Week 1 – Introduction to startups

  • How to start a startup
  • The importance of vision
  • Understanding startup terminology
  • What distinguishes failures from successes
Week 2 – Evaluating startup ideas
  • How to come up with viable startup ideas and refine existing ones
  • Why your idea doesn’t need to be perfect
  • Using the value proposition canvas to design compelling value propositions
  • How to do market and competitive analysis
Week 3 – Lean startup principles and business models
  • Build, measure, learn
  • Using the lean canvas and validation board to articulate and test hypotheses
  • Understanding business models, analysing competitor business models using the Business Model Canvas
  • Revenue models
Week 4 – Finance and legal basics for startups
  • Getting the company legal structure right from the beginning
  • Negotiating a sensible equity split between co-founders, vesting of founder shares
  • Getting your finances right from the beginning
  • How to avoid the pitfalls that most startup founders make
Week 5 – Customer development
  • Validation of hypotheses by getting out of the building and interviewing customers
  • Designing validation experiments
  • How to achieve product / market fit
  • How to ensure you build something that people actually want
Week 6 – Product development
  • Building a minimum viable product
  • Understanding customer needs, rapid iteration
  • User-centric design, user journeys, building products that users will love
  • Finding a technical co-founder vs outsourcing
  • How to work with web designers and developers
Week 7 – Building and managing effective teams
  • How to find the right co-founders and establish ground rules and culture
  • Hiring the right employees and contractors
  • Making effective use of mentors and advisors
Week 8 – Customer acquisition
  • Introduction to growth hacking
  • How to acquire customers
  • Cost of Acquiring Customers vs customer Life Time Value
  • Virality, paid vs unpaid, understanding growth levers
  • Sales skills for non sales people
Week 9 – Brand, marketing and PR basics for startups
  • How to come up with a name and visual identify
  • How to use social media effectively
  • How to do PR like a pro and get great media coverage without spending a lot of money
Week 10 – Growth
  • What to do when people actually want your product
  • How to scale and manage growth
  • The importance of establishing networks
Week 11 – The local ecosystem
  • Who’s who in the zoo
  • Accelerators vs incubators vs co-working spaces
  • Australia vs Silicon Valley and beyond
  • Pros and cons of setting up in the US
Week 12 – Raising money from investors
  • Pitching investors
  • Raising capital
  • Grants, R&D tax incentive and other sources of funding
  • Financing legal docs, term sheets, investment terms
Pitch Night
  • Everyone pitches their startup and lessons learned at an event open to the local startup community