Workshop for Student Startups Oct 21 - November 4
Student Entrepreneurs: Have you been kicking around a business idea in your head for a while? Want to give it a customer-facing "road test?" Apply here.
The Customer Discovery Workshop may be just what you've been looking for, since it provides you with the tools and foundation needed to examine the feasibility of your idea prior to launch into the marketplace.
McLennan SBDC, in collaboration with the SBA, NSF I-Corps, and Baylor University LAUNCH Innovative Business Accelerator, is offering an immersive, real-world learning experience to help student startup teams quickly and effectively validate new business ideas. It’s not about writing a business plan; it’s about getting in front of customers to learn what they want and why they care. Using lean startup tools and practices like the Business Model Canvas and Customer Development, the course addresses the #1 reason why business startups fail: lack of customers.
McLennan SBDC is one of five SBA pilot sites in the nation bringing the immersive, real-world learning approach of NSF I-Corps to Main Street small business entrepreneurs. The Customer Discovery workshop will be conducted over two weeks at the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation at Baylor University from October 21 - November 4, 2016.
The ideal candidate is a young entrepreneur who has recently resolved to start a new business or one who simply has a novel business idea they’d like to test with direct, real-world input. Instruction will be delivered in a small cohort or group of teams, so space will be limited. Current students or recently graduated millennial entrepreneurs are encouraged to apply.
The program is taught using a “flipped classroom.” All coursework is done prior to class to allow for student-led interaction and direct feedback from instructors. Teams are tasked with interviewing 20 or more potential customers in two weeks to determine “product-market fit” or whether a product solves a real market need. This means, that after the opening workshop on October 21st, teams will work on their own, outside the classroom, talking to potential customers about their business problems and needs. Teams reconvene for the closing workshop at the end of the two weeks on November 4th to present their findings in a “lessons learned” workshop.
After spending time in front of customers, teams often come away with significant customer insights that inform how they think about both their idea and next steps. Finding out if their product/service is an idea worth pursuing ("go" or "no-go") - based on validated customer feedback - is considered "success."