Do you have an idea for a new business venture?
Here’s the first thing you should do: Stop building.
We know that you are incredibly excited about your idea. You want to dive right in and create something and launch it into the world. You’re prototyping. You’re coding. You’re brainstorming a business name, creating social accounts, and dreaming up a fancy logo.
In your excitement to get started already, you may have skipped a few critically important steps. It’s so easy to pass them by, most first-time founders do.
But here’s what any seasoned entrepreneur knows… Building a valuable company that meets a real need and can grow quickly – maybe even disrupt an entire industry – is a big deal. If everything goes well, you’re going to be investing 5-10 years of your life into this thing.
Don’t skip the part where you investigate whether this is really the best version of your idea. Before you build, do yourself the favor by validating the idea, the market, and the opportunity.
NMotion’s Prelaunch program is designed to help you build a stronger, faster, better company by first setting a solid foundation – not based on assumptions or hypotheses – but by testing, experimenting, and validating the business idea.
At Prelaunch, you’ll learn how to validate your business like a pro. You’ll learn how to do effective customer discovery, implement experimentation & testing using lean startup methodology, complete a business model canvas (no business plans here!), and more.
But this isn’t a survey course where we introduce a few concepts and hope you can implement them on your own. Over the course of eight weeks, you’ll spend the majority of your time out in the world talking to customers, testing assumptions, and doing the work. And along the way, we’ll be there with you providing ongoing mentoring, training, group brainstorming, and support as you refine these skills and learn more about your business.
Plus, we’ll sprinkle in some founder talks and other optional workshops to give you additional opportunities to connect with mentors and develop other critical early startup skills as well.
And bonus! There is no end date for Prelaunch. You might only need the eight-week intro cycle to complete the process. Or it might take six months. How long it takes will depend on how much time you devote to doing the work and how easy it is to get access to your potential customers.
When you’re ready to “graduate” from Prelaunch, you’ll have a business you can be confident provides a valuable service to customers you’re excited to help. No guessing. No shot in the dark. No building and hoping customers show up. There’s no silver bullet in Startupland (or anywhere, really) but this process will help you save money, energy, and time,.. and will give you the fuel to build at startup speed in the future.
Weekly Workshops: Thursdays, 6:30-9:00pm
• Learn and practice the key skills you’ll need during Prelaunch:
• What is customer discovery? Why is it important?
• What is the Business Model Canvas? Why is it better than a business plan for early stage businesses?
• What is Lean methodology and how is it implemented in startups?
At each weekly workshop, you’ll get support with this work through:
• More advanced training on the core concepts
• Mentoring and 1 on 1 meetings
• Group brainstorming
• Founder talks
• Optional workshops on business fundamentals and building an MVP
Most of the work of Prelaunch happens outside of our weekly meetings. You’ll be putting into practice everything you learned: completing customer discovery interviews, testing out different business models, brainstorming potential customer segments, and maybe even pivoting to a variation of your original idea.
Prelaunch consists of a combination of weekly workshops and at-home assignments, requiring 1-3 hours of work outside of class time.
Who can apply
Prelaunch is open to everyone in the community interested in starting a high growth business – from students hacking in a dorm room to folks stuck in a cubicle working on a side hustle. You’ll need to bring a business idea to work on, but it doesn’t have to be the idea you end up with. Female and minority founders are especially encouraged to apply.
When & Where
Prelaunch is designed to be available to you when you’re ready. We open registration every other month to new members. When you’re ready to join, complete the application below. Once accepted into the program, we’ll send specific dates/times/locations for your Intro Cycle.
Prelaunch is held at UBT’s Catalyst space in the Haymarket. The weekly workshops are Thursday nights from 6:30pm-9:00pm.
A sample of our Intro Cycle schedule for the next few months is listed below. Please note, these dates/times are subject to change. Once you are accepted into your Intro Cycle, you’ll receive confirmation for your Cycle’s schedule.
How to Apply
Since seating is limited, selection will be competitive. We are looking for compelling ideas, founders who can execute, and anyone interested in rolling up their sleeves to learn, experiment, and grow. To apply, complete the application below.
We have rolling admission for each cycle. Apply as soon as you’re ready as we have very limited space for each cycle!
Prelaunch is membership based and you can stay as long as you need. All new members are required to sign up for the Intro Cycle, $250 per person, which includes our Intro Workshop and seven weekly workshops.
If you’d like to continue attending Prelaunch after your Intro Membership expires, you can sign up for an Ongoing Membership for $60/month.
Students receive a 50% discount. UNL students may be eligible for a scholarship.
|January Cycle||1/10/17||1/12/17 - 3/9/17|
|March Cycle||3/14/17||3/16/17 - 5/4/17|
|May Cycle||5/9/17||5/11/17 - 8/31/17|