tom Brushwood, Corkscrew Mentor

  • This program in detailThis program focuses on developing the three main skills of Corkscrew Thinking by

    helping students learn how to start a business. Whether you're an absolute beginner or an experienced entrepreneur, this program has something for everyone.


  • This is a four week program designed for students aged 17+ who want to learn how to create innovative ideas, present themselves with confidence, lead group situations and work with real clients.

    By using the concept of starting a business weve found we can instil the three key skills of Corkscrew Thinking and qualities into our students, while giving them tangible

    business and marketing experience in a variety of areas.

    Whether bound for further education, employment or entrepreneurship, this program is designed to benefit students from all backgrounds and interests. This is a free beneficial learning experience, fully funded for both students and colleges and were quite sure that its unlike anything else in existence.

    The Focus of this Program...Were quite sure its unlike anything else in existence.

    Corkscrew Group 9, Emilia Tornell, Sweden

  • This program is for students aged 17+ who are driven, curious, open-minded, looking for a challenge, and eager to learn about many aspects of business development, marketing, communication and international culture.

    This program is a collection of unique learning exercises, challenges and real client projects building towards an intensive and worthwhile experience. The program combines mentor lead learning, self-learning and peer to peer learning techniques and provides a compelling look into the world of business start-ups.

    Who is this program for?

    Designed for students aged 17+ from any background

    pursuing marketing, business, hospitality, tourism, HR,

    admin, economics or design

    Were looking for open minded students with a keen interest

    in business

    Corkscrew Group 9, Hanna Hartikainen, Sweden

  • Learn business start-up

    This program offers students the opportunity to learn many aspects of contemporary business and marketing strategy including how to:

    Understand the key concepts of business

    Create your first feasible business idea

    Create a Killer Pitch to impress any audience

    Build a website quickly and easily

    Develop your self-brand and CV

    Use business to solve problems & help others

    Finance a start-up in the age of the Internet

    Use social media to market your business

    Create a logo and brand for your start-up

    How to network without the trade fairs!

  • And Consult for a business

    On this program, students have the opportunity to work directly with a local client on a small consulting project to put their business knowledge to the test.

    This project is an important part of the program and gives our students the chance to gain real consulting experience, perfect for CVs and practical learning. They will gain experience working as part of

    a small team in a professional setting whilst learning about client management and project management skills.

    The type of project varies from program to program and could include a social media strategy, a competitor analysis, event planning, revenue research, customer research or small website project.

    Here are some of the projects weve worked on in the past:

    New Marketing Campaign For

    Revenue Stream Research For Kaizen

    Brand Identity Design For Sign Up

  • Build Creativity & Problem Solving SkillsWe help to develop students freethinking and creative thinking abilities which help them to move into any career that requires creative problem solving skills.

    Build Initiative & Learning SkillsUsing the latest online resources and technologies, learn to trust your own instincts and teach yourself just about anything quickly and effectively. Learn to teach others using an assortment of engaging communication methods.

    Build Confidence & Leadership Skills We run creative learning exercises that promote presentation public speaking and leadership skills to sharpen anyones confidence.

    Build Practical Skills & Business ExperienceStudents will be able to try many different areas of business, marketing, communications and management to find the direction that is right for them. They will also gain real international consulting experience - great for a CV!

    Key Skill Takeaways

    Develop Networking Skills & OpportunitiesEach participant has the option join our active community of Corkscrew Thinkers based all over the world who are available for help, advice and collaboration. Our community have gone on to launch exciting business start-up ventures, enrol in exclusive university programs and have found some pretty amazing jobs. Now your students will be able to join their ranks.

    Corkscrew Group 9, Birte Jetter, Germany


    Each day focuses on a new topic that builds into an overall journey - everything you need to know about business start-up from start to finish.

    The program has a large emphasis on working in varied groups to create and present new ideas, supporting leadership and presentation skill development throughout.1-to-1 support is given by mentors on a daily basis to encourage students own development of ideas. Online email support is provided out of hours and all program materials as well as various bonus learning materials will be accessible during and post-program.

  • Program SuccessesWeve had great success running this program. In the last three years alone, weve helped over 200 students develop and grow, receiving excellent feedback across

    the board from students, colleges and partners.


  • Ian Leoneard, Ireland

    "I would recommend this opportunity to absolutely everyone.

    It has been an amazing and enlightening experience that I am so delighted to have been part of.

    The lessons and skills learned here were taught in a way that I have

    never experienced before, and that is a big credit to the Corkscrew team."

    Emily Li, Sweden

    "It's definitely been a great experience staying with a real

    British family and living everyday life with them, but my favourite

    things were the projects, presentations and lectures we've

    been given on the program. I feel so much more confident in myself and

    its been a real inspiration."

    Sebastian McKenna Long, Ireland

    "Regardless of your background you will learn so, so much from

    working at Corkscrew. Aside from experience using crucial platforms

    such as Google AdWords, Analytics, SEO etc., I developed enormous confidence, creativity and presentation skills. I highly

    recommend this program!"

    Olivier Choquereau, France

    "For me, working with Corkscrew was about cultural exchange, developing my knowledge in a

    range of areas and learning more about entrepreneurship. This program has helped me grow amazingly over the last few

    weeks and I will never forget such an amazing experience."

    Gulcan Akyel, Germany

    "It was definitely a great experience. It was good working with people

    from different cultures and backgrounds, giving me a better understanding of their working methods. The best thing about

    this program for me was building a great social network and meeting

    friends that Ill never forget!"

    Would our participants recommend this program?

  • Successful Start-ups LaunchedFor those students that do want to venture into entrepreneurship, we have a great track record for helping them start and grow. Here are a few of our favourite start-ups we've helped to launch:

    D.R.A.W.Offering graphic recording services for conferences and events, DRAW is already working at big events around Dublin and London.

    Soul SoupLike the Innocent Smoothies of the soup world, Soul Soup provides healthy, wholesome soup for the masses.

    Jolie Life FoundationJolie Life organises events and support for those who develop eating disorders later in life, often during stressful times in their life.

    Bike BugCreating an innovative new way of charging devices while riding a bike, we helped Bike Bug develop the concept and secure funding.

    Red CauliflowerOffering bespoke and customised vintage jackets and bags, Red Cauliflower is now being stocked in fashion outlets across Amsterdam.

    Corkscrew Group 12, Cilia The (Red Cauliflower), NL

  • We'd like to offer this program to youWe've had a successful few years and we now are very excited to be able to offer

    this opportunity to more students. We're looking for more educational partners to join us and give their students the educational experience of a lifetime.


  • To give you an idea of what this program is all about, we've included some useful materials in this pack. If you did not receive any and are interested, please contact us for a copy.

    What's Included In This Pack

    Program Syllabus & TimetableWe've included a breakdown of all training topics covered on the program, as well as a rough timetable of how each of the four weeks break down into presentations, games, challenges and project work (working with a client).

    Welcome PresentationWe've also included one of the first presentations we deliver on the program which explains a little more about who we are and the ethos behind the program. We've also attached some advice we give to participants early on - no divas!

    Student Recruitment Posters & FormsWe can send you these resources separately. If you would like support with student recruitment then please contact us to find out how we can assist you.

  • Please Get in touch with us!If you love this program as much as we do and are interested in finding out more, please email Mark Flynn on [email protected] or Neil Finnie on [email protected] Theyll get back to you as soon as possible to discuss the possible partnership options.

    Please visit: (Partnerships With Ireland) (UK Program Support)

    Neil Finnie, Corkscrew Mentor & Founder

  • CORKSCREW 201411-15 Dix's Field, Exeter,

    Devon, UK. EX1 1QA