TEAMLABS is a radical learning laboratory, with offices in Barcelona, Madrid and Mexico, which has transformed education, since it is based on an innovative methodology of Finnish origin with which it blurs the barriers between the academic and professional worlds. TEAMLABS’ methodology focuses mainly on joint entrepreneurship and learning by doing.
The laboratory, founded in 2012 by a team of professionals from different disciplines, focuses on accompanying other universities and educational centers in their educational transformation processes, as well as companies in their innovation process. At the same time, the business model of this laboratory focuses on the design of an educational program that it offers jointly with the universities and collaborating centers, such as the LEINN (Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation) degree with the University of Mondragon or the Año-i with the TEC de Monterrey (Mexico).
Félix Lozano, CEO and co-founder; Berta Lázaro, co-founder and Director of Bcn Lab; Juan Freire, co-founder; Max Oliva, co-founder and Ibai Martínez, co-founder and GM, are the experts who have set up this project. The team explains that the origin of the company’s name comes from the combination of the words Team and Labs (laboratory). “We rely on the potential of the team as a means of growth and learning and on the importance of laboratory work and the culture of prototyping. A laboratory for us is a place for teamwork, experimentation, questioning assumptions, and producing unfinished and perfectible things,” says the TEAMLABS team.
In this sense, it is clear that TEAMLABS has created a new formula for an educational project. Indeed, it is a hybrid composition that connects the business world, academic institutions, and society. The founders stress that, in the learning laboratory, people who are trained acquire their first job from the get-go. All of this takes place under a real ecosystem, where there are no simulations “and therefore they learn in a real life setting and how to cope with uncertainty”, they say.
Learning with real projects and companies
The philosophy of TEAMLABS is clear and is based on learning through real projects and teamwork while traveling around the world. No teachers, no classrooms and definitely no conventional classes.
“We are helping to redesign the university from a new perspective: to train people with knowledge, skills and competencies of value to improve the world and companies, providing them with new profiles that are more suited to today’s needs,” says TEAMLABS.
TEAMLABS, together with Mondragon Unibersitatea -since 2012-, is teaching the LEINN degree (Entrepreneurial Leadership and Innovation) in Barcelona and Madrid, a disruptive educational innovation program based on learning by creating real companies and projects in teams while traveling around the world, so that young people become global citizens discovering their capacity for change and social impact.
Also, together with the same University, it has launched the Master’s Degree in Facilitating Learning and Innovation (lit), an eminently practical program that seeks to break away from watertight training offers by offering various options for personalized specialization, and in which students prepare for this new role as a facilitator in environments of uncertainty and continuous change. It has also designed the first Specialization Diploma in Chief Learning Officer (CLO), which prepares future managers to lead processes of change, digital transformation, learning and innovation in an uncertain environment, and the Specialization Diploma in New Learning Roles in education.
On the other side of the Atlantic, specifically in Mexico, together with the TEC de Monterrey, it has designed a pioneering program in innovation and entrepreneurship, Año-i, where undergraduate students from different disciplines at the main Mexican university specialize in innovation and develop entrepreneurial projects as a team.
The teams that are formed in TEAMLABS have received various awards and recognition, such as Nostoc Biotech and Hemper who were the winners in Spain of the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA). This event is the largest competition of university entrepreneurs in the world in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Also, the Sheedo startup has received numerous awards, including the Award for Socially Responsible SMEs from the magazine Emprendedores (2016), the Eres Impulso de Font vella Award (2017), or the Pascual Startup 2 Award (2018) , and Basik Sessions, the Social Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Award from the Madrid Young Creators Competition in 2017.
In addition, several LEINN degree entrepreneurs, such as Enrique Cat, co-founder of Nostoc Biotech and Gala Freixa, co-founder of Sheedo, are on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, which recognizes young entrepreneurs and talent under the age of 30. And Gloria Gubianas, co-founder of Hemper, won the Woman Entrepreneur of The Year Award in Spain in 2019, an award created by INCO and supported by the Chanel Foundation.
Currently, TEAMLABS operates in Spain and Mexico, through the international network Mondragon Team academy (Mta) to which the laboratory belongs and with which it extends through other territories such as China, India, and South Korea.