Startup Gauntlet is for teams of 2 to 4 entrepreneurs.
Because of the intense nature of the class, we do not allow people to take the class solo.
You will have to talk to 100 potential customers in only 6 weeks.
After this intensive program, you will have identified the core of your business model
- your customer segment and value proposition.
Also known as product-market fit.
Or you may discover there isn't one. That's OK too.
Better to find out now than after spending years and a fortune only to find out you were wrong.
We will also help you define an MVP to test your vision in front of customers.
Only those accepted into the program can attend. No observers. No press. No lurkers.
How does it work?
(1) This is an intensive program. You must commit to attend every week.
(2) Each week, make hypotheses (guesses) about how the world works.
(3) Get out of the building and talk to potential customers.
(4) Analyze the results. and update your business model canvas based on what you have learnt.
(5) Present your findings to the teaching team and and the other attendees.
"There are no facts in the building!"
You will be expected to talk to at least 10 potential customers each week.
Don't do this program if you're afraid of hard work or you will be humiliated.
Remember, investors and prospects will never tell you your business model sucks. But we will!
Note: Each session will have a maximum of 8 teams.
q) Can I attend as an individual?
a) No. Startup Gauntlet is an intensive experience and only works when done as a team effort.
q) Does everyone who signs up get to attend?
a) Most will. We have a secret selection criteria we won't tell you about.
q) Is there any cost to attend?
a) Just your pride. It is free to attend.
q) I don't have any users or customers. I haven't even built a prototype yet. Is that OK?
a) YES!! Customer Discovery is done BEFORE you have an product or customers.
Otherwise you are just making guesses.
Find your customers and what value you can bring before building prototypes, running pilots, etc.
q) I already have a product and am selling it. Is that OK?
a) The class is designed for the customer discovery phase, which occurs before you have built your product.
Teams that are further along tend to focus on validation and fail in this class.
If you are serious about forgetting everything you think you know about your product and your customers, then we may let you in.
q) Are you going to yell at me?
a) Almost certainly.
q) Can I bring my business partner/advisor/mom?
a) Max of four people on your team can attend. Nobody else. Leave your lawyer at home. Sorry, but no advisors or mentors either.
q) Are there going to be refreshments?
a) Yes. There are vending machines down the hall. Bring quarters.
q) Do I send my presentation in advance?
a) Yes, we will set up a class on Lore and give you access
q) How long does each meeting last?
a) About 90 minutes. Possibly longer. Pre-caffeinate for best results.
q) What is the dress code?
a) We don't have a dress code at all. However, as the sign at the Silver Skillet says: "no shoes, no shirt, no service"
What do our former attendees say about Startup Gauntlet?
"Startup Gauntlet's heavy focus on customer discovery forced us to stop thinking about the
features of our product. Product features don't matter unless you have a viable business model.
The guidance and feedback
during this process was priceless to our development and is a must for any early stage startup."
" What I got from Startup Gauntlet? Ask questions, talk to people, and persist in your dream!"
"Startup Gauntlet showed me how to put the Lean Startup and the
Startup Owners' Manual to use. Every class, every meetup, is a waste of time until you've gone
"Startup Gauntlet sent us to the streets to talk to real people; the result - a refined product
approach based on reality."
"Startup Gauntlet helped me take the first beneficial steps of progress toward becoming an
" I couldn't speak more highly of this experience - in fact, each one of us in my cohort has
separately opined that we couldn't believe we got this kind of exposure, advice, network and
'startup workout' for free. If you're ready to put serious work behind your startup idea,
run - don't walk - and get yourself into Startup Gauntlet."