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We are revolutionizing the way people train their interns and employees both online + in-person with our crowd-sourced social network.
We are revolutionizing the way people train their interns and employees both online + in-person with our crowd-sourced social network.
We are revolutionizing the way people train their interns and employees both online + in-person with our crowd-sourced social network.
166 backers pledged $12,022 to help bring this project to life.

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APPRENTICE PROGRAM: crowdsourced training for hero interns

$12,022

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(cue the superhero music)

"It's UBER for intern training!"

The Apprentice Program is a crowd-sourced social network that utilizes eLearning training tools to help events professionals worldwide mentor and train their interns and teams. 

We want to STOP horrible internships.

Horrible for the intern = not getting the proper training they deserve

which means...

Horrible for the mentor = their interns are disengaged and disinterested

Both mentors and interns deserve better.

75% of the US-based event planners we surveyed do not have a set training curriculum; a staggering statistic, considering they hire 3-5 new interns every semester to power their businesses. 

Beyond liability on-site at events, they risk getting sued by their untrained interns, due to strict US Dept of Labor regulations on businesses working with interns. Event planners are moving fast and could really use a simple training solution that helps get their team onboard to move as fast as them.

We give these time-poor CEOs the tools they need to train their teams and tap into a rich network of (potentially) 335k event planners in the US alone for crowd-sourced, shared online education.  

People learn in different ways...our training tools mix online and live in-person learning, hands-on experience, interactive games and more to facilitate a fully immersive learning experience that is visual, auditory, read-write and kinesthetic.

50% of the training videos will be created by The Simplifiers as we have access to a full production studio and soundstage near our UK offices.  

Mentors upload the other 50% and the crowd will self-curate, determining the very best ones and The Simplifiers will build out complete lesson plans around them. 

the onboarding license (one per intern, per semester) provides: · 

  • weekly "spark" training videos
  • homework missions
  • pop quizzes
  • intern report cards + e-badges
  • discussion forums (both for the mentor and the intern)
  • mentor support

...all facilitated through an easy-to-use, online portal. 

we're using Trello now but we want to build our own platform that can integrate all the features into one simple-to-use portal
we're using Trello now but we want to build our own platform that can integrate all the features into one simple-to-use portal

In addition, mentors can submit their own training videos online, which are shared and rated globally within the social network to further enrich the learning journey for all interns worldwide.  

We recommend firms hire 3 or 5 interns per semester, so the team can lean on and learn from each other, as well as with their mentor, in a group setting. 

                                                      

We are the first to market providing training tools for both the mentor (the CEO) and their interns (the students) to use together. 

We facilitate a rich learning journey for both, by tapping into our global network of events professionals through our CEO's alliances with the International Special Events Society and the Student Event Planners Association.

The mentor commits to training their interns for simply one hour + 5 minutes per week, watching the "spark" videos together and having face-to-face discussions and teaching on one topic per week (budgets, production schedules, risk management, event design, etc).  

The rest of the week, the intern taps into The Apprentice Program's additional learning resources on their own, including hands-on homework missions, e-games, pop quizzes, helping their mentor with real-life client events and blending learning both online and off.  

Through this curriculum and platform, interns are getting an incredible amount of training and in return, the mentor gets a highly trained team up to speed faster than if they tried to train them on their own.

We launched the first version of our product (our MVP) last year and have clients in the wedding planning industry all over the US using it now.  This helped us get clear on what mentors and interns really need when it comes to online training tools and we were able to make swift refinements to the product offering quickly.  

By raising this Kickstarter money, we will be able to complete the next phase in software development to include the crowd-sourcing element, giving access to the mentors to upload their own training curriculum, in addition to ours.  

Let's build something different together!

We met with lots of different pre-built LMS providers and none of them were able to provide the features we wanted and what you need. So, we've decided to build the system from scratch! 

We've spoken to various developers and finally found one who was a perfect fit, able to create an easy-to-use interactive platform, complete with crowd-sourcing capabilities, which will make The Apprentice Program like none other! 

We received a quote for this project and combined with our existing funds, the campaign goal of $10,000 is the minimum amount we need to move our project to the next level.  

If we raise $15k, our 1st stretch goal, we'll be able to offer additional whiz-bang features to the platform including custom backgrounds to the dashboard that are white-labeled to the mentor's company branding and more.

If we raise $50k, we can promote one intern to a full-time position on the team.  

If we raise $75k, we can promote two up the ranks.  

We've got sharp people...let's give them their first big break!

The Simplifiers team, from left to right: Bethany (filmmaker), Fanni (graphic designer), Ana (filmmaker), Chloe (community manager + marketing),  Ryan (filmmaker), Mary (educator + undercover superhero) and (not seen) Minder (marketing) + Laura (blogger)
The Simplifiers team, from left to right: Bethany (filmmaker), Fanni (graphic designer), Ana (filmmaker), Chloe (community manager + marketing), Ryan (filmmaker), Mary (educator + undercover superhero) and (not seen) Minder (marketing) + Laura (blogger)

With your help, the money we raise through this Kickstarter will allow us to pull all the separate parts of the training solution (videos + homework missions + other online content) all together in one place, making it easier to use for interns and the mentors.  

In addition, we will build-out the technology so mentors can upload their own content, create discussion forums so users can talk to other users and improve knowledge sharing.

We aim to offer multiple educational tracks, such as:

  • corporate event planning
  • wedding planning
  • catering
  • venue management
  • AV + lighting
  • floral
  • rentals

...and more, to the various sectors of the events industry who rely on interns and desperately need a time-saving training solution like The Apprentice Program to get them up to speed, fast. 

We want to be the go-to leader for online training in the events industry. 50% of content will be crowd-sourced and created by the mentors, the other 50% will be created by The Simplifiers.  

We will also build out all of the lesson plans, pop quizzes and homework mission for the most popular crowd-sourced videos we receive from our mentor network.

Well, we are ambitious.  We believe that once the API is built for our platform (aka. the learning management system), it can be transferrable to any industry, in any country worldwide.  

THINK: graphic design and web design agencies, marketing/PR firms and even white-label versions of the license could be sold to major corporations as their in-house training solution for their various campuses and/or office locations worldwide.  

This could be BIG, y'all.

Built on a subscription-based model, we are charging $75 USD per intern, per semester as a license to use the product and the mentor's firm pays for the training. 

Events professionals typically hire 1-5 new interns every semester, so we want to provide them the training tools they need, on a long-term, ongoing basis, rather than a one-off purchase, made by the student.

Let's do this.

Risks and challenges

Coding software takes time and lots of caffeine. I mean, LOTS of caffeine. And well, you know how this goes...some things take longer than you expect.

Being event planners, you KNOW we planned for that.

So, we anticipate a SOFT launch of the cloud-based software for June 1, 2016 and a HARD launch on September 1, 2016, just in time for Fall 2016 interns coming in for a new semester.

The GOOD NEWS is, we were able to do a TON of product testing in 2015 with the first version of the software, which helped us better understand what the users (both mentors and interns) most need and want. So, we aren't starting from scratch.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    forget the hall of fame; we have a WALL of fame.

    And YOU could be on it! As a way to say thanks, you get listed on our website on The Apprentice Program’s ‘Wall of Fame’ as part of our amazing gospel choir of backers.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    a little help from my friends

    Receive a handwritten letter from a superhero overseas, just when you least expect it, giving you a boost of confidence and a "you can do it!"

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    our sincerest SUPERHERO thanks!

    Mary (or the Simplifier of your choice) will stand in Nottingham City Centre dressed in her finest superhero cape and thank you PERSONALLY via the medium of Periscope/Snapchat. (value = PRICELESS)

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    Pledge $51 or more About $51

    NEW REWARD!
    student superhero in training pack

    STUDENTS - this one is for you! You will receive a 30 minute consult session with Mary via Google Hangouts and we will cover topics such as: where to find a great internship, how to write a dynamic resume and top tips on interviewing to land your first BIG job in the events industry! (valued at $125 - a savings of $74!)

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    'you can do it, I believe in you' boost

    You receive all of the above AND a personal invite to our post Kickstarter celebration in the heart of the Creative Quarter in Nottingham, England. Join us in-person or live on Periscope, raising a glass to toast what we created together with your support! (Backer must provide their own transportation to/from Nottingham and accommodations)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Apprentice Program license ***Kickstarter exclusive***

    You receive all of the above AND get 1x license for The Apprentice Program (access to full course, to be used by one intern, in one semester), PLUS you’ll get access to an EXCLUSIVE e-Book, teaching you the top 5 superhero secrets of event planning, written by Mary Baird-Wilcock, CSEP. (valued at $225 - a savings of $150!)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    LIFETIME ACCESS - The Apprentice Program license ***early-bird Kickstarter exclusive*** (1st 100 backers)

    You receive all of the above AND get LIFETIME ACCESS to The Apprentice Program training platform (access to full course, to be used by up to 5 interns, in any given semester), PLUS you’ll get access to an EXCLUSIVE e-Book, teaching you the top 5 superhero secrets of event planning, written by Mary Baird-Wilcock, CSEP. We only ask you spread the Kickstarter love and get word out to friends. (valued at $3400 - a savings of $3300!)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    the ultimate mentor pack

    You receive 1x license for The Apprentice Program (access to full course, to be used by one intern, in one semester), the "top 5 superhero secrets of event planning" e-Book AND special access to 4-part "How to be a Kickass Mentor" training series (valued at $375 - a savings of $275!)

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    superhero in training pack

    You receive all of the above AND a 30 minute private coaching session with Mary. This can be conducted via Google Hangouts and will cover a topic of your choice, including but not limited to: sales/marketing, how to book more brides, how to pitch to clients/investors, how to price your services, how to land a job in the events industry, in-depth training on any aspect of planning events and/or running a small business. (valued at $500 - a savings of $375!)

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    Pledge US$ 200 or more About $200

    CEO lunch date

    Do you want to learn more about the wedding industry from a woman who’s experienced it all? This is your chance to visit the historic city of Nottingham, England and have 2-hour lunch with Mary Baird-Wilcock, CEO of The Simplifiers. You’ll be able to pick her brain about anything you want to know...whether it’s how to build your business, how to pitch to clients/investors, how to be a better event planner, how to break into the luxury wedding market, or even just how to balance it all (work/life/family). Reward includes 3-course lunch and drinks at The Hand & Heart, one of Nottingham’s finest restaurants, complete with a secret cave! (valued at $375 - a savings of $175!) ~ (Backer must provide their own transportation to/from Nottingham and accommodations)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    CEO lunch date + 1x license

    You’ll receive 1x exclusive lunch date (as listed above) AND 1x license for The Apprentice Program (access to full course, to be used by one intern, in one semester) to take your business to the next level in 2016. (valued at $450 - a savings of $200!)
    (Backer must provide their own transportation to/from Nottingham and accommodations)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    EXCLUSIVE! Spend a day with the CEO in Nottingham

    You’ll receive 1x exclusive lunch date (as listed above), plus 1-night accommodation in the city centre of Nottingham (2-bedroom apartment) and VIP tour of Wollaton Hall: a historic castle, wedding venue and famously known as Batman's house from the movie, The Dark Knight Rises. (valued at $750 - a savings of $500!)
    (Backer must provide their own transportation to/from Nottingham)

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    Pledge US$ 375 or more About $375

    superhero (on steroids!) training pack

    You receive LIFETIME ACCESS to The Apprentice Program training platform (access to full course, to be used by up to 5 interns, in any given semester) AND four 30 minute private coaching sessions with Mary. This can be conducted via Google Hangouts and will cover a topic of your choice, including but not limited to: sales/marketing, how to book more brides, how to pitch to clients/investors, how to price your services, how to land a job in the events industry, in-depth training on any aspect of planning events and/or running a small business. (valued at $3650 - a savings of $3275!)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About $500

    team training AND exclusive ultra mega superhero status!

    You receive LIFETIME ACCESS to The Apprentice Program training platform (access to full course, to be used by up to 10 interns, in any given semester) AND four 30 minute private coaching sessions with Mary. This can be conducted via Google Hangouts and will cover a topic of your choice, including but not limited to: sales/marketing, how to book more brides, how to pitch to clients/investors, how to price your services, how to land a job in the events industry, in-depth training on any aspect of planning events and/or running a small business. (valued at $7050 - a savings of $6550!)

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    Pledge $595 or more About $595

    the granddaddy of them all - white-label it!
    (1st 10 backers)

    You receive LIFETIME ACCESS to the training platform (up to 5 interns, in any given semester), PLUS the ability to brand the dashboard with your company's logo and colors. It'll look and feel like your very own in-house training software, powered by The Apprentice Program. #BOOM (valued at $3995 - a savings of $3400!)

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Funding period

- (30 days)