Startup School – Entrepreneurship training crash course

3 mins read

July 2001.

10 years ago this time in July I was an out of work, recently fried (possibly fired), roasted and burned out technology company ex-CEO. While the designation was anything but flattering its financial impact had burned a crispy and still smoking radioactive hole through my supposedly secure financial future.

When I looked outside at the brilliantly painted California sky, rather than be grateful for being in Orange County on a mild summer afternoon, I kept on asking myself – Whoa, what just happened here. Six years later, the questions lead to a book (no publishing contract) and an opportunity to start teaching executive MBA students about starting and failing with their dream businesses. And so for half a decade now I have helped my students work through ideas and dreams so that they can sift them via the reality lens of startup school.

If you want to skip the class, skip the book, skip the history lessons, skip the school and the hard work here is the short and sweet version for you.

Startup School – Core Milestones

Startup School – Balance Faith

Startup School – Balancing Faith

Startup School – The blue screen of death

Startup School – Startup roulette: A framework for failure

Startup School – The search for gods and generals – Leadership and Greco-Roman tragedies: Lessons learned

Startup School – The search for gods and generals – Leadership and Greco-Roman tragedies

Startup School – The paradox of large customers

Startup School – Why diversification is a four-letter word: Lessons learned

Startup School – Why diversification is a four-letter word

Startup School – Opportunity cost of perfection

Startup School – Evolutionary product development and “solving the wrong problem”, problem: Lessons learned

Startup School – Evolutionary product development and “solving the wrong problem”, problem

Startup School – Technology as a competitive advantage: Lessons learned

Startup School – Technology as a competitive advantage

If you survived, are still here with me and would like to learn more, welcome to Startup school. Sample lesson number one talks about innovation and entrepreneurship and sets the context for the full course.

Startup School


Duration: 34 min

Description: Innovation and Entrepreneurship – A first look at the relationship between Innovation and Entrepreneurship using an example from the technology industry and a case. Do you really need to innovate to win?

Startup School


Duration: 15 min

Description: A quick review of competition and competitive advantage and the three primary barriers to entry you are likely to face as competition and industry participant.

If you like what you see, follow through to the lesson plan below and sign up for the distribution list that gets a first shot at registration for the live rendering (UAE, Singapore, Kula Lumpur and Karachi) or the online version of the course.

It started off with a seminar participant asking me if I teach outside of the executive MBA program I am associated with. Coupled with four years of mentoring companies participating in the Asia Pacific ICT Awards, it was obvious that there had to be a better way of teaching people real time rather than at the last minute in a foreign hotel in an alien city surrounded by unfamiliar conference ware.

The lesson plan grew out of the evolving course work in my classes and mentoring and reviewing over two hundred business plan. A rough outline follows.

The first online week long version of the course will run in mid August. The live versions are planned between October and November in the four cities. For advance notice registrations please drop me a line at jawwad at the rate alchemya dot com or subscribe to this site or our facebook fan page.

Startup School – Course Plan



One – Foundations Testing your idea
Testing yourself
The Roadmap to Failure
The Roadmap to credibility
Two – Pitching basics Tell a great story
The voice of a customer
What is he buying
What are you selling
How much does it cost
Why you – why not someone else
Why should I care
Three – The voice of the customer Behavior
Linking customer pain with product features
Four – Selling your product Monetizing the pain
Five – Roadmap to Credibility 10 conversations
10 customers
10 proposals
10 pitches
The 3 month build out, deliver, collect cycle
Six – Revisiting the pitch Logistics
Seven – Wrap up Core lessons
Roadmap to revenues

Here is a second look at related video content produced by the Start up School.

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