Being an entrepreneur is often more challenging than expected. You can often feel alone and don’t know where to start. That’s why Start-up Leadership Program aims to cultivate a community for entrepreneurs to learn about how to do a star-up together. Originating in Boston in 2006, SLP has rapidly spread to 20 cities around the world across America, Asia and Europe. Last year, SLP was only launched in Beijing and Hong Kong in Asia. This year, the program has expanded to include Shanghai and Taipei.

Start-up Leadership Program is a global 6 month, non-profit, min-MBA program for ambitious entrepreneurs that are working on their start-up. SLP recruits start-ups across the tech, bio-tech, energy and social-enterprise industries. As a highly-selective program, SLP is looking for the best entrepreneurs in each city. The course teaches fellows critical lessons about how to build a product or service, how to build a team, how to fund raise, how to negotiate with investors and how to successfully exit a start-up. The program is lead by the fellows and everyone must contribute to the program by organizing classes, teaching classes and inviting speakers. The goal is to bring industry experts who have relevant experience to the class being taught; for example, venture capital investors might advise on how to raise money, lawyers will advise on how to negotiate a term sheet and successful entrepreneurs will advise on how to build a product and a team.

Last year, I was one of the fellows from the first Beijing chapter and am now a Co-Program Leader for Beijing in conjunction with Yoyao Hsueh from MashUp Asia. Our role will be to ensure the next Beijing chapter runs smoothly and help guide the class of fellows to get the most out of the program. For me, besides learning a lot about how to build a start-up, one of the biggest benefits of joining SLP, is the strong global network of like-minded entrepreneurs who can help you in unimaginable ways. Some teams were even formed among our fellows throughout the program. The connections are invaluable and intelligent, driven and well-resourced people are only a phone call away. From time to time, there are global calls where any fellow can join in and listen to great speakers such as Brad Feld, a Managing Director of Foundry Group and co-founder of TechStars.  Many start-ups who have gone through the program have gone onto other programs such as TechStars and have risen significant funding or successfully exited.

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Jason Lim

Jason is an Australian born Chinese living in Beijing, specializing in entrepreneurship, start-ups and the investment eco-system in China, especially in the tech and social area.