For Entrepreneurs and
Students Learning

Customer Discovery Bootcamp

Designed for both Community and Student Entrepreneurs

Most technology startups fail. Why? They start executing before they have a sound business model. What about you? Have you discovered a scalable and profitable business model yet?

Startup Gauntlet uses the Customer Discovery process developed by Steve Blank along with the Business Model Canvas.

Startup Gauntlet is for teams of 2 to 4 entrepreneurs. Because of the intensive nature of the class, we strongly encourage you not 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.
(6) Repeat.

"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!

q) Can I attend as an individual?
a) Startup Gauntlet is an intensive experience and only works well 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 should occur 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. We honestly don't care what you wear. This is startup-land.

Other questions? Send an email.

Raleigh, NC

sponsored by North Carolina State University

Next class starts:
Mon May 19, 2014 - 11am

Georgia Tech

sponsored by VentureLab

Next class starts:
Wed May 28, 2014 - 8am

Tallahassee, FL

sponsored by Florida State University

Next class starts:
Fri June 13, 2014 - 11am

Auburn, AL

sponsored by Auburn University

Next class starts:
Thu June 12, 2014 - 11am

Athens, GA

sponsored by Four Athens

Next class starts:

Atlanta, GA - ATDC

Next class:
Thu Dec 25, 2014 - 11:30am

Please contact ATDC for details of how to enroll in this class.

University of Florida

sponsored by UF Center for Entrepreneurship

Summer 2014

this is a private class

University of Alabama

sponsored by Alabama Innovation and Mentoring of Entrepreneurs Center

Summer 2014

this is a private class

What do our former attendees say about Startup Gauntlet?

Maria Joyner

Maria Joyner

"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."

Andrew Muriuki

Andrew Muriuki

" What I got from Startup Gauntlet? Ask questions, talk to people, and persist in your dream!"

Jill Russek

Jill Russek

"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 through this."

Fred Blumer

Fred Blumer

"Startup Gauntlet sent us to the streets to talk to real people; the result - a refined product approach based on reality."

Julia Weaver

Julia Weaver

"Startup Gauntlet helped me take the first beneficial steps of progress toward becoming an entrepreneur. "

Wendy Ho

Wendy Ho

" 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."