Talent Growth

Chief of Staff School

A global training program designed to equip future and current Chief of Staff with the skills and knowledge necessary to work alongside high-growth, high-impact startup founders.

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Join us in our inaugural CoS School cohort now!

For aspiring CoS talents and generalists, join CoS School to kick start your career to thrive and triumph in the world that urgently needs more generalists! 

Inaugural Cohort Starts in Mid-Late March 2023

Apply Now

For startups looking for a highly trained CoS, partner up with us and register your interest now!

The Chief of Staff School - A Global Program to train Strategic Generalists

The role of generalists has never been more instrumental in the scaling process of startups and innovative enterprises. More so, the role of a Chief of Staff has taken prominence in the tech sector, bridging between all functional teams and highly technical talents. Devoted to providing an avenue to advance talents with attainable generalist skill sets, Ignition Chamber Academy introduces the Chief of Staff (CoS) School - one of a kind global talent and recruitment developmental program - aiming to solve both the supply and demand of the talent gap that has long existed in the global startup ecosystem. Aligned with our mission of nurturing startup resilience and intelligence, we set to uplift the appreciation of generalists’ roles and their contributions to high-growth startups and innovative enterprises through Ignition Chamber’s CoS School.

Role of CoS

CoS is a rapidly evolving position in the job market, shaped and iterated by talent movements and innovative enterprises, especially the tech startup sector. We’d like to anchor down our understanding based on the dozens of surveys and conversations with CoSs around the world. 

General Summary of Role:

 A CoS is the right-hand to the Founder/CEO (or, any hiring manager the CoS directly reports to). He or she is fundamentally a servant leader that manages information flow and communications, align strategic goals within the organization and operates across functional units for cross-collaboration strategic efforts. When in need, a CoS serves as a temporary stop-gap person to a specific business function before the hire is filled. CoS is a strategic generalist. 

CoSs are (Also offers an explanation as to why they are critical and key to the success of any scaling startup operations): 

  • Collector, facilitator, moderator, and curator of information and communication for effective strategic input into specific project or team, ensuring the right result output (A dot connector with a helicopter view while also seeing the sky from the bottom of the well); 
  • Leader/Co-leader to strategic or special projects (typically ad-hoc in nature) that are challenging to be bucketed into any existing functional units by the Founders. 

Key attributes and characteristics:

  • Observant, multi-perspective, and open-minded;
  • Highly operational in action and strategic in thinking; 
  • Key contributor to the cultural building and business alignment in the organization;
  • Highly resourceful - Ability to execute and improvise without a formal team and many designated resources around;
  • Ability to build trust and psychological safety around and with every level of people in the organization, especially of other C-suite members.  

Although they may rise from these functional roles CoSs are NOT: 

  • Executive Assistant or Personal Assistant or Secretary to the Founder or the C-suite
  • Human Resource executives. 
Program Curriculum & Immersion as Acting CoS

Our CoS School consists of a 5-week Course & Training Core and a 3-month Immersive Hands-on as an Acting CoS.  

  • Immersion: 3-month startup immersion program with career placement opportunity for SEA-based talents that seek to prove themselves as the best lieutenant and strategic operator to founders. Immerse Hands-on is separated for (A) Internship Track and (B) Externship Track (exclusively made for VC and PE analysts to hone operational skill sets and offer portfolio value add).  
  • Course & Training Core: 5-week of self-paced online courses with weekly office hours with instructors and AMA sessions; 
A. Program Curriculum for Course & Training Core 
Week 1 - Overview of the Chief of Staff Role

Whether you’ve heard of the Chief of Staff role or not, this first will orient you to the overarching commonalities of the Chief of Staff role. We’ll start with a general description of the role and then dive into how the role differs across different size organizations. Meet Chiefs of Staff who are in the role now and ask any questions you might have about the roles and responsibilities of these generalists!

Week 2 -  Setting Yourself Up for Success 

After learning more about the Chief of Staff role, we’ll dive into how to be successful in your first 30/60/90 days in the role. We’ll talk about how to build and establish trust with your principal and how to best analyze your own strengths and weaknesses so that you know all the assets you’re bringing to the table.

Week 3 - Operating Rhythm

All hands, town halls, quarterly business reviews, OKRs - these are all terms that you’ll need to be familiar with as a Chief of Staff. In this week, we’ll learn about the appropriate operating cadences for different stages of companies and how you can lead your org to success in these capacities.

Week 4 - Building & Scaling Teams

A crucial part of the Chief of Staff role is helping your principal scale: both team and culture. How do you keep the culture of your early stage startup alive as you scale past the double digits? How do you continue to hire and attract top talent? We’ll talk about scaling as your company moves through its different stages.

Week 5 - Prioritization and Decision Making

Making important decisions with limited information really pushes one's ability to connect the dots. Meanwhile, the art and science of prioritization can disrupt the working rhythm and operating cadence required to keep the Chief of Staff at the top of the game to support key business decisions. We'll shed some light on how to navigate when information is scarce.

Capstone Project - Case Scenario Project 

To be truly ready to take on the Chief of Staff role, we create the Capstone project for all participants to demonstrate their ability apply their learnings throughout the 5-week of lessons and live panel, and present their own solutions to challenging scenarios CoS may face in everyday situation. Capstone projects are design by us based on real-world cases drawn from the experiences from former and existing CoSs.

Immersion* as an Acting CoS in Startups 

*Currently only open to SEA-based talents & startups. For non-SEA-based talents and startups, please express your interest here.

Internship Track 

For talents that are looking to upskill & land a potential role as an official CoS.  

For talents that are looking to upskill & land a potential role as an official CoS.  Towards the end of the 5-weeks Course & Training Core, talents that signed up for the Internship Track will be offered the opportunity to be interviewed by founders of high-growth startups that are looking for trained CoS to take in as a 3-month intern before considering offering them a full-time position with a pre-agreed compensation package.

Externship Track

For Venture Capital and Private Equity analysts to hone operational skill sets and offer portfolio value add.

As an internal L&D initiative with Ignition Chamber Academy’s CoS School, VC and PE* of various stages subscribe to the program to allow in-house investment analysts alike to be operationally trained and assist with strategic efforts needed by portfolio companies. 

*Please express your interest here if you are writing from VC/PE. We are more than happy to help you to strategize and advise on such arrangements.

Program Packages and Verified Certification of Completion
Ecosystem & Talent Developmental Scholarships for Startups

We know L&D opportunities for startup operators are hard to come by. Thus, CoS School offers L&D scholarships (in the form of fee rebates) to existing startup talent working in developing startup ecosystems around the world. 

Eligibility & Criteria (Latest revision: March 22nd 2023)

  • You are a full-time employee of a venture-backed or a bootstrapped startup;
  • For venture-backed talents from developing markets (Only applicable for startups that has raised less than US$5mil cumulative venture capital funding):

    $150 rebate on RRP

    List of eligible startup ecosystems
    Asia & SEA region : Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Japan, China, India and Pakistan.
    Oceania region: Australia and New Zealand.
    MENA region: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
    LatAm region: Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Peru.

  • Bootstrapped startup talents are eligible for a 25% rebate on RRP, regardless of the location.
Who Should Apply

We’d recommend you to apply to our Chief of Staff School if:

  • You have 3 to 5 years of work experience — ideally in an operational role — and aspire to become a Chief of Staff or up-leveling your skill set as a strategic generalist. Our CoS School is perfect for you to get your foot in the door, learn the right skills and frameworks to kick off your Chief of Staff trajectory and do so alongside a community of peers.
  • You are looking to or have just landed your first role as Chief of Staff (0-6 months in the role) and you want to ensure you hit the ground running. The CoS School will give you the frameworks and knowledge to build the right relationships, navigate your way through the organization, and deliver outstanding value in your first 90 days.
Join us in our inaugural CoS School cohort now!

For aspiring CoS talents and generalists, join CoS School to kick start your career to thrive and triumph in the world that urgently needs more generalists! 

Inaugural Cohort Starts in Mid-Late March 2023

Apply Now

For startups looking for a highly trained CoS, partner up with us and register your interest now!

In partnership with


1. What is the program commitment like?

The Course & Training Core segment is self-paced and can be done remotely. You may need a minimum of 4-5 hours per week to extract the most knowledge from what we would like to teach you about the day-to-day of a CoS to prepare you for a successful career trajectory. 

The pre-recorded courses will be published at the start of every week, and the live sessions (e.g. instructor office hour or AMA panel sessions) will be conducted towards the end (Thursday/Friday) - that’s where everyone gets to interact with the course instructor and featured high flying CoSs. Each average of an hour. Quizzes are published together with the sessions, whereas Capstone projects will be announced 2-3 weeks in advance before the end of the program.

The Internship Track is a full-time paid internship at US$1,000/month base salary. You are abide by the employment contract and terms agreed upon between you and the startup founder. 

The Externship Track is case-to-case as the arrangements are made between the investment firm and the portfolio companies. Analysts still hold their existing job but will take on the extra effort as a learning opportunity. 

2. Enrollment confirmation

Only individuals that have successfully made the payment are considered enrolled as a participant. Enrolled participants are expected to complete the courses, quizzes, and the capstone project in order to fulfill the requirement to get the Certificate of Completion.