Commercialization Academy: Starting Blocks

We are excited to offer Starting Blocks again this year. We had over-the-top positive response from teams who completed last year’s Starting Blocks and similar customer discovery programs.

Here is what they had to say:
“Maybe ten stars. Don't miss this program.  Understanding customer needs is the key to success”
“Great workshop, I was new to the topic and learned a lot!”

Starting Blocks is a two-part workshop: August 2nd  and August 16th 

If you have a great technology, do you know who your market is? Starting Blocks is a 2-day workshop (1/2 day each day, plus 6 interviews during the week) based on the Lean Startup methodology, specifically designed for university researchers commercializing their inventions. 
The core concept is to “get out of the building”—go talk to decision-makers in your industry to find out what they need your product to do. Check out the 1-minute video.

Starting Blocks will:

  • Teach you about the importance of customer discovery and finding a product-market fit using the “I-Corp” method
  • Teach you basic business terminology and a toolkit to connect with industry
  • Guide teams through 6 interviews with industry contacts to learn their perspective on your innovation
  • Help you accelerate commercialization of your invention

Completing Starting Blocks will also better position you to win proof-of-concept grants and licensing partnerships, land a spot at an accelerator, and attract startup capital.  It is a very short introduction to the “I-Corps methodology” taught by the NSF, DOE, and NIH to help inventors increase the impact of their ideas.  

“The goal of a startup is to not be a startup anymore. It’s to be a real company. And you are a real company once you have a customer. So a technology without a customer is just an idea really”

The time commitment is 8:00-1:00 on August 2nd and 16th , then 6 interviews with industry contacts during the weeks in between.
Mentoring/advising will be available as needed.

Starting Blocks is free for CU and NIST students, faculty, postdocs and staff.
RSVP through Eventbrite and we will contact you to confirm your spot.

Friday, August 16, 2019 at 12:00am to 12:00am

Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotec Building, B231
3415 Colorado Avenue, Boulder, CO 80309