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a 12-week program for entrepreneurs who want to create business and financial plans they can use to pitch to investors.

September 4 - November 20
11am - 1pm
100% Free • Hybrid Program

Applications will be available this fall


Course Introduction

When an aspiring entrepreneur begins thinking about starting a business, figuring out where and how to start can quickly become overwhelming. They must figure out how to develop the idea, create its physical manifestation, find funding, and secure the resources needed to launch the business. Traditionally, this has taken entrepreneurs months to years – a timeline which often sidelines would-be entrepreneurs before they ever start or which causes them to lose steam within their first years.

To be successful, entrepreneurs constantly change and adapt. They must learn to identify solutions, test their ideas, and make the necessary adjustments. Entrepreneurs who fail to be agile in their thinking quickly become stagnant and fall behind. Thus, they must engage in continuous learning about their customer base. They must measure how well their solutions address their customers’ problems. They must be ever-aware of competitors who could become problematic for them.

The Lean Startup model promotes the idea that startup entrepreneurs should launch with an MVP (minimum viable product) that isn’t perfect, finalized, or decked out with complicated features. They should then engage with potential customers and investors and make the necessary adjustments in a continuous feedback loop.

Program Goals

The outcomes for this program are the following:
     1. Provide experiential learning for underserved entrepreneurs (defined as those whose businesses will be run by minorities, women, and veterans) regarding the Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup principles.
     2. Develop participants’ understanding of customer validation as a major factor in determining whether an entrepreneur’s idea will succeed in the market.
     3. Improve participants’ ability to articulate key information about their businesses and customers, making them more likely to engage customers, partners, investors, and other stakeholders.

Curriculum Concept


A select group of entrepreneurs has been enrolled in the NSU Innovation Center (NSUIC) Cohort Program where they will receive a programmed curriculum designed to provide them with some of the tools necessary to take their “Idea” to commercialization and capital investment.  The Cohort Program will be aligned with the university curriculum and last for twelve (12) weeks.

  • 12 Weekly Sessions in a Seminar Format

  • One (1) Hour of Formal Presentation (Classroom Format)

  • One (1) Hour of Discussion (Seminar Format)

  • The sessions will be conducted virtually and in-person

  • Week 1 - Strategic Planning and Business Organization
    Objective: Provide guidance for early stage business organization Overview: • Company Organization Structures • Personnel Organization (Functional Organization Chart) • Strategic Road Map Development - Exit Planning • Strategic Capital Requirements Deliverables: • Functional Organization Chart • Strategic Capital Sources and Uses • Strategic Road Map
  • Week 2 - Strategic Business Plan and Strategic Financial Requirements
    Objective: Develop a business plan outline with financial requirements base Overview: •Phased Strategic Road Map • Milestones for Success • Business Plan Outline - Essential Elements • Financial Strategy Deliverables: • Business Plan Outline • Financial Strategy Outline
  • Week 3 - Product-Market Fit
    Objective: Explore the principals of product definition and the resultant market viability for the development of an idea. Overview: • Product Definition and Technology Road Map Development • Problem Definition and Solution Design • Determining Total Addressable Market and the Difference between “Addressable” and “Available” Markets Deliverables: • Product-Market Fit Descriptions • Total Addressable Market Valuation/Details • Defining Target Markets • Identifying Specific Market Verticals or Channels
  • Week 4 - Market Capture Planning
    Objective: Produce a revenue projection based on market capture within the defined target markets Overview: • Review of TAM Planning • Identifying Target Market by Value (Sales $ Potential) • Planning for Capture by Probability Models • Discuss Pricing Strategy • Produce a Revenue Projection based on the Capture Modelling Deliverables: • Revenue Projection (3-5 Years) • Pricing Variables and Spreadsheet Programming
  • Week 5 - Sales Contact Planning
    Objective: Using the Market Capture Plan and the Projected Revenue design a Sales Contact Plan in the target markets. Overview: • Correlating Pricing-Market Capture-Revenue Projection to Sales Objectives • Build a Sales Contact Plan in Target Verticals • Determine Channel Partner Possibilities Deliverables: • Sales Contact Plan • Revenue Projection Reconciliation • Revenue Validation Support
  • Week 6 - Pro-Forma Financials
    Discuss the transaction sought and the terms of the deal with the client Objective: Learn the principals of a pro-forma financial projection package and build an early stage plan. Overview: • Income Statement Principals • Balance Sheet Principals • Cash Flow Statement Principals • Capital and Returns Forecast Deliverables: • Investor Quality Pro-Forma Financial Statement Package • Investor Returns and Valuation Analysis
  • Week 7 - Capital Requirements Planning
    Objective: Build a Strategic Capital Requirement Model Overview: • Determining Essential Requirements at Critical Phases • Design Strategic Funding Requirements • Determine Sources of Capital • Designing a Strategic Capital Plan (Requirements, Sources, Results and Timing) Deliverables: • Strategic Funding Plan • Capital Sources and Uses Schedule
  • Week 8 - Transaction and Terms Education
    Objective: Learn the basics of capital transactions and the terms that define enterprise value Overview: • Defining the transaction by using financial requirements • Transaction Terms • Draft Terms Sheets and Negotiating Strategy • Company Valuation Methodology Review Deliverables: • Draft Term Sheet • Negotiating Strategy Matrix
  • Week 9 - The Investor Package
    Objective: Build a Suitable Investor Document Package Overview: • Business Plan Executive Summary • Investor Presentation • Technology and Product Description • Pro-Forma Financial Statement • Term Sheets Deliverables: • Investor Package Outline • Review Term Sheets and Discussion of Negotiating • Due Diligence Checklist
  • Week 10 - The Investor Pitch
    Objective: Build an Investor Document Presentation Overview: • Elevator Pitch Concept • The Essential Elements of the Investor Presentation • Pitching for Dollars - The Process • Structured Preparation for Q&A • Determining the Goals of a Presentation Deliverables: • Investor Presentation Outline • Preparation for the Investor Presentations in the Following Sessions
  • Week 11 & 12 - Investor Presentations and Critiques
    Objective: Each Cohort Member Give a 15 Minute Investor Presentation Overview: • Entrepreneur Presentations • Peer and Investor Comments and Critiques Deliverables: • Formal Investor Presentation • Formal Investor Document Package
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