Preparing to Launch: Essential Components
This module was created to give you the information you need to begin to take your validated opportunity, build an MVP, and begin to design a winning pitch. Smart entrepreneurs can avoid wasting time by designing an initial product that only serves the core needs of its customers, and may be able to avoid an unnecessary pivot by finding the right product-market fit early on. By the end of this module, you'll understand if your product is truly minimally viable, know why an MVP is a good strategy, be able to design a strategy to validate your hypothesis, identify the key components of a successful pitch, and decide whether or not to quit your day job.
Module 2: Building the Team
This module was designed to give you critical insights into the often-overlooked dynamics of founding team formation, early hires, and allocation of equity. You'll examine the research that shows why the composition of the founding team can be an important indicator of future revenue, why some motivations of the team are more profitable than others, how to get the right hires for your team, common mistakes in hiring key players, and why equity allocation is so vital to a start-up's survival. By the end of this module, you'll be better prepared to position your start-up for success by making data-driven decisions about your founding partners, your early hires, your first managers, and equity allocation.
Module 3: Networks, Professional Services, and Intellectual Property
In this module, you'll learn about your external team: the advisors, mentors, and professionals you'll need to give your start-up the best possible chance for success. Many start-ups either ignore or over-invest in professional advisors, accountants, and lawyers. You'll explore what kinds of professionals you should hire, when to do so, and for how long. You'll also cover the differences between patents, intellectual property, and trade secrets so that you know what kind of protection you need. And you'll examine the various legal entities your enterprise may assume, so you can choose the appropriate entity for your venture. By the end of this module, you'll be able to define the legal form of your enterprise, the best way to protect your idea, how to determine what professional services will be most useful, and how to apply theories of social networks to make the most suitable choices for your set of advisors.
Module 4: Branding, Strategy, and Summary
In this module, you'll examine a variety of proven strategies to set your venture up for success. You'll learn a proven process for choosing a name for your venture, and explore successful strategies for developing a brand personality. You'll also explore existing resources in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and dive deeply into entrepreneurial strategies. By the end of this module, you'll be able to take your product or service to market with a name, a brand, a strategy that positions your venture for success.