Exploration Lab for the Future of Learning and Work

The Exploration Lab: Launch Your Startup Idea in the Future of Learning and Work.

The future of learning and work we envision has more Twitter, and fewer textbooks. More projects, fewer papers. More communities, fewer class schedules. 

You are excited about this future, but don't know whether your idea is worth pursuing, how to start building it, or who to turn to for support. Starting the journey alone makes it ten times harder. 

The Exploration Lab is the first cohort-based experience to help you launch your startup idea in the future of learning and work, connecting you to a global cohort of aspiring founders like yourself.

Alberto ArenazaMichael NareaTranscend Network
with Alberto Arenaza, Michael Narea, and Transcend Network
Join the waitlist to be notified of upcoming cohorts.

A cohort-based experience to help you launch your project led by Transcend Network, a leading network supporting 100 founders building the future of learning and work (FOLW).  

Our education and work systems are experiencing a massive transformation. Founders from all over the world are building global projects and scaling them in months. Why is launching new projects in these areas still so hard, opaque and isolating?


The Exploration Lab supports aspiring founders like yourself looking to build projects that shape how the world learns and works. 


By the end of the 5 weeks, you will have identified a startup idea based on your strengths and skills as a new founder, will be aware of the growing trends and opportunities in the space, and will be a part of a diverse and supportive community to support you in your exploration.

Topics we'll cover

We’ll go in-depth on the following concepts

See Curriculum
  • Start Strong - define your strengths and skills as a founder.
  • Find Your Community - Get support from a community of like-minded aspiring founders.
  • Map the Terrain - Map the global industry trends and key stakeholders.
  • Find Your Customer - Identify your potential market and customers.
  • Talk To Users - Validate the demand for your product by talking to your customers.
  • Build your team - Define your needs for the right co-founders or team

Who this experience is for

“I’m a very early-stage founder”

You have an idea you want to launch, but you need some support getting there. 

“I have identified a problem I want to solve, but don’t know where to start”

You are an educator or education enthusiast and have identified something that's broken. You need the tools and community to develop a solution.

“I’ve built products before, now I want to build in the future of learning and work”

You need some support navigating different ideas and validating demand for each.

Meet your instructors


Your instructors are the founders of Transcend Network, a leading global network of founders building the future of learning and work. We have supported 100 early-stage founders from almost 30 countries, who’ve gone on to raise over $31M from Kleiner Perkins, Village Global, Backstage Capital, Hustle Fund, or Jason Calacanis. 


Every year, we interview hundreds of aspiring founders like you who need support at the earliest stages to explore and validate their startup idea. We couldn’t find any programs to refer them to, so we built the Exploration Lab.

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Alberto Arenaza

Alberto is a co-founder of Transcend Network. He has supported hundreds of founders through Transcend and writes the largest Substack publication about education technology, the Transcend Newsletter. His current work builds on his experience as a member of the Inaugural Class at Minerva Schools, a new university model challenging traditional higher education in seven cities around the globe. 

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Michael Narea

Michael is a cofounder of Transcend Network. He has co-created communities, teams and companies in the education space since 2009, like GSVlabs and Design for America, and startups like Sunlight, Moonshot Partners or Flight CX. Michael brings those insights and experiences into the Exploration Lab. 

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Transcend Network

You will access the brilliant minds of the rest of the Transcend team, like Ephemeral Roshdy (Head of Learning) or Anggun Berlian (Community Architect). You will get to connect with some of our fellows from all continents, advisors, and talent.

We are building the infrastructure for global founders to grow from idea to Series A, globally. By joining our network, you will access a much larger support network as you continue to build your startup, such as the Transcend Fellowship, investment opportunities, and upcoming programs. 

After finishing this course, you will feel confident in your ability to launch a new project in the future of learning and work in the next 12 months. 

Cohort-based Learning

A New Type of Online Experience

  • Learn with a Cohort of Peers

    There is no right way to be a founder – the best way is to learn from others who are in the same journey and further ahead.

  • Accountability and Feedback

    You will learn by supporting other founders and receive feedback during the 5 weeks and beyond. 

  • Case studies from successful founders in the industry

    Learn from the stories of established founders at Transcend Network and industry experts.

  • Active Learning, not Passive Lecturing

    Learn by getting on calls with customers and reflecting on the experience with other explorers.


I finally found my people! I feel like I now have a community I can lean on and feel safe reaching out to if I need it. Plus I learned some pretty key things about myself as a founder in the process. Transformational!

Zainab Ebrahimi
Co-founder, Florish

Transcend truly understands that building an education startup is different to other businesses. You also get a life-long set of founder friends.

Christine Outram
Founder & CEO, Everydae

Being a startup founder is lonely and darn hard. This is the community that creates a net to support you as a human and a founder. Be prepared to feel loved up, feel good, learn, get challenged and meet your cheerleading squad.

Sallyann Della Casa
Founder & CEO, GLEAC

Transcend is a brilliant community of founders and subject matter experts who all *get* what it means to be building for the future of learning. The connections and resources are truly priceless.

Yash Tekriwal
Founder & CEO, Lectureless

Weekly cadence

Each week, you will experience:  

  • 1 real-time class meeting (90 minutes)
  • 1 asynchronous activity that will deepen your learnings (60 minutes)
  • 1 Expert Roundtable with a founder in the Transcend Network (~60 minutes)
  • 1 optional Office Hour for groups of founders who have further questions or who want feedback (~60 minutes).

The weekly asynchronous activities are designed to fully engage you in each week’s topic.

Learn with a comprehensive curriculum

Lean into your skills, beliefs and passions as a founder

You have plenty of insights and skills that make you a great aspiring founder. We want to bring those to the front, by helping you identify your UFO, or Unique Founder Offer, what makes you unique as a founder. 

Identify the team or co-founders you need around you

Look beyond your own skills and strengths as a founder to identify how you can surround yourself with a complementary team of co-founders or contributors. 

Explore ideas and markets that you can build in

Take advantage of our global research and network to identify markets and areas that suit your UFO in order to rethink how the world learns and works. 

Talk to potential customers

Map potential customers for your product and get in front of them to better understand what their needs are. Articulate your vision in a way that gets them excited, and learn about their needs. 

Validate demand for your product through prototypes

Build a low-fidelity Minimum Viable Product that can validate the demand for your product. Learn about different no code tools and approaches to build these MVPs. 

Be the first to know when the next cohort starts

Join the waitlist to be notified of upcoming cohorts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have an idea to join?

You don’t need to know what you are building to join. We will work with those who have an idea, but also with those who are looking for inspiration – we want to expose you to ideas that you’ll want to launch and markets you want to build in! 

Can I join if I’m working full time elsewhere? 

Yes, you can. We thoughtfully designed this program to suit the needs of busy professionals – the recordings will be available if you can’t make it to a live session, and all exercises can be done asynchronously.

What’s the weekly time commitment? 

A minimum expectation we like to set is 3h/week, but if you have extra time, you can invest as many hours as you want really!

Timezones are also important – our sessions happen in the morning PST (US West coast) so we can include all timezones. You can expect most calls to be at 8AM PST/11AM EST/4PM GMT/8:30 IST/11PM Singapore. If we find enough demand, we may consider new times. All content can be consumed asynchronously, so you can also consider the option of joining when you can and completing the experience at your own pace.

What is Transcend Network? What is the Transcend Fellowship? 

The Transcend Network is the most global network of founders building the future of learning and work. We support founders through the Transcend Fellowship, which is a founder fellowship for seed-stage founders. The Exploration Lab is Transcend Network’s latest experience, and we have more exciting projects coming up in the future!

The Transcend Fellowship is a selective program for early-stage founders building the future of learning and work. The Fellowship helps founders connect with the most global founder community in the space and access the network and resources they need to find product market fit. We have worked with 100 founders from 28 countries, who've gone on to raise over $31M in funding since.

Do I need to have incorporated the company? 

No. We look for folks that are interested in starting a project in the next 12 month. As long as you are committed to exploring and validating ideas in the space, you’ll benefit from the program. 

Does my employer need to know that I’m starting a company? 

Not at all. If you prefer to keep your participation confidential, you can just let us know in the application. Participating in the Lab should not be disruptive to your professional journey in any way, since it’s designed for busy folks with a full-time job.

Is 5 weeks enough to launch my project? 

Most likely it won’t. Our goal is to give you all the tools and the community you need so you can launch in the next 12 months, whenever works best for you and your project. 

Can I find a cofounder through the Exploration Lab? 

You can, though we don’t want to overpromise. We will run exercises to help you identify your team needs and can help you meet other potential team members and co-founders, but we know it’s an art more than a science. 

Am I the right fit for this program? 

You probably are! If you want to ask us directly, feel free to join our info session this week and find out! Info sessions will take place on Thursday, August 19th & Thursday, August 26th at 8 AM PST.