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Spike Lab - Is It a Worthwhile Incubator Program for High School Students?

If you are a high school student with a keen interest in entrepreneurship and business, you should be considering enrolling for incubator programs! These programs function as a crash course in innovation and the fundamentals of business, and also demonstrate your commitment to making impactful changes. While participating in an incubator is a no-brainer if you’re dedicated to pursuing entrepreneurship, it can also be good for your college applications as the skills you pick up in such programs will serve you well regardless of where you choose to study or work. Today’s blog is an in-depth look at the Spike Lab incubator program and what makes it a valuable learning experience.


What is Spike Lab?

Spike Lab is a three-month long incubator program that coaches you through the process of identifying, launching and growing a "Spike" — a meaningful, impactful project that showcases your passions and skills. You’ll be working one-on-one with seasoned entrepreneurs and changemakers via remote weekly coaching and learn how to transform your big idea into a real product or service that can make a tangible difference. 


How is Spike Lab structured?

Spike Lab offers a minimum three months of tailored coaching across the following 6 stages of incubation:

  1. Founder Story - Identifying and developing the direction of your Spike, closely tied to your own origin story as a founder and your personal brand.

  2. Identification - Brainstorming and strategizing to identify the idea you will pursue as your Spike.

  3. Validation - Going from idea to model and strategy, with plenty of interviews, testing and networking to minimize risk and validate key assumptions.

  4. Launch - Execute your go-to-market plan with a minimum viable product.

  5. Traction - Pivot and / or iterate to gain traction with your MVP and attempt to reach critical mass.

  6. Scale - Doing everything possible to scale impressions and user base, including amplification through awards and media coverage.


These six stages are tackled through weekly one-on-one coaching sessions lasting 90 minutes each. You’ll be paired up with one of the Spike coaches, who are all experienced entrepreneurs and graduates of top universities like Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Cornell, Princeton and more. 


These coaches operate as more than just teachers, providing you access to their personal networks and getting their hands dirty to help you make your Spike a reality. All interactions and coaching sessions are conducted online, ensuring you can participate from anywhere. 


While the base program lasts for three months, you can choose to continue with various flexible coaching schedules, accommodating your needs and commitments.


Is it prestigious?

The prestige of Spike Lab is evident in its results. 90% of participants gain admission to one of the top colleges that they were aiming for, with a significant percentage accepted into their "reach" schools. Alumni of the program often continue to thrive academically and professionally, crediting Spike Lab with providing them a substantial edge in the competitive college admissions process. While Spike Lab is expensive, therefore limiting its reach, it can be worth the expense involved if you’re serious about advancing your business idea.


Who is eligible and how does the application work?

To be eligible for Spike Lab, you just need to be a motivated, high-achieving high school student fluent or proficient in English.


To apply, you will need to engage in a preliminary consultation to discuss your interests and goals. This step ensures that you are paired up with the appropriate coach most closely aligned with your goals.


How much does Spike Lab cost?

The program starts with a 12-session package priced at $6,600. Further sessions can be availed at $550 each, with flexible scheduling options depending on your progress and goals.


There are no financial aid options or scholarships available, which makes it a slightly more expensive option than other incubator programs that offer financial aid, such as the Young Founders Lab!


Pros and Cons of attending

Pros:


  1. Tailored coaching: One of the biggest draws of Spike Lab is the personalized mentorship and one-on-one coaching tailored to your unique goals and requirements.

  2. An impressive college admissions track record: Spike Lab has proven itself to provide its participants an advantage when it comes to improving their profile for admission to top-tier colleges.

  3. Excellent networking opportunities: Through your mentors and coaches, you get direct access to a vast network of successful entrepreneurs as well as alumni from some of the nation’s best universities.


Cons:


  1. It is prohibitively expensive: At $6,600 for the base package, Spike Lab is an expensive program.

  2. There is no financial aid available: Compounding on the previous point, the program becomes even more out of reach as there is no form of financial aid on offer.

  3. No material rewards: While there’s a lot of learning on offer, there’s no guaranteed funding or monetary reward at the end of the program. Your output from it is only as much or as little as you are able to extract from your coaches.


Our review

Spike Lab offers a unique opportunity to amplify your entrepreneurial skills and enhance your college applications. If you're driven, keen on building out a business idea, and able to afford the steep program fees, Spike Lab could be an ideal fit. Not only will you develop a standout project, but you'll also acquire skills and experiences that benefit you far beyond the college admissions process.



Young Fonders Lab

If you’re looking for an incubator program that helps you establish a developed startup in high school, consider the Young Founders Lab! 


The Young Founders Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X. 

You can access te application link here!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


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