Session 1: Find Your Compass
The first session helps you reach more clarity about your business idea and provides an orientation in general, like the points of a compass. You will get to know your peers in the curriculum and discuss topics like: What are the character traits of the ideal entrepreneur? Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Do you need a Co-Founder or would you like to join another startup in this semester’s group? Is your business fundable? Which are the next steps?
Session 2: The Power of Vision
Vision is everything and most entrepreneurs understand the power of a strong vision. But what is a good idea? Are you a visionary? Are you clear about your ‘Why’, your passion? How do you translate your vision into a business? What tools do you need? What are your personal goals? When is it good to be rational, when to be emotional? These are the questions the StartUp Academy will not only ask you to discuss in the second session. In addition, we need you to be straightforward and open, presenting your vision to get everybody in your group on board, buying into your vision.
Session 3: Market Research Process
The third session works with the whole topic of the Market Research Process: What tools can you use? How can you test your assumptions? How do you interview potential customers? How much should you listen to the market? What are good markets? Why do you need to do Market Research? What does your competition tell you?
The StartUp Academy in Bremen offers a proven curriculum in two packages:
Package A (StartUp Academy) is a 14-week 4-hour session one day in the evening to help entrepreneurs start building and eventually launching their business. Each session is led by 2-3 mentors, who share their advice, give insights and provide feedback to each business idea. In addition, each participating entrepreneur is given challenging assignments regarding their business idea, which is due the next week and is to be completed in peer groups.
Fee: 950 Euros, 10% Equity (This “Bonus Pool” is divided and shared with entrepreneurs, mentors, directors, and the Academy)
Package B (StartUp Extreme) is offered in one-on-one sessions with the entrepreneur and the appropriate mentors of the StartUp Academy. In weekly 8 hour sessions (2 x 4 hours) for 7 weeks, you will be individually guided through the whole curriculum. This package is designed for entrepreneurs, who would like to start their business as soon as possible and wish to be mentored and guided individually.
Fee: 950 Euros per 8-hour session, 20% Equity
Please call Christine Breeze with any questions @ +49 (0)176 8441 6607
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Session 4: Revenue Models
The first or second question you get asked from an investor is usually “How do you make money?” Surprisingly enough, many entrepreneurs spend tons of time on their idea, but only little on revenue and profits. This session gives you guidance on revenue models, which one fit to your business idea. It answers questions like “What are viable revenue models and how do you identify ideal customers for a revenue model”? We also touch topics like the most common problems with popular revenue models are and give you tips on how to determine revenue drivers in your business model.
Session 5: You Cannot Do It Alone: Team Building
This session guides you through the process of letting go, especially of the belief that you can do and keep it all to yourself. We help you finding a co-founder and choosing the right team members. We discuss topics like how to identify advisors or what do you need to give in return for their work and input. What are the responsibilities of each team member and when do you need to start firing partners?
Session 6: Product Development
This session is usually one of the most painful since entrepreneurs like to keep the thoughts on product process ongoing, but really need to juggle many competing priorities all at the same time. We push you out of the idea and thought phase into the actual product building stage and discuss topics like techniques to build a product roadmap or strategies to estimate time and costs. We will answer questions like how to measure success or how to avoid common mistakes when building the product.
Session 7 Positioning and Naming Process
This session works on the process of finding a good name for your product or business and how to position the name and the business in the market. We discuss social media platforms, how to deal with the media and how many press releases you need to write to get out there. We will also discuss the creation of a logo, business cards and how to use what kind of tools on- and offline to market.
Session 8: Present Your Business I: Mentor Session
In this review session, we ask you to present what you have at this stage. Mentors will give you feedback on your pitch deck, on how your presentation skills are or if you have done enough research on your idea. We will discuss if you are ready to build this business over the next 3, 5 or 10 years and what parts of the business could fail.
Session 9: Legal Challenges
This session answers questions on what an entrepreneur needs to know about the law to launch a successful startup. We discuss how to pick a law firm to work with or how do you handle intellectual property, including confidentiality, copyrights, trademarks, and patents.
Session 10: Importance of Traction
We define the definition of traction, answer questions like charging more or less in the beginning work on how to identify and close first paying customers or how to develop a sales funnel or conversion funnel. We talk about how to close first sales and generate revenues in the early stages of your startup or look at best practices to create traction.
Session 11: Branding & Marketing
We work with you on how and when to use Public Relations and Marketing tools, establishing yourself as an expert in the field. We teach you how to work with the media, bloggers, and influencers and how you can create content that attracts customers and bloggers.
Session 12: Finding & Talking to Investors
This becomes crucial for all your life as being an entrepreneur. Who do you ask for investments, when and how? What are the advantages and disadvantages of approaching Angel Investors or Venture Capitalists? What kind of local angel investors, accelerators or grants are in place to fund your business? What do you need to raise angel or VC or any kind of investment? Why should you think about an exit plan already in the beginning of building your business?
Session 13: Present You Business II: Mentor Session
This session is a final test for you to pitch in front of Mentors to get feedback on your pitch deck, how you present and if you are ready in general to go in front of investors. It is meant as a follow up to Session 8 “Present your Business I).
Session 14: Graduation
In this session, we will celebrate your success in going through the whole Curriculum program. We will discuss topics like what are your next steps, where should you continue to network and how do you keep engaged with the participants in the program.
Please keep in mind: The Graduation is really just the beginning of an exciting journey, where your idea becomes reality.
Go For It!