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

The program comprises a two-hour workshop each week, plus weekly individual mentoring sessions, and culminates in a pitch night in which all participants pitch their startup and share their learnings with fellow entrepreneurs.



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