TECHNOLOGY & READING MATERIAL
A custom event book with your schedule, exercises, contact information, and plenty of room for notes will be provided.
A smartphone or tablet will be nice to have for completing on-site roundtable preferences. There will be computers available if you need one.
Personal reading materials & devotionals are encouraged but not required; there will be some exercises in your book, but we also encourage you to bring your personal devotional material with you.
TOILETRIES, SHEETS, TOWELS & AMENITIES
A set of fresh bed linens, a pillow, and a towel will be provided for each person at the beginning of the week. Soap will be provided, but attendees should plan to bring all other toiletries. There is a campus store where some items may be available for purchase.
Hair dryers and irons are not provided in the dorm rooms.
The event dress code will be nice, summer casual. Average temperatures for the event week top out in the low 90's and drop to low 70's in the evening. Although we'll be moving in-between venues throughout the day, the areas of campus we'll spend most of our time in will be air-conditioned.
For those who like to run, workout, or play sports, there will be some free time, so we encourage you to bring athletic gear.
MEET THE FACULTY
THE 2017 FACULTY LIST
We've posted the list of founders and thought leaders that will be leading this summer's Academy. We recommend getting to know them by reading their bios and doing additional research prior to the event. This will help you prepare thoughtful, relevant, and deep questions when we're together.
Each year we curate the faculty by inviting a group of 30 successful founders and leading cultural thinkers from across a wide array of industries and sectors. They represent businesses, nonprofits, and social enterprises; both domestic and international.
UNPLUG AND LEAN IN
While your full event schedule won't be revealed until your arrival, we know you're probably curious. We emphasize presence by encouraging you to unplug and be technology free as much as we can.
Your days will be full - since we're only together for a short time we pack a lot in - so it's important hat fully present to soak it all in, so be sure to come well rested and ready to learn. Each day will have a variety of activities and events including great content from our Faculty, smaller group discussions, conversations over meals and workshop style sessions, in addition to free-time and entertainment mixed in.
ACADEMY BEGINS // Monday July 31
12:30pm Registration Opens at Sigma Hall
3:00 - 6:30pm Plenary I // Crowell Auditorium - Crowell Hall across from the Student Union Building
6:30 - 9:00pm Dinner & Evening Activity
ACADEMY CONCLUDES // Friday August 4
1:00pm Checkout // Sigma Hall
1:15pm Lunch and Bus Departures for LAX
*Departure Buses will be assigned on-site
IDEA PITCH NIGHT
WHAT IT IS
On Thursday, we have an open-mic ideas night where people have 90-seconds to pitch. While this is optional, we highly encourage people to share, as this is a unique opportunity to share with a group of like-minded, values-aligned peers.
You -- the Academy 2017 class -- represent a broad and diverse set of passions, interests and skill sets. Though idea pitch night, our hope is twofold. First, that you would build a stronger bond together as a community by hearing the ideas and meeting more of your peers. And second, that you might help one another out in a variety of ways -- including the potential for future co-founders to meet, or new people to join your team if you are already working on an idea.
PARAMETERS & HOW TO PREPARE
1) No sign up ahead of time is needed -- we simply open up the mic and have people jump in to pitch.
2) Each person who wants to pitch has 90-seconds, and there is a hard stop. If you don't finish, you'll need to wrap up as the timer goes off.
*Pro-Tip: In regular conversation we can hardly say who we are and where we're from in 90-seconds! So, write this out, and don't waste words. Then, PRACTICE, practice, practice.
*Pro-Tip: Practice a gracious way to end if you go over time without finishing. "I'm out of time, but if working on solving PROBLEM interests you, find me afterward as I'd love to share more."
3) You can share your current startup that you've already started working on, an idea, a problem you feel a particular burden for, or just something you are passionate about. All of these are welcomed and there is no "better-than" in any of the categories. This summer's Academy class is a powerhouse group that includes current founders, as well as those who are thinking of an idea but haven't started, and those who just generally interested in positively influencing culture but haven't decided on what to work on yet.
4) What to include:
- Name, where you currently live, what school you go to (or went to if graduated)
- Your idea/passion/interest: include the stage you're at (ex: idea, concept, have started and built an app, etc.)
- What the Academy community can help you with: are you looking for a technical co-founder? a marketing / social media guru? feedback on the brand? -- the more specific you are, the better
A particularly helpful framework is to share the difference between "what IS" in the world vs. "what COULD be," and focus on the problem more than just your solution. People are passionate about certain problems in the world, and our hope is that we think about that more than the idea -- because as you'll learn, most successful entrepreneurs rarely succeeded with their first idea, they had to go through multiple pivots.
Pro-Tip: If Jon was writing one for Praxis Academy, it might sound like our promo video:
"Hi, I'm Jon. I live in New York City, went to X school, and I care deeply about the way that Christ-followers embody what we believe in through our work.
There's a narrative in our culture about Millennials. The New York Times wrote an article calling them The Selfie Generation and others have labeled them The Trophy Generation. We don't believe that.
Praxis Academy is an idea to build a community of the most thoughtful next generation leaders who are interested in entrepreneurship to change that narrative. We convene this group at an annual week-long event where they meet successful founders and top cultural thinkers, and get to share their ideas. The event includes not only main stage talks, but a number of different smaller, intimate sessions where you get to know the speakers/mentors personally.
If you're interested in building the next generation of entrepreneurs to create innovative startups that will embody the gospel to a world that desperately needs to see it instead of hear it, come talk to me after. Again, my name is Jon Hart - and even if we don't connect here, you can find my contact info in the book, or visit our website at praxislabs.org. Thank you!"
5) Another frame work to use is from our book "From Concept to Scale." You can view the elevator pitch exercise here.
We connected with Alumni to gather some tips on how to maximize your experience. Check out what they had to say here.