The Startup Onramp Pre-Accelerator

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About the program

The Startup Onramp Pre-Accelerator is a 12-week program for startup founders who are early in their startup journey, including those who currently have a day job and want to make the transition from employee to startup founder.

The program has three core components:

  1. A weekly workshop comprising a mix of facilitator-led discussion and group work. The workshops are structured to follow a logical progression from idea validation to product development, customer acquisition, capital raising and growth. Many of the workshops include a guest presenter who leads a deep-dive discussion on a specific topic.

  2. Weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions ensure you keep making progress between the weekly workshops.

  3. A pitch night in which all founders pitch their startup and share their learnings with fellow entrepreneurs. Pitch night is an important milestone and an opportunity to gain valuable media attention for your startup. It is not an investor pitching event, although if you’re ready to pitch to investors we can offer plenty of guidance on how and where to find the right investor.

By the end of the program you will have:

  • Improved your understanding of startup best practice

  • Validated your idea with customers

  • Identified (and avoided) the most likely causes of failure for your startup

  • Expanded your network to include successful founders and investors

  • Built (at least) a web site and a professional brand

  • Identified a viable business model and revenue streams

  • Become proficient at pitching your startup to investors, potential co-founders, accelerators and customers

  • Mapped out a plan for the next 12 months of growth of your startup

Cost: $4,000 (incl GST) per place

Next Brisbane intake: Q1 2020

Pre-register your interest to be notified as soon as places are open.

Program Outline

Week 1 - Introduction to startups

  • Introductions and ground rules

  • What is a startup and how does it differ from a small business

  • What is disruptive innovation

  • Understanding startup terminology

  • How to tap into the local startup community

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Week 2 - What distinguishes successful startups from failures

  • What does a viable startup idea look like
  • Why your idea doesn't need to be perfect
  • Shared traits of successful startup founders
  • Common pitfalls and mistakes
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Week 3 - Value Proposition, Branding

  • Elements of a value proposition

  • How to use the Value Proposition Canvas

  • Principles of good startup naming and branding


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Week 4 - Validation part 1

  • The lean startup approach: build, measure, learn
  • Using the lean canvas to hypothesise a business model
  • Using the Validation Board to systematically test assumptions and develop a viable business model
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Week 5 - Validation part 2

  • Conducting customer interviews to understand customer needs

  • Validation of hypotheses by getting out of the building

  • How to make sure you're building a product that customers want

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  • Getting the company legal structure right from the beginning
  • Negotiating a sensible equity split between co-founders, vesting of founder shares
  • How to obtain legal advice cost-effectively
  • How to get media coverage without spending a lot of money
  • How to work with PR professionals
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Week 7 - Product development

  • Building a minimum viable product

  • Finding a technical co-founder vs outsourcing

  • How to use an MVP to validate assumptions

  • Introduction to UX and UI

  • User-centric design, user journeys, building products that users will love

  • How to work with designers


Week 8 - Customer Acquisition

  • Introduction to digital marketing / growth hacking
  • How to acquire customers
  • Cost of Acquiring Customers vs customer Life Time Value
  • Virality, paid vs unpaid, understanding growth levers
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Week 9 - Raising money from investors

  • How investment works

  • Different types of investors

  • What are investors looking for


Week 10 - Introduction to pitching

  • What makes a compelling startup pitch
  • Different formats and examples
  • Pro tips and common mistakes
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Week 11 - Mechanics of Investment

  • Financing legal docs, term sheets, investment terms

  • Dilution, cap tables


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Week 12 - Pitch practice

  • Feedback on pitches
  • Program wrap-up and discussion about next steps, accessing the local startup ecosystem
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Pitch Night

Everyone pitches their startup and lessons learned at an event open to the local startup community