The Lean Entrepreneur Program: Week Four Recap

“It does not take much to make us realize what fools we are, but the little it takes is long in coming.” Flannery O'Connor Someone recognizing the folly of an idea sooner than later means the LEP is doing its job. Wrapping up our four week fundamentals program there was a collective appreciation for the fact that an idea alone doesn’t mean you’ve got a business.

Getting feedback from our participants like “startups are difficult!” or, “there’s a lot of moving parts that are hard to line up” and, “everyone can teach you everything about entrepreneurship but same with school, its useless if you don't apply your learnings,” tells us the program is on track. Our goal is to deliver a world class learning experience, and jumpstart the process of helping entrepreneurs become accelerator-ready.

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Our last week again was highlighted with a couple of guests. Growlab’s Program Director Charlyne Fothergill brought her trademark high energy to the room. She shared a first-hand insight about the accelerator and incubator landscape. Her list of application process do’s and don’ts caught everyone’s attention. Suffice to say knowing your stuff is vital. Yet, the full of hubris know it all types are likely to earn the usually fatal label of being “uncoachable.” Tempering your ego with a healthy dose of humility is a winning quality.

Speaking of winning, hearing about the startup journey and accelerator experience lit up the room. Launch Academy alum and recent 500 Startups graduate Jerome Ng delivered a massive dose of reality. As founder of VenueSpot he delivered an unvarnished account of the sacrifice, the fight, the frustration, and the uncertainty that goes with founding a startup. The wins are often tempered by those unexpected body blows. No basking in glory here. It’s well worth reading the chronicle of Jerome’s journey, so far.

The final night for the LEP fundamentals put our five teams in the spotlight. It was pitch night, and the stakes were high. The winning team and their investors (peers who cast a secret ballot) shared in a booty of Ferrero Rocher, and most importantly an opportunity to represent the LEP at Launch Academy’s Pitch Day on August 28th (stay tuned for ticket sales details coming soon… it will sell out fast).

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The five ideas hunting for a product/market fit are -

Swiish - A basketball social game helping you to better track your game performance and skill levels.

Home Sweet Home - delivered an honest and refreshing pitch, sharing they are still in the discovery phase of how to make finding a new rental home a more delightful experience, for both renters and landlords.

CrewCovery - is a platform to connect freelance TV & Film creatives with projects looking for a great crew.

ShopAssist - is combining beacon technology with an app that sends promotional offers and deals to a smartphone when customers are within proximity to a physical location.

The winning pitch came from Erny and Anna who were nearly a unanimous choice with their idea, JobSpell.  They focused on eliminating time wasted screening initial resumes by delivering a personal 7 second introductory video.

For our 12 participants in this first cohort of the Lean Entrepreneur Program there is resounding support that they’d recommend the experience to a friend. Tickets are now on sale for our next cohort September 16th to October 9th. There are only 9 spots left! Don’t miss out, get yours here. Early bird pricing is valid until August 22nd.