TURN IT INTO A BUSINESS

The path from business concept to actual business can feel elusive and overwhelming. But there is a methodical process that can simplify that path and increase your odds of success. The Fellowship at the Startup Collaborative was established to walk founders through that step-by-step progression.

The Fellowship is led by our team and includes input from experts within specific disciplines like customer discovery, prototyping, sales, legal, human resources and marketing. As you work your way through our framework, you’ll have also access to unique incentives that include venture funding, dedicated interns, office space and a spot in investor roadshows.

The work sessions described below require you to become a Fellow within the Startup Collaborative. There are also predetermined requirements to advance from one level to the next.

Apply here to become a Fellow.

Level 1

It’s as easy as an application and a conversation. We’ll talk about you and your motivation. Then, we’ll discuss your idea and its viability as a scalable product.

Level 2

Two things are true about most startups: risks are plenty and resources are scarce. This session teaches the foundations of a Lean Startup and how it minimizes risk. With those principles in mind, you’ll begin defining your Lean Canvas (think: Business Plan 2.0).

Level 3

It’s not just a startup story, it’s the value prop that drives your business. As the main storyteller, you need to understand your audience. We’ll help you define that audience’s needs and develop your value to them.

Level 4

To understand your product’s viability, you need feedback. And for real feedback, you need a prototype. It doesn’t need full design or development. It just needs to give your potential customers an understanding of the idea and its benefits, so you can begin to pre-validate.

Level 5

This is the first real gut check for your idea. We’ll help you assemble enough customer feedback to answer a very important question with a data-driven answer: do you have a market enthusiastic enough about your idea that it will help your business concept succeed?

Level 6

It’s almost impossible for a single founder to cover all essential business roles successfully. And those who try often fail. To continue moving toward success, we’ll help identify the gaps in your business. Typically, these fall into one of two categories: technical capabilities or operational/sales capabilities. Then, we’ll put a plan in place to fill those gaps.

Level 7

Every business is a legal entity. Yours included. To advance your idea from concept to actual business, you’ll need to understand legal essentials like entity formation, equity grants, proprietary matters, intellectual property and best practices for business contracts. Proactive legal guidance ensures you understand how today’s decisions impact tomorrow’s business.

Level 8

With limited resources, you need to execute the right type of work at the right time and at the right scale to get the right traction for progress.

Level 9

Success can come fast. But without the right tools in place to help you scale, that initial success can cause financial challenges and missed opportunities. Our framework helps you evaluate gaps in your sales pipeline, build effective presentations and generate predictable revenue.

Level 10

With limited time and finances, you need to identify the right channels and tactics to attract potential customers to maximize your resources. Every business has its own unique marketing formula that increases the possibility for success. We’ll help you find yours.

Level 11

Financial literacy—an understanding of the basic economics of a business as a startup and as it scales—is integral for any CEO. We’ll help you master proper resource allocation, including capital gained from revenue and investment.

Level 12

Raising capital is a full-time commitment. If your business needs investment (and not all do), you need to understand the best practices for fundraising that increase the likelihood of getting an offer with favorable terms. We’ll walk you through the essentials of a pitch, like the contents of your deck and effective storytelling methods. Then you’ll practice pitching. A lot. Then it’s time for introductions to the appropriate venture capital firms.

Level 13

In a startup, every member of the core team has a strategic role “on the business” and “in the business.” As your business grows, however, your team will grow—and you’ll begin to transfer some responsibilities to those new team members. We’ll help you evaluate which new roles will help your business scale most efficiently and how to hire the best candidates for those roles.

Level 14

Data and analytics can help your company grow much faster than mere guesswork. We’re not going to give you a crash course in Google Analytics. This session goes much deeper, so that you’ll learn to identify insights in the most important areas of your business.

Level 15

As new team members are hired, they need to understand the values and culture that form the foundation of your company. We’ll help you articulate those, as well as establish a hiring process and management system. You’ll also learn how to find candidates who believe in your core values and how to ensure their success within your company.