HEM launches the HEM Starter Lab®: its pre-incubation and coaching program, open to all higher education students.

This unique program aims to provide students with the support and guidance they need to move from an idea to a structured and viable start-up project.

HEM Starter Lab®, a pre-incubator launched at the initiative of the HEM Employability & Entrepreneurship Department, under the direction of Hicham TASSI, Professor and Director at HEM.

Some students, after graduation, go directly into the corporate world. Others wish to take up the challenge of creating their own structure either immediately or after a few years of professional experience. These students are in the entrepreneurial mindset where the ability to be autonomous, to take risks, to be persistent and resilient, are all necessary assets for the success of a start-up.

With this in mind, HEM is launching its pre-incubator, HEM Starter Lab®, designed to give innovative ideas the best chance of success. The program leads from the reinforcement of the entrepreneurial capacities of the project leader, to the progressive development of a business model and a strategy.

HEM Starter Lab® is a pre-incubation program, accessible to all higher education students, which ensures the principles of gender equality and opportunities, project sustainability as well as social and solidarity impact.

In March 2021, the first call for applications was a great success. It attracted more than 100 project teams, with a strong diversity of genders, levels of study and countries.

After a careful selection process, HEM Starter Lab® now has 15 participants with a total of 13 startup projects that will create value and operate in various fields such as entertainment, agriculture, digital education, cosmetics, food and clothing.

The project holders are mainly Moroccan or sub-Saharan students.

Supported by the German Foundation KAS – Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, HEM Starter Lab® is based on an alternation of interactive courses and experience-based workshops in the form of bootcamps. Each new approach to knowledge and tools is directly applied to the participant’s project.

Students with projects benefit from the support and guidance of expert mentors and professionals in the field.

The HEM Starter Lab® pre-incubator gives young students a chance to go from an idea to a structured and viable project thanks to

  • Personalized support
  • 105 hours of seminars and workshops
  • 68 hours of one-to-one mentoring
  • Networking
  • Experienced expert speakers
  • A coworking space available for student entrepreneurs at the HEM Campus in Casablanca, with a 3D printer available
  • A schedule adjustment and subject compensation (for HEM students)
  • A pre-incubation period of up to 16 months.
  • A certificate at the end of the program.

In addition, it is important to note that, overall, the HEM Starter Lab® entrepreneurial process is divided into two phases that make up the entire HEM pre-incubation program:

1- The “Start”, totaling 52.5 hours and whose objective is the commercial showcase of the project.

2- The “Go”, totaling 31.5 hours, whose objective is the operational set-up of the project (financing, team recruitment, prototyping, etc.).

The passage from START to GO is sanctioned by an evaluation panel: the “crash test”. A project can naturally pass this “crash test” several times if necessary and if desired.