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Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We have answers.

Why choose Y-Labs? How is it different from other programs?

Y-Labs leverages the talent of high-potential teen innovators and entrepreneurs and the expertise of mentors and advisors alongside a world-class curriculum to guide startup teams from the beginning to the end. Real-world challenges faced by an existing organization are sourced from the community into our Idea Hub. This means you will be working on a product with real social impact and significance. 


Additionally, we have a mentorship and expert advisory program that matches you with business professionals that are experts in their field. We are passionate about the success of your project and will continue to provide support even after the program as part of our post-program benefits. 


Rather than modifying an existing program to an online platform, our program virtual-first, and designed for online remote learning. We provide robust support and a well-rounded student experience that virtualizes interactions similar to a classroom environment.


What’s the time commitment like?

Starting from July 13th through August 7th, you need to be available Monday through Friday, 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm PST to attend live class presentations. While all sessions are recorded and made available on our learning platform, you are strongly advised to participate in our live class presentations to solidify your learning to class interactions with instructors and peers. 


Students who show a lack of commitment towards classes and meeting project responsibilities will be asked to discontinue the program.


What are the roles of an advisor, mentor, and facilitator? 


Facilitators are subject matter experts who co-teach classes and/or provide inputs during curriculum development. They will usually be available on the day of classes to answer questions before and after teaching classes.


Advisors are subject matter experts in a specific market, industry, or technology who are available on call for meeting across all the teams. A project team requiring to speak with an advisor will be able to schedule a meeting at specific times during the week, usually for a half-hour consultation. During the consultation, the advisor will seek to guide the project by providing necessary insights to formulate an opinion about the market, product, or technology being developed.


Mentors are experienced professionals who have chosen to adopt a team usually based on their interest in the project area or extensive prior experience. They are going to serve as the team guide from beginning to the end of their project – from problem exploration to user interviews to solution ideation and to product development. Mentors are to serve as team sounding boards and guardians. They also serve as monitor evaluators for the team, providing valuable feedback to keep the team disciplined and focused on their stated objectives.


Speakers are industry leaders and senior executives who will serve as guest speakers during fireside chats offering their wealth of experience and sharing lessons from their personal success, offering inspiration and asking questions both from the moderator and students.


How will this program be inclusive to underprivileged or low-income students? Will there be financial aid?


Yes, there will be financial. Scholarships and tuition assistance opportunities are available. We want to bring a diverse group of talented students, with unique backgrounds. Financial aid will be need-based and considered on a case-by-case basis. We are currently working on sponsorships to increase the pool of partial and full scholarships to our program.


How will the program engage students virtually?


To ensure we re-create the feel of a classroom environment, the majority of our content is delivered live – ensuring instructor-student interaction. We will also strive to recreate multi-dimensional interactions present in the classroom through peer-to-peer learning and networking and live collaboration throughout the program.


The program is designed to be flexible, practical, and you will have the opportunity to work on your projects either individually or within a startup team. You get the opportunity to experience hands-on exposure to emerging technology and advice from industry experts. 


We are looking for self-motivated individuals that will drive themselves to do the best they can, given the circumstances. Mentors will also be available to check in with you on your progress and answer any questions you might have. 


Why is the cost as it is? What am I paying for?


Participants will be trained to develop design thinking, problem solving, and entrepreneurial skills that will be useful for a lifetime. In this 4-week program, we will provide approximately 80 hours of instructional time, mentorship from real-life professionals, and post-program support. 


How will students form groups? How many students per group?


Early in the program, we will teach self-leadership and team formation. Participants will be provided the opportunity to network with peers and conduct initial team exercises to explore possible fit for a project team. 


We expect that teams size will range from  3-5 students depending on the project requirements and skill-set required to run each project. 


What does the curriculum look like? What would a sample class day look like?


Please refer to the Summer 2020 page for the curriculum description for this summer’s program. As for a sample day, this will keep start with pre-class interactions via our collaboration platform, followed by the first set of live classes and exercises, and short breaks. A midday break will typically happen from 12-2pm, followed by another round of classes. 

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