LEP Winds Down, but the Journey Continues

As our October LEP comes to a close, our Program Instructor John Gray recaps the inspirational moments from this month's class. Check it out below! I didn't die!

the end of a journey

is autumn nightfall


As cohort #2 of the LEP winds into the final week, Bashō’s words are it’s ideal punctuation. For Anthony, Bob, Laba, Dina, Raffi, Alan, Jean, Eileen, Jessica, Jon, Eubene, Ashley, Lee, Matthew, and Mike, they’ve all lived to talk about it. It’s not really an end though, it’s only a beginning.

Five teams of three complete strangers coalesced from night one. They’ve all taken off from that moment. They’ve proven in three weeks that an idea is the furthest thing from a startup imaginable. Appreciating Steve Blank for suggesting that “a startup is not a smaller version of a larger company” was a great start.  The journey is revealing that it’s a search to discover if an idea can be a scalable business model.

One team is exploring a marketplace idea. In this specific business case they’re realizing the need to focus on populating the supply side first. The benefit of “getting out of the building” (our core mantra), is helping them realize where to focus energy and effort. If you’re kicking around an Multi-sided Marketplace idea, Ash Maurya shares some great insight in this recent post.

Customer conversations are also proving valuable for a team trying to create a new productivity or communication application for the world of martial art dojos. There appears to be the need for something, but right now it’s unclear what the true need is. What an initial MVP might look like is shrouded in mystery.

Another team came to the realization that a BaseCamp-like tool for small business was an interesting idea, but in reality not worth pursuing.  It was refreshing to hear someone say with 100% conviction “we’ve got nothing.” This is learning in action. Is it fair to ask if they’ve discovered enough to consider repositioning? We’ll see.

Two other teams are testing ideas where the digital world and physical world intersect. It will be exciting to see how an interactive story for young children plays out. The physical connection comes in the form of a 3D-printed superhero that’s conjured up from the child’s  imagination. There’s potential for a creative, engaging, and educational application here.

For anyone who’s had a bike stolen or stripped down, another team has the first hardware components in hand and is creating a device that messages your phone when your bike is under duress. This could be a next generation bike security device.

It doesn’t hurt to be living in such a great test bed city for this idea either. There’s no lack of validation. It’s now all about the technical discovery process. Can they make it work? Stay tuned.

Seeing the Lean Entrepreneur Program take great theory, and having it translated into real-world experiences like what all of our teams are doing gets the Launch Academy team stoked. How many of these ideas actually leave the classroom is the great unknown. What we do know, is that all of these lessons will carry on for everyone who participates.


Don’t miss out on our November cohort. Early bird tickets are still available. and the class will sell out. Enroll today.

If this hasn’t yet convinced you to join us this November, see what our alumni and admin have to say in our brand new Lean Entrepreneur Program video!