Acceleration Program

Week 1: Lean Principles and Lean Canvas

During the first week we will attempt to reset your brain. You will learn how to develop a lean startup. We will set out the guidelines you will need to follow, while we will reset your brain in a way that it will become more entrepreneurial.

We will also teach you how to design the grand strategy of your startup in a single piece of paper!

Week 2: Customer Development

Early in the course you will learn how to find who your ideal customer is. First of all, we will teach you how to find them, talk to them face to face, and figure out if they are going to buy your product. We will give you tips that will help you recognise, if they are lying and what their true intentions are. We will also give you advice on how to find them online, instead of ‘hunting’ them down the road!

Week 3: Minimum Viable Product

Then you will create your own product. First of all, you may have to create a demo. This will be followed by a Minimum Viable Product, a prototype that you will be able to show to your customers. You will put together the product following the general guidelines of rapid prototyping. This way you will save a lot of money and time!

Week 4: Customer Validation and UVP

Once your MVP is in the hands of your customers, it will be the right time to validate your entire business. We will ask you to approach your customers and request for a firm commitment on their part. This will be a sign that they are your true customers.

At the same time, we will ask you to explore your Unique Value Proposition. What is your unique offer to your customers? How can you recognise it? How can you express it? This process will be the seed of your future marketing strategy.

Week 5: Monetisation and Pricing

It is high time that you will establish your monetisation model. How are you going to charge your customers and for what? How are they going to pay? What are their going to be their benefits?

Above all, what price levels are you going to set? This is essential for the direction your business is going to take.

Week 6: Market Segmentation

By now you should have an idea around the identity of your customers. So, it is time to organise your market. Find out how big it is, who is part of it, exactly what they want. And then divide it into smaller segments, so that you can target it with different marketing campaigns.

Week 7: Channel Distribution

This is an essential module. You will find out how your customers will find you now and in the future. You will explore the paths they will follow. You will find out where they hang out (online and offline). You will meet them in their ‘special place’ and you will draw them into your business.

Week 8: Customer Relationships 1

This is the first section of a large module on how customers should be treated. In this first section you will discover the general guidelines you need to follow in order to discover your customers. You will put in place the necessary mechanisms, so that you have a steady influx of clients. This way your business will become viable.

Week 9: Customer Relationships 2

This week we will focus on how to keep and grow your customers. The processes you will put in place will ensure that the business will become scalable. Customers should not only return to buy more products from you. They should also invite their friends and family to do so. Find out how you can do that in this module.

Week 10: Analytics and Growth Hacking

Any business that will be developed online needs to have a good grasp on analytics and growth hacking. We will teach you how to use numbers in order to attract more customers and grow your business. This module does not need a specialised software development knowledge. Just a lot of (un)common sense.

Week 11: Funding

A high growth business can truly grow only if there is adequate funding. We will explore the possibilities of loans, grants and angel investment. Not every type of funding is appropriate to every business. Based on the information we will give you, you will be able to decide which funding is best for yours.

Week 12: Business plans, executive summaries, pitching

By this point, you have most of the information you need to compile a short business plan, an executive summary and pitch deck. We will teach you how to compile your materials, so that you are ready to pitch in front of investors. Alternatively, you may use them to apply for grants or loans.

Bibliography

We recommend that you consult the following bibliography during the course. Some of these books will be part of your Further Reading lists every week. You do not have to learn them by heart or to treat them like a Bible. As with every book, the authors do not provide a blueprint of How to Set up a Business. Instead, they provide general guidelines that may or may not be useful for your startup.

Katsari, C., Eazy Lean Startup

Ries, E., The Lean Startup

Osterwalder, A., Business Model Generation

Govindarajan, V. and Trimble, C., The Other Side of Innovation

Blank, S., The Four Steps to the Epiphany

Blank, S., The Startup Owners Manual

Christensen, C.M., The Innovator’s Dillemma

Gladwell, M., The Tipping Point

McGrath, R. and MacMillan, I., The Entrepreneurial Mindset

Drucker, P., Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Ries, A. and Trout, J., 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

Godin, S., All Marketeers are Liars

Lakoff, G., Don’t Think of an Elephant

Byers, T., Dorf, R., and Nelson A., Technology Ventures