The program was built from the ground up and consisted of 51 course videos, 6 weekly homework, assessments, 7 live sessions and support from the industry. We recruited 100+ teams to participate in the program and achieved a completion rate that significantly outperformed the industry benchmark.
In addition to the virtual program, winners of the program pitch night continue to receive strategic support and coworking space from Haymarket HQ. The program was enthusiastically received by the participants and resulted in dozens of positive (unsolicited!) reviews. As one participant expressed: “The FFWD program helped me stay motivated during lockdown. I felt like I didn’t have that much more to learn but it turns out that there is always something new to learn.”
As a result of the program, NSW is now home to 21 more startups that are now on track to develop the jobs of the future. A number of the graduates have also progressed to applying for Australia’s top accelerator programs to raise funding and continue their entrepreneurial journey.
Challenges and recommendations
The program was launched during COVID-19 amid one of the most turbulent times in recent global history. The lockdown and future uncertainty impacted people from all walks and backgrounds, including international students.
The program had to be overhauled to align with new government directives and market changes thus we developed it remotely with a distributed team. Despite the challenges, we were fortunate to have had extensive experience developing virtual programs and received strong support from industry, which allowed us to reach more students than expected and develop a program built on digital-first educational principles.
As a result of COVID19, the international student market in Australia has undergone structural changes and we therefore recommend education providers to take a hybrid offline and online approach that caters to students regardless of their location, whether in Australia or abroad, and one that follows best digital first educational practices.
Visit www.haymarkethq.com to learn more about the program and to get in contact with the Team.