What Happens in a Cohort Meeting?
The Cohort will meet every Monday from 3:00-6:00 at the Scott Technology Center. These meeting will focus on specific weekly topics geared towards helping you move your business forward by following the Lean Startup Methodology. These meetings will be lead by the Aksarben Innovation team and the bulk of this time will be focused on team presentations and peer feedback and discussion. Weekly Topics Include:
• Customer Archetypes
• Customer Development Interviewing & Experiment Design
• Understanding and Using the Business Model Canvas
• Understanding and Building a Minimum Viable Product
• Value Propositions
• Customer Segments
• Customer Relationships
• Revenue Models
• Resources, Activities & Costs
All participants will follow the weekly topics and weekly presentation formats during the Cohort meetings. There will be some guidance and discussion provided during the weekly meetings around upcoming topics however, participants will likely need to supplement these discussions with the resources provided to prepare for each presentation. Instructors will be available for extra guidance outside of the meetings if needed.
What Do We Do When We Aren’t in the Cohort Meeting?
The bulk of the “work” in LLP occurs outside of the weekly meetings.
Presentation Topics: While there will be some time during each meeting to discuss the basics of the upcoming weekly topics, we will be using a “reverse classroom” format to drive the educational piece of the process. Everyone will be given a structured syllabus and multiple resources, including books, articles and videos that will supplement the limited meeting discussions. These resources will provide the bulk guidance for all Cohort activities and topics.
Customer Development Interviews: All participants will need to complete 8-10 customer interviews per week and document them on the provided LaunchPad Central software platform. These interviews will be the basis for all weekly presentations and will significantly impact the development of your concept and company.
It is crucial to your success in the program that everyone engage in all of the activities that occur outside of the regular cohort meetings. The program is designed to provide a practical and structured process for entrepreneurs to “test” their innovative ideas and concepts within the marketplace without spending the time and/or capital heading down the “wrong” path. In order to do this, you MUST “get out of the building” and talk to your customers. It is not for the Cohort to determine if a concept is appropriate for the market, it up to YOU to engage with the marketplace and determine this based on market feedback. We will be there to guide and support you throughout the process.
What Makes a “Team”?
We will accept up to 8 “teams” for this Cohort. While it is always better to have the support of a “team”, motivated individuals can certainly find success.
Ideally, a team will be made up of individuals that are passionate and committed to moving a concept forward and are willing to do the work necessary to achieve success. This can be a complex issue and it is important to consider team leadership and the groups ability to work through complex issues.
It is crucial that participants complete the weekly activities and engage with the rest of the teams during our Cohort meetings in order to get the most out of this experience.
Where Will it Take Place?
The Scott Technology Center (hyper link: http://www.scott-technology.com) at 6825 Pine Street will be the location for all Cohort activities. STC is the home to several national enterprises, university offices/labs as well as startups and small businesses.
ALL Cohorts participants will receive secure-badge access to STC and the Great Scott Lab (GSL)- -a community co-working space that will be open and available for you to use 24-7 during the Cohorts. Badge access to STC provides secure parking and secure entry into GSL, where there are several open work areas (tables/chairs), free WiFi, plenty of white board space, 3 private meeting rooms and a kitchenette.
What Will I Have at the End of 14 Weeks?
Upon completion of the program, you will have completed at least 100 customer interviews and accumulated the knowledge necessary to determine if you have a viable product/market opportunity. You should also have built a Minimum Viable Product as well as a vibrant customer network that will enable you to further opportunities as you work to grow your business.
– 100+ valuable relationships
– A COMPLETED and TESTED Business Model Canvas
– Highly honed Presentation Skills
– Minimum Viable Product
Additionally, at the end of the Cohort, we will be offering teams that have completed the required interviews and activities the opportunity to present your learnings and product to an audience of invited investors, entrepreneurs and leaders of the startup ecosystem. These invited guests will be there to provide you further feedback on your product and further enhance your network.
It Sounds Like A LOT of Work…Is It Worth It?
It is a lot of work and only you can decide if it is worth it, however, the skills and the process that you learn during this experience will stay with you the rest of your life and will be valuable even if you determine that your current concept is not viable in the manner you envision it to be.
Entrepreneurs across the US and the globe are using this program and this is your opportunity to participate in something that has been developed to help YOU get your endeavor off on the right foot.
Still want More Information? Email Traci Hancock