The Lean Entrepreneur Program: Week 1 Recap

Check out our own John Gray's recap of the first week of our 2014 Summer Lean Entrepreneur Program!  To learn more, visit for all of our program details! We’ll not claim to a whole lot of fanfare or crazy commotion, but we’re excited to have launched the Summer 2014 Lean Entrepreneur Program. Monday night, July 7th we welcomed twelve enthusiastic participants (Paul, Brad, Erny, Eli, Richard, Martin, Randeep, Elisha, Anna, Lucy, Ricardo, PingYi) eager to learn about the methodology and madness that’s at the core of a startup journey.


Everyone received welcoming words from the Launch Academy team, Roger, Alex, Jackie, John and Ray. After the cursory going around the table, standing up and saying a few words about yourself it was time to get down to business. Three hours fly by.

Launch Academy co-founder and director of curriculum Roger Patterson led everyone through lesson one, with an overview, expectations, and introduction to the lean business model canvas. LEP isn’t about building a startup, it’s about transforming the classroom into the startup experience.

While everyone came essentially ready with an idea and a 30 second pitch (great job by Paul, making it happen on “the fly”), the first lesson in dealing with the unknown and unexpected came when everyone was placed into pre-selected teams. The next big challenge came in the form of persuading teammates whose idea was worthy of being worked upon.


With three teams of two, and two teams of three, and lesson two led by new program facilitator John, the process of customer discovery and customer validation is well underway. “Get out of the building” is undoubtedly a mantra that everyone will soon grow tired of hearing. That said, all doubt will be removed that we think it’s a most crucial part of the startup process.


There’s no promise that an idea will translate into success. There’s more of a promise that any given idea will actually end in failure. For everyone in the LEP there’s the promise of learning a methodology to fail fast. Maybe even fail is spectacular fashion. Regardless of the ultimate outcome there’s much to learn through the process of test, measure, and iterate.

Stay tuned for stories from week two. We’ll be sharing everyone’s progress!