Four Day Immersion


This immersion experience introduces facilitators to first and second semester deliverables in Startup Generation Academy. When working with students, many deliverables are expected to take more than one session to complete. Work is done in teams and teams advance at their own pace. Progress is measured by satisfactory completion of deliverables by semester's end and checkpoints along the way.

Semester One Overview

Semester One starts by developing networking skills and ideation. It ends with teams presenting their Minimum Viable Product for group evaluation. Semester One Overview (opens in new tab)

  • Deliverable 1: Networking Skills
  • Deliverable 2: Startup Stories (research)
  • Deliverable 3: Ideation techniques (Game: Founder to Fortune)
  • Deliverable 4: Ideation and Pitching
  • Deliverable 5: Developing Value Propositions
  • Deliverable 6: Value Propostions and Empathy (Game: Sticky Props)
  • Deliverable 7: Market Research (digital information fluency)
  • Deliverable 8: Researching Customer Segments
  • Deliverable 9: Introduction to Business Modeling (Business Model Canvas)
  • Deliverable 10: BOSI and balanced teams (Game: Hire Power)
  • Deliverable 11: Team formation
  • Deliverable 12: Team building
  • Deliverable 13: Teamwork (Game: Scrum)
  • Deliverable 14: Team Ideation
  • Deliverable 15: Idea Sniff Test
  • Deliverable 16: Team Incorporation
  • Deliverable 17: Initial Market Validation
  • Deliverable 18: Build an MVP Prototype
  • Deliverable 19: Test the MVP Prototype
  • Deliverable 20: Build updated MVP

  • Semester Two Overview

    The second semester commences with planning MVP tests and concludes with investor pitches. Semester One Overview (opens in new tab)

  • Deliverable 21: MVP: Test Strategy and Statistics
  • Deliverable 22: MVP: Test (with end users)
  • Deliverable 23: MVP: Learn (evaluation)
  • Deliverable 24: MVP to Beta Launch
  • Deliverable 25: Soft Launch
  • Deliverable 26: Market Projections
  • Deliverable 27: Production Costs (Game: Production Survivor)
  • Deliverable 28: Distribution Costs
  • Deliverable 29: Marketing Strategies (Game: Campaign Rockstar)
  • Deliverable 30: Marketing Costs
  • Deliverable 31: Customer Loyalty Planning
  • Deliverable 32: IP Protection Planning
  • Deliverable 33: Total Estimated Costs
  • Deliverable 34: Revenue Streams
  • Deliverable 35: Business Valuation
  • Deliverable 36: Elevator Pitch
  • Deliverable 37: Marketing Media
  • Deliverable 38: Pitch Deck
  • Deliverable 39: Pitch Practice
  • Deliverable 40: Managing Questions and Answers
  • Deliverable 41: Negotiation skills
  • Deliverable 42: Term Sheets
  • Deliverable 43: Investor Pitch
  • Deliverable 44: Next Steps
  • Immersion Overview

    This immersion experience focuses on key deliverables, activities and resources from the full year program. While it doesn't cover all the sessions, it provides facilitators an authentic experience in team entrepreneurship which is fundamental to leading the year-long program.

    Day One

    • Startup Meetup
      Questions to ask or answer during today's networking practice
      • How could schools better prepare students for work/careers?
      • What skills are essential for success in work/careers?
      • What do you think are students favorite ways of learning?
      • When did you experience a significant learning experience? Where were you?
      • What product or service do you wish you had created? Why?
      • What's something that could work better than it does? Could it be a new product or service?
      • Deliverable 1 Leader's Guide
    • BOSI Team Game
      X Sticky Props Cards Take the BOSI Survey

      Builder Profile | You have a drive to build highly scalable businesses very fast. When this DNA is high in an individual... Read More , they break past $5 million in revenue within two to four years and keep going to up to $100 million. That's because these individuals measure success through a very unique lens: infrastructure. It drives the decisions they make and the strategy they build and deploy. They aren't satisfied with a certain amount of personal income or goodwill toward man. They are Pied Piper-like individuals who are master recruiters of talent, investors and customers. Builder DNA activates certain behaviors like a controlling temperament, leading to a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde like demeanor in the office. Individuals with high Builder DNA tend to struggle most with personal relationships and typically have a revolving door of talent in their companies. Read Less

      Opportunist Profile | Picture Sir Richard Branson and you have a pretty good idea of what Opportunist DNA is all about. Individuals wired... Read More with this DNA are highly optimistic master promoters. They enjoy marketing and selling. They are wired to sniff out well-timed money making opportunities, jump in at the right time, ride the wave of growth up and (hopefully) jump out at the peak. Opportunist DNA measures success based on the amount of money they make (or will make) when they aren't working. So they are drawn to business opportunities where leverage can be used to create residual and renewal income. This behavioral preset in entrepreneurs makes them impulsive decision makers, especially when it comes to money-making opportunities. This trait can serve them very well or be the source of their demise. Read Less

      Specialist Profile | This DNA activates in the experts of our world. No sooner does an individual go through years of schooling, apprenticeship or... Read More on-the-job training, does this DNA activate, driving the corresponding behaviors. Specialist DNA drives one to be very analytical, relatively risk-averse and anti-selling. Specialists generate most of their new business from referrals and networking. They measure success based on their personal income. Their businesses tend to grow fairly well in the startup and early growth phase, but as soon as their personal income hits preset targets, their internal thermostat kicks in and they go into customer service mode. Research found that most Specialist-owned businesses plateau in revenues well below $5 million. The ones that get past this level take significantly longer to get there than Builder DNA companies -- often decades. Read Less

      Innovator Profile | Picture Mark Zuckerberg in the movie The Social Network and you'll see Innovator DNA at work. Like most Innovators, he... Read More was doing something he loved, when a business opportunity popped up. The breakthrough discovery typically drives this entrepreneur in the "lab" of their business -- where they want to invent, design and tinker. They would much rather be in the lab of their business than at the cash register or in the business office. They find operating a business draining. They measure success based on the impact their product or service is having on mankind. "It's not about the money," you'll hear them say. "I'd do this for free for the rest of my life if I could." Individuals with high Innovator DNA control most of the great intellectual property of our time. Unfortunately, they hide in dungeons and find it hard to engage in business discussions. Read Less

    • Founder to Fortune
      Founder to Fortune
      Founder to Fortune

      This game helps players experience entrepreneurship from two different perspectives. Founders think of new ideas, pitch them to other people, with the goal of attracting interest. Investors invest in ideas they think will make the most money with reasonable risk.

      Game Directions
    • Lunch
    • Visit with a Founder
      Questions for Founders
      • How did you get the idea for your company?
      • How did you know the idea was worth pursuing?
      • How has your idea changed since you first had it?
      • What value propositions do you communicate to your customer segment?
      • What is the founder's profile: builder, opportunitist, specialist, innovator (how can you figure out their BOSI identity?)
      • What do you wish you knew/could do before starting up?
    • Competitors and Customers
      Market Research
      • Conduct initial research on competitors and customer segments: who needs your idea; who wants it; who is already active in this space?
      • Compile a list of Competitors and their value propositions
      • Condense information on Customers into a succinct description, including population size
    • BMC: Business Model Canvas
      Business Modeling
      Business Model Canvas
      • Completing a BMC is much faster and useful than creating a comprehensive business plan
      • There are up to nine sectors to complete in a BMC starting with Value Proposition and Customer Segments
      • Use sticky notes to add to your BMC--one idea per sticky note
      • Online BMC Template
      • Compile a list of Competitors and their value propositions
      • Condense information on Customers into a succinct description, including population size
    • Facilitation: Hire Power
      BOSI Hire Power
      Hire Power Playing Board
      • Play Hire Power to deepen your understanding of BOSI types and interactions on a team
      • Two participants facilitate this activity which is found here: Hire Power Leader Instructions
      • Session Leader's Guide: BOSI Roles

    Day Two

    • Warmup game – Don't Touch Me
      Group Problem Solving
      • Stand in a circle
      • Identify a partner opposite you in the circle
      • When directed, you and your partner touch the target and then switch positions, without touching anyone
      • Everyone does this as quickly as possible--the total time elapsed becomes the time to beat
      • This game is timed--how fast can you complete the task?
    • Game: Sticky Props
      Value Proposition Game
        Sticky Props Cards

        Attracting customers involves leveraging “sticky” value propositions. Developing empathy for customers helps identify what they will find "sticky."

      • Up to six players may play--a team may be a player (this takes longer to play).
      • This is a "half-baked" game (on purpose). What is the best way to play it to maximize learning?
      • Sticky Props Directions
    • Competitors and Customers
      Market Research
      • Continue to research competitors and customer segments.
      • Digital Information Fluency is the ability to locate information efficiently, evaluate it effectively and use it ethically
      • Locating information is speculative: you're not sure what keywords will work to retrieve the desired information; you're not sure what database has the information
      • Information Fluency Challenges
      • market research
      • Refine your list of Competitors and their value propositions
      • Add to your understanding of your Customers.
    • Lean Startup Methodology
      Lean Methodology
      • Applied to startup development, lean methods speed up the process from ideation to publication.
      • An MVP is not expected to be perfect but a way to elicit useful feedback from a customer segment.
      • Feedback used to make informed decisions about the next version of the MVP.
      • Create your first MVP
    • Lunch
    • Obtain Customer feedback on MVP
      Meauring Customer Responses
      • Where can you locate representatives of your customer segment(s)? (in person and/or online)
      • What will you ask them to do? (define the tasks they are expected to perform)
      • How will you measure and record what they do?
    • Improving your MVP
      MVP Improvements
      • What features should you keep and improve?
      • What features don't matter or detract from your product, according to end-users?
      • Will you stay the course or pivot--on what basis?
    • Facilitation: Kanban Scrum
      Kanban Scrum
      Kanban Chart
      • Play Kanban Scrum to test teamwork and decision-making
      • Two participants facilitate this activity which is found here: Kanban Scrum
      • Session Leader's Guide: Team Building

    Day Three

    • Production Ball
      Playing Production Ball
      • Stand in a group facing each other.
      • One person passes the ball to another player who passes it to a third player until everyone has passed the ball and it comes back to the first player.
      • Time how long it takes to complete this passing eight times. This is how long it takes to produce one product.
      • The ball must be passed through the air and cannot touch the ground.
      • Repeat the activity to see how fast one product can be produced.
    • Incorporation
      Registering your business
      • To open a bank account you need to register your business with state and federal government.
      • Business entities to choose from: Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), B-Corp, C-Corp, S-Corp, Non-profit and more.
      • Research the type of business you feel is best for your company.
      • Decide which state in which to register your company--and why.
      • Report your findings and decision to a program leader.
    • BMC: Channels
      Reaching your Customer Segment(s)
      • Channels are the ways you use to reach your customers with your message and, eventually, your product.
      • Types of channels include: social media, Websites, online and print advertising, posters, word-of-mouth and lots more.
      • Develop a message for a channel your customers use that communicates your value propositions.
      • Share your media or message with others, asking for feedback.
    • BMC: Costs and Revenue Streams
      Income and Expense Spreadsheet
      • Using a spreadsheet, identify and estimate your costs of being in business: team, product development and production, marketing. Add this to your BMC.
      • Identify the ways you can generate income. Add these to your BMC.
      • Determine if you can do better than breaking even (or worse, losing money). This helps to set the price of your product.
      • Estimate how much money you need to launch your business.
      • Google Forms Link
    • Lunch
    • Business Valuation
      What is your Company worth?
      • Your worth depends on the size of your anticipated market, the costs involved in making your product, the price you charge or other revenue streams, the strength of your competition and your value propositions, the effectiveness of your marketing and more.
      • Using a spreadsheet, start to fill in your costs and number of products you hope to sell (set a length of time).
      • Compute your worth, remaining conservative (reaching less than 1% of the available customers).
    • Pitching
      Raising money by pitching
      • Use your BMC as the outline for your pitch: What is the problem you are trying to solve, for whom? How do you make money? How do you get customers?
      • Develop an elevator pitch and an investor pitch (the latter includes a presentation deck) you can use to tell others about your idea and move them to action.
      • Typical parts of a pitch (put them in the order that makes sense for your product):
        • Introduce yourself and your company
        • The Ask (isn't always money)
        • Pain Point
        • Solution Demo
        • Customers (who and size)
        • Competition
        • Value Propositions
        • Revenue (projected and actual)
      • Sample Student Decks
    • Best and Worst Pitch Practices
      The art of the ask
      • View and analyze Shark Tank clips to see what works and doesn't work when pitching to investors.
      • Know what your ask is and defend your presentation (includes negotiation and a possible exit strategy).
    • Facilitation: Sticky Props
      Sticky Props
      Sticky Props
      • Play Sticky Props to strengthen understanding and application of value propositions and product-market fit
      • Two participants facilitate this activity which is found here: Sticky Props
      • Session Leader's Guide: Sticky Props

    Day Four

    • Active and Problem Based Learning
      Learning, not Teaching
        Active Learning
      • Experiences are task-based and student-centered. Minimize the power of the teacher; maximize the power of the participant.
      • Guide by asking more than by telling, as much as possible.
      • Solve problems with business solutions, not school solutions.
      • You will never know it all--rely on your network.
    • BMC: Partnerships
      Helping each other
      • Whose help do you need?
      • Who needs your help?
      • Unless you are help to them they may be a vendor more than a partner.
    • Pitch Practice
      Helping each other
      • Finish Pitch Decks
      • Practice delivering the pitch at least three times--more is better.
      • List likely questions from the investors and develop responses.
    • Lunch
    • Investor Pitches
      Helping each other
      • Deliver your pitch using a pitch deck
      • Know what you are asking to do.
      • Field questions from investors; answer what you can--don't make up answers.
    • Pitch Feedback
      Really Listen
        Pitch Feedback
      • Field questions from investors; answer what you can--don't make up answers.
      • Treat this as a Measure-Learn moment from the Lean Startup Cycle.
    • Creating and participating in a community of practice
      Learning Together
        Community of Practice
      • Completing the Immersion Training is not sufficient.
      • You don't develop mastery without being a facilitator/coach.
      • Facilitators meet asynchronously anytime to post questions, concerns, inspirations, discoveries and answers.
      • Facilitators meet synchronously online every two weeks for updates, features, Q & A to support your leadership.
    • Facilitation: StartupWars
      • Play StartupWars to sensitize players to production costs and management decisions in a manufacturing simulation
      • Two participants facilitate this activity which is found here: Startup Wars
      • Session Leader's Guide: Production Costs