The program comprises 12 weekly workshops following a logical progression from idea validation to product development, customer acquisition, investment and growth. The workshops are delivered by the Program Facilitator and supported by guest presenters from the local region (including entrepreneurs, investors and subject matter experts) who also assist with mentoring of the teams.

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