StartupWeekend Next Teaches Teams How to Level Up

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The creators of the renowned StartupWeekend — a place where random ad hoc teams work frantically for 54 hours to build a demo of a new business and then complete for fame and fortune — have picked up where StartupWeekend left off and have birthed a new course for entrepreneurs who need to level up called StartupWeekend Next. The program is based on a highly developed process created by entrepreneurial thought-leader and Ivy League educator Steve Blank, author of the book The Four Steps to the Epiphany.

StartupWeekend Next, like it’s predecessor, is going to be big, global in fact with 25 programs launching worldwide next week. SWNext Los Angeles has teamed up with Cross Campus to host the 5-week class that will be led by the founder and CEO of QuantSoft, Wilton Risenhoover, who also teaches entrepreneurship at UCLA Extension.

“The program is very interesting, basically taking Steve Blank’s view on entrepreneurship and startup development and formalizes it into a program for entrepreneurs who are trying to get started,” said Risenhoover. “The idea of StartupWeekend Next is once you have your idea, what happens next?”

This action-based program was created to help ensure success for a few types of teams. Any team can sign up, but it is geared toward entrepreneurs who have overcome the early hurdles of finding a business idea they are passionate about and forming a founding team, but do not know how to build a business model around it. It is also for established businesses that are working on a new product launch and have hit some roadblocks they need to flesh out. Single founder teams are welcome but may have to work twice as hard.

StartupWeekend Next will focus on 5 core parts:

  1. The Entrepreneur’s Journey
  2. Business Model Generation via the Business Model Canvas
  3. Customer Development
  4. The Flipped Classroom Approach
  5. Course Culture: Experiential Learning

RisenhooverWilton01“Most entrepreneurs think of some kind of product and then go and try to find someone to buy it,” said Risenhoover. “This class is designed to help entrepreneurs understand where they are going wrong.”

Teams will be assigned tasks and given instruction outside of the classroom, so that when they are in the classroom they are ready to dive into their findings. There is a mentor program that accompanies the class.


What you will get at NEXT:

  1. You will be taught the what, how, and why of the customer development process
  2. You will learn the importance of a “Minimum Viable Product” and how it applies to your company
  3. You’ll learn how to pitch to potential customers and investors, and we will prepare you to interview at least 50 prospective customers over the 5 weeks in a collaborative environment through workshops, presentations and peer reviews.
  4. Each entrepreneur will be paired with Coaches and Mentors to receive critical feedback designed to test and probe their assumptions every step of the way
  5. You will be part of a powerful support network of mentors and other NEXT attendees from over 25 cities around the world

Register as an individual, or invite someone you’re thinking of working with and register as a team.

Desdemona Bandini

Desdemona Bandini has an extensive background in journalism, advertising, social media marketing and emerging media. She has worked for some of the top newsrooms including KNBC, American Media, and The Los Angeles Times. Her background in advertising and marketing includes working on projects for Microsoft, Intel, GE, America's Top Model, Acclaim Video Games, Universal Pictures, E! Entertainment, and Katalyst Network among others. She recently completed her graduate studies at USC where she developed a start-up research platform for brands and advertisers using social media marketing.

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