School for startups
a three-day intensive seminar for those who want to launch.
This is for you if:
- You're ready to think hard about creating a startup
- You're thinking of applying to Techstars or Y Combinator one day
- You're about to leave your job and start something new
- You already have a new business but you don't have a lot of revenue yet and you're open and able to change everything
- You're looking to join a startup at the very earliest stages and want to either find some partners or think harder about what works and what doesn't
- It's even useful for the leader of a team of an existing startup that has resources but needs a new path to success
This event is not inexpensive, but starting a new business isn't either. It's not for everyone, but I'm hoping to a find a few dozen entrepreneurs who want to more deeply understand the strategic and marketing decisions that go into building a business that thrives.
The first three days we will talk about strategy, ways to go to market, organization, bootstrapping, raising money (pro or con or how), storytelling (to the public and to the investment community), the economic structure of your offering (free, expensive or in-between) and staffing choices. I'm very interested in helping you see the relationship between scale and resources and effort. There will certainly be a bias toward businesses that use the web, but not exclusively. I also have a bias toward bootstrapping, but having raised money, can share insight there as well.
None of this is possible in the typical organization--a startup is a special moment of time, when all decisions are on the table, when you have a clean sheet of paper to think hard about strategy and how you will create value.
I've started and run two profitable internet companies, a new kind of publishing company and also had plenty of adventures in creating projects that weren't web based. The web offers an enormous opportunity to entrepreneurs, because the cost of entry is low and the ability to scale is huge.
I'm most interested in two things:
- Discussing how you can re-architect and re-organize your plans to make them considerably more likely to succeed
- Helping you engage with other entrepreneurs in the same stage of development to help you dramatically increase your skills at the same time you help them.
I have a few business plans to share for new businesses that you're welcome to take and morph and run with, and you should bring your own business plan or come ready to invent one. I'll be talking about apps, websites and businesses that use the web to scale as well. We won't be spending a lot of time trying to fix your ailing (or stable) business, but we're all going to be focused on building something worth doing.
You will spend evenings with other attendees in small group work, designing multiple scenarios to present to the group the next day. Lunch is included each day. We usually run from 9:20 to about 3 pm, with group work on your own afterwards. Most people who come stay in New York and take the 40 minute commuter train, but there are plenty of hotels right nearby.
Thursday is an optional bonus half-day, where I will hang out and assist groups as they work through choices and pitches.
The event will be recorded on audio, edited to leave out personal details (and to make it more fun to listen to), and then released for free online. There are 36 seats, maximum. I'm also inviting a few graphic designers who are looking for startups as clients/employers to consider helping us do project work for three days as a way to both learn something and possibly find some new clients as a result of working with them for a few days. Find an application at this link.
The cost works out to $1600 per day, for three days--I think it'll pay off for you. Right after you purchase your ticket, I'll contact you and ask you for some background on what you're up to--if I think where you are is not a good fit for this event, I'll quickly refund your ticket price and we'll recycle the ticket.
Questions? email firstname.lastname@example.org
Come if you think you can't launch well without it.