Lion was one of the most fun projects we ever got off the ground at The Family.
It came out of a pretty simple idea: our startups needed to hire, but they had trouble finding people who were really ready to work in a startup, who had the ability to be autonomous, to execute, to focus, to be part of a tiny team that has to produce to survive. In our own experience, we knew that lots of people wanted to work in startups, coming from other careers or just out of school, but they didn't usually get what it really meant.
Who better to teach them than entrepreneurs themselves? That's how the School for Startup Employees was born.
We started with Saturday School: 8 Saturdays, entrepreneurs giving talks all day long, totally free for the participants. Back then, our team met with everybody who applied and we thought would be a good fit, meaning there were multiple days when The Family's office was just packed with potential Lions coming in, meetings going on everywhere.
It was total chaos, and so much fun. The entrepreneurs we love were happy to come in and tell the stories and lessons they'd learned at Side, Doctrine, Flat, Agricool, Payfit... With that kind of entrepreneurial talent and driven students, the Saturday sessions went super well. And pretty soon, our entrepreneurs were getting first pick of incredible new employees.
Well, almost first pick - we at The Family grabbed multiple employees who first came through Lion, too :)
Things expanded from there.
We figured out an algorithm to select the Saturday School participants (all those meetings were fun but also exhausting). We found a new home for the school, a beautiful space on Rue de Charonne. Annabelle Bignon took over Lion, and started building up her team and created more offers. Soon Lion was working with big corps, offering customized training programs to get their employees into the startup spirit. It's all added up to 5000+ students who have gone through Lion training programs to date.
Oh, and they wrote a book.