Do you have a product prototype that you’ve dreamed of bringing to market?
Are you ready to build a successful business around your product?
Would access to a network of entrepreneurial peers and business and fabrication experts help you achieve your goals?
JumpStart is a selective product-focused 10-week program connecting early stage entrepreneurs with the resources they need to turn their product prototypes into market-ready businesses.
The program meets every Tuesday for 10 weeks, from March 15th – May 17th, 2022
Selected JumpStart participants receive:
- a comprehensive business development program
- one-on-one mentoring
- free membership to Generator for accessing workspace and professional manufacturing and prototyping equipment
- free tool trainings from Generator so participants can learn how to use equipment
- access to Generator’s collaborative hivemind of engineers, designers, fabrication experts, and creatives who want to help you succeed!
APPLY NOW → APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, February 16th, 2022
SERVICES & BENEFITS
Free Generator Membership
Entrepreneurs accepted into the JumpStart cohort will receive free membership at Generator throughout the program including access to workspace, prototyping tools and machines, the conference room, our suite of design programs, and Generator’s unique and collaborative hivemind of designers, artists, entrepreneurs, and manufacturing experts who will help them refine their product or prototype.
Free Tool Trainings
JumpStart cohort entrepreneurs receive free tool trainings appropriate to their product design needs including the laser cutter, vinyl cutter, 3D printers, electronics, metal shop, jewelry studio, sewing machines, and wood shop.
Between Generator membership and tool trainings, JumpStart cohort members will be set-up to experiment with new prototypes, products, packaging, and other physical elements of their business.
An important component of the JumpStart program is developing a network of like-minded entrepreneurs. Generator’s JumpStart cohort members learn from one another, sharing challenges, resources, and solutions during their weekly check-in sessions and workshops.
As Generator members, the JumpStart cohort will also be connected to Generator’s buzzing community of entrepreneurs, makers, artists, and designers both virtually in Generator’s online forum and in-person at our South End facility.
Cohort sessions are private workshops for the 8 selected JumpStart participants, facilitated by Annette Rexroad, MPH, PhD. As an entrepreneur, former epidemiologist, homeschooler and boy mom, Annette has spent nearly two decades balancing a growing business with a growing family alongside her husband, Rex. In 2015 they were presented with a once in a lifetime opportunity and sold their specialty food business, Rex’s Outrageous Road Crew Crunch.
Wanting to help other female entrepreneurs navigate the ups and downs of growing a business, Annette joined forces with the Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) to provide consulting services to women entrepreneurs in the start-up and early growth phases of their businesses.
Cohort sessions will meet in-person in Generator’s large and open Flex Space. Generator is open to members only and requires masks, temperature checks, and verbal health screenings for each person entering the building. There is ample space for physical distancing, and the cohort will switch to virtual meetings if necessary.
JumpStart participants will have free membership to Generator throughout the program. Once selected for the program, participants should immediately coordinate with Generator staff to receive their desired free tool trainings so that they can get to work on developing their product or refining their production process.
ALL SESSIONS HELD TUESDAYS FROM 2:30 – 5:00 PM
Cohort Session: Clarity | 2:30-5pm
Intro to course structure, personality inventory, and goal visualization
Cohort Session: Cohort | 2:30-5pm
Evaluating market opportunities, mock debate, and business naming
Cohort Session: Culture | 2:30-5pm
Creating a fun, inclusive environment where you want to work
Cohort Session: Customers | 2:30-5pm
Finding the right customer (segmentation), assessing pain point intensity, and creating a plan for building and measuring customer loyalty
Cohort Session: Business Operations | 2:30-5pm
Supply chains, delivery processes, pricing strategies, and production
Cohort Session: Cash is King | 2:30-5pm
Common accounting mistakes, intro to income statements, P&L and forecasting
Cohort Session: Lean In | 2:30-5pm
Pitch deck presentations, funding sources, negotiation strategy, imposter syndrome
Cohort Session: Timeline | 2:30-5pm
Marketing, employee hiring strategy, key resource list, SWOT analysis, profile pictures
Cohort Session: Facilitator-Cohort Deep Dive | 2:30-5pm
This class is devoted to the issues and concerns that are most pressing to the cohort.
Celebration! | 2:30 – 5pm
Community gathering to celebrate graduation and present pitch decks to the community.
HOW TO GET IN
Maker-entrepreneurs selected for the program have outstanding product ideas, live in the greater Burlington region, have a viable physical prototype ready for market testing and business model development, and are available to participate in the cohort sessions outlined above.
Applicants will be reviewed and scored by a panel of advisors, Generator and the Jumpstart Instructor, Annette Rexroad.
Acceptance is determined based on a clear demonstration of product readiness, business feasibility, and entrepreneurial energy.
How to Live with Your Business | Jen Kimmich
The 2019 Jumpstart lecture series kicks off by answering one of the most important questions for entrepreneurs: “How do I live with my business?” Running a business is hard enough during good times, but true entrepreneurs find a way to succeed even when times are tough. The Alchemist founder, Jen Kimmich, knows a thing or two about persevering through hardship and building a successful company. She’ll be sharing her story and advice for overcoming obstacles and making your vision a reality.
How to Make Your Customers Love You | Christine Dodson
At our second JUMP/START lecture Christine Dodson, co-founder of Mamava, breaks down how to develop a great relationship with your customers. It takes much more than good brand design and an instagram account to build a loyal customer base and Mamava has built a social movement with their business. Learn how to create and deliver a message and customer experience that makes your customers love you!
How will you manage it? | Bret Hodgdon & Matt Cleare
Once you have your go to market strategy and you’re ready to start generating revenue, you’ll need a plan for managing your financials. In this session, Bret Hodgdon and Matt Cleare of Davis & Hodgdon Associates will cover the accounting basics you’ll need to become familiar with in order to turn your idea into a business. We’ll explore cost structures, basic accounting and bookkeeping principles, and strategies for tracking expenses and revenue, setting up a reliable accounting system, and managing cash flow.
How to Build a Solid Legal Foundation | Justin McCabe
This lecture will answers some of the most important questions entrepreneurs have. What is the right legal structure for my business? How do I protect my intellectual property? What policies and procedures do I need in place? Join us for straight forward and slightly comical answers to these questions from JustinMcCabe, attorney at Dunkiel Saunders and founder of the Vermont Evaporator Company. You’ll learn how to create a solid legal foundation for your business so you can spend your time growing it!
How to Win Support from the Right People | Cairn Cross
At our final JUMP/START lecture we’ll start with a check-in with the members of our Jump/Start cohort. Hear how eight local entrepreneurs are launching and growing their businesses after 9 weeks in the JUMP/START program.
Then we hear from Cairn Cross, founder of Fresh Tracks Capital, about pitching your business and building your support network. Cairn shares his thoughts on what makes a business presentation compelling and how to use your pitch to win more than just financial support.
How Will People Know About It? | Michael Jager
For entrepreneurial thinkers and makers, a great idea, product, or service is not enough to build your idea’s true potential. Your ability to capture, communicate, create and refine your cultural relevance in people’s lives is essential. This is the practice of a ‘Living Brand.’ It’s about strategic thinking and design, but also, how to practice and apply that to your idea. An idea that is not in motion, learning, and relevant is no idea at all. We will review what a brand is and why it matters. We will dig into the process, practice, and look at cases of ‘Living Brandwork’ in action. Resources and reading materials for creating, clarifying, communicating, and cultivating your idea will be shared.