Saint Petersburg Fall 2015
Program Sessions (Private Events)
The Founder Institute provides a rigorous, comprehensive company-building curriculum to guide you through validating your ideas, performing customer development, building a team, preparing for funding, and more. Through weekly training and feedback sessions led by top startup mentors, office hours with local directors, group meetings with fellow founders, and challenging company building assignments, participants in the program make several years of progress in just 3.5 months.
See the curriculum structure below, or see a sample Founder Institute session.
2015-09-28, 07:30 PM:
Welcome and meet your peers.
Are you ready to be an entrepreneur? How well do you know your peers in the program? Is there someone that might be your Cofounder from the program? Who will lead your Working Group as President? What do you need to know to be successful in the Founder Institute? Which traits do you have that can help you be successful?
2015-09-29, 07:30 PM:
Develop a set of strong ideas.
What is a good idea? How do you come up with good ideas? Does passion matter with ideas? How can you tell what you are passionate about? How do you translate your passion into one or more business ideas? What basic tools should every Founder have from the start? What tools should Founders use to develop their ideas in the beginning? How does being a Founder align with personal goals, objectives and vision?
2015-10-05, 07:30 PM:
Test your ideas with research.
What research can you do to validate or to kill an idea? Does the market that you choose matter? What are good markets, and what are bad markets? Do competitors matter and why? How do you define your competitive landscape? How do you determine the key assumptions of your business? Can key assumptions be tested? What are tactics to test key assumptions when you just have an idea? How do you identify and interview potential customers? What are some tactics for effective surveying?
2015-10-12, 07:30 PM:
Chose an idea and a model.
How do you build a revenue model for your idea? What are viable revenue models to pursue? How do you identify ideal customers for a revenue model? What are some common problems with popular revenue models? Are there tips or tricks with different revenue models? How do you determine revenue drivers in your model? What do you need to know to finish a model? How do you choose between multiple revenue models and multiple ideas?
2015-10-19, 07:30 PM:
Name your business.
How do you develop a good name for your business? How do you position the business with a name? What characteristics make a good name? How do you test different name candidates? What infrastructure do you need when you pick your name? Are there tips to finding a good domain name? What social media platforms should you look to get your name on? How do you develop a logo? Does a name really matter?
2015-10-26, 07:30 PM:
Present your idea for feedback.
2015-11-02, 07:30 PM:
Build a legal and IP strategy.
2015-11-09, 07:30 PM:
Recruit your first team members.
2015-11-16, 07:30 PM:
Plan to build your offering.
How do you plan to build a product or offering from the beginning? What are techniques to build a product roadmap? How do you specify what to build? How do you organize resources to build a product? What are strategies to estimate time and costs? What do you track to measure success? How often do you need to see milestones achieved? What are common mistakes when building product? How do you keep product progress ongoing when you have many competing priorities?
2015-11-23, 07:30 PM:
Present your progress for feedback.
How do you present the business entering the last few weeks of the program? Is the presentation compelling? Can the business scale? How viable is the financial model? Is the plan to build the business realistic? Is the product or offering planned out well? Can the business generate revenue? What needs to be improved for the business to be successful?
2015-11-30, 07:30 PM:
Start generating traction.
How do you identify and close your very first paying customers? What are best practices to charge these first paying customers? Should you charge more or less in the beginning? How do you develop a sales funnel or conversion funnel? What are some best practices to track leads and sales? How do you hustle leads and close the first sales, whether business licenses or consumer subscriptions? How do you develop a culture of sales and generating revenues in the early days of a new company?
2015-12-07, 07:30 PM:
Establish market credibility.
How do you establish yourself as an expert in your field? What tools are used to follow important news and narratives? How do you identify and create industry narratives of your own? How do you identify and connect with influencers and journalists? What infrastructure do you need to be influential? How do you create content that attracts readers and commentary? How do you grow your influence in a market over time?
2015-12-14, 07:30 PM:
Capitalize the business.
What are the various ways to capitalize your company in the very beginning? How do you ask friends and family for money to support you? What are the advantages and disadvantages of bootstrapping? What do local angel investors require before making an investment? How do you develop a target list of appropriate angel investors? What materials are required to raise angel investment? What milestones should you look to achieve next? How do you set your six month and twelve month objectives in the very beginning? How should you think about selling the business or exiting the business?
2015-12-20, 07:30 PM:
Graduate from the program.
How do you ensure success after Graduation? How do you engage with your peers going forward? The Graduation is the beginning of an exciting period for Founders, where an idea becomes reality. Congratulations!