What can you build in a weekend? That is the question and challenge students of the UNO College of Business had to answer during the 2019 Breakthrough Weekend. The event is provided by the UNO Center for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Franchising and The Startup Collaborative as the featured partner to help the students learn the first steps in starting a business and the understanding and foundational milestones to navigate towards. The students get a high-level overview of the TSC methodology – Level 1 – Level 4. Click here to read in more detail about the modules. 


Level 1 – Invitation

Level 2 – Lean Canvas / Lean Methods

Level 3 – Messaging

Level 4 – Minimally Valuable Product


Ly Phan, a 2018 Breakthrough Weekend participant, and TSC Fellow currently in LEVEL 7 // Startup Legal had the following to say, “I’m really grateful that I had a chance to attend Breakthrough Weekend. Not only did I make many great friends, but I also learned a lot about starting a business. Breakthrough Weekend gave me the confidence to pitch my own idea, which I did at the Big Idea! Pitch Competition, and won!”

The flow of the weekend is:

1) Pitch your idea 

2) Form a team 

3) Validate a problem 

4) Identify your customer persona 

5) Interview your customer segment 

6) Start a business in a weekend


Breakthrough Weekend is truly a valuable experience to learn the foundational stages of starting a company. The TSC methodology takes the bias out of customer validation and highlights the benefits of the pain points that a founder needs to solve for product-market fit. It’s wonderful to see first-time founders excel and second-time founders taking a captain seat to stress the importance of validating the problems and focusing on what our interviews are showing us. 


This year’s winner was called JustLanded by Ottilie Cooper-Ohm and Noah Schalley. Just Landed was the excellent business idea bringing people together after they had lost touch through a social media application. To date, the co-founders are starting the process to join TSC to further validate the problem. 


Companies that were formed:

Credit Crib  – Financial planning software for corporate daycares across the U.S.
SoVOYAGE – “Better travel experiences”  travel app / Partners: Shopify, Airbnb and Delta
Just Landed – “Connect with friends wherever you are” application that alerts friends that you landed in a new area
Smart Organics – “Composting made conveniently”
Clean Colorz – “We make laundry effortless” D2C application
System O Translate – “Simplify the way to rewrite code” application for software engineers