Are you a Maker with an awesome product?
Ready to turn it into a business?
Jump/Start pays you to start your company!


Thanks to our sponsors! Support provided by


Generator Jump/Start selects up to 8 makers with great product ideas for its eleven-week session. Jump/Start entrepreneurs are given free 24/7 access to Generator makerspace, a $1,000 stipend and free tool training classes to help them refine their product prototype aided by Generator’s expert shop leads.

Jump/Start entrepreneurs attend five biweekly guest speaker workshops and receive 1:1 mentoring based on the curriculum developed by LaunchVT and guided by local experts in subjects ranging from Market Analysis, Revenue Generation, Financial Management, Business Formation, Intellectual Property Protection, Brand Development, and Financing.

At the end of the 11 week program Jump/Start entrepreneurs will present their business plans and products. They will leave with an analysis of their business that they can use to apply for LaunchVT’s early stage acceleration program or other acceleration programs and funding opportunities.

There are no strings attached—this is an equity free program.


The Jump/Start team selects maker-entrepreneurs with outstanding product ideas living in the greater Burlington region with a viable physical prototype ready for market testing and business model development. To qualify applicants must provide proof of a Minimally Viable Product (MVP) and demonstrate its market potential. Applicants will be reviewed and scored by a panel of advisors, Generator and LaunchVT staff and Generator members. Acceptance is determined based on a clear demonstration of product readiness, business feasibility, and entrepreneurial energy.

Participants must be able to attend all of the lectures and cohort check-ins listed below in the program outline.


Free 24/7 Generator Access
Jump/Start cohort entrepreneurs have free membership at Generator throughout the 3-month residency including access to Shared Work Areas, Prototyping Toolsets, LLab Meeting Space, Design Workstations and Parking. Generator is located at 40 Sears Lane in Burlington.

$1,000 Entrepreneur Stipend
Each cohort member will each receive a $1,000 stipend to assist with entrepreneur’s personal expenses during the 3-month residency period.

Mentoring and Technical Assistance
Jump/Start cohort entrepreneurs will each receive 1:1 mentoring and technical assistance from leading regional business experts. Last year’s mentors included:

  • Financial Management from Bret Hodgdon and Matt Cleare – Davis & Hodgdon Accountants
  • Remote Bookkeeping setup and support from
  • Business Formation and Intellectual Property Protection from Justin McCabe – Dunkiel Saunders Elliott Raubvogel & Hand
  • Market Analysis and Revenue Generation from Christine Hammer & Kimberly Stellavato – Center for Women and Enterprise
  • Brand development from Michael Jager – Solidarity of Unbridled Labor
  • Financing from Cairn Cross of Fresh Tracks Capital
  • Underwriting from People’s United Bank
  • Prototyping/Fabrication technical assistance from Generators expert shop leads

Peer Learning
An important component of the Jump/Start program is developing a network of like-minded entrepreneurs. Generator’s Jump/Start cohort members learn from one another, sharing challenges, resources, and solutions.

Access to Free Workshops
Generator will host a series of bi-weekly free workshops on topics relevant to entrepreneurs including Market Analysis, Revenue Generation, Financial Management, Business Formation, Intellectual Property Protection, Brand Development, and Financing.

Free Tool Training for Prototyping Toolsets
Jump/Start cohort entrepreneurs will receive free tool trainings appropriate to their product designs needs including Lasercutter, 3D printers, 4-Axis CNC Mill,  Electronics,  Metalshop & Woodshop

Free Wireless Gigabyte Internet
High-speed internet provided by Burlington Telecom will be available to Jump/Start members.

Free Bottomless Coffee
Jump/Start have access to limitless coffee in Generator’s member kitchen from Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.

Developed by LaunchVT

This program outline is compatible with the [Business Model Canvas] and the LAUNCH REPORT (download now). Entrepreneurs in Residence and workshop attendees can use these tools to gather and report information about their businesses throughout the program. The [Business Model Canvas] is an organizational tool entrepreneurs can use to refine their business plan and the LAUNCH REPORT is a summary tool entrepreneurs can use at the end of the program to apply for LaunchVT and other acceleration/incubation programs as well as funding.

01  January 16

Cohort Session: Knowing yourself | 3-5pm
Introduction, assumptions, working styles, team building, obstacles

Lecture: How to live with your business | 5:30-7pm

02  January 23

Cohort Session: Knowing your customer | 3-5pm
Problem, solution, benefit, competition, advantage, customer

03  January 30

Cohort Session: Getting the relationship right | 3-5pm
Marketing and message, getting, keeping and growing customers

Lecture: How to make your customers love you | 5:30-7pm

04  February 6

Cohort Session: Building the model to scale | 3-5pm
Starting small, distribution, revenue, typical sale, price

05  February 13

Cohort Session: Strengthening your structure | 3-5pm
Business structures, licenses, intellectual property, hiring

Lecture: How to build a solid legal foundation | 5:30-7pm

06  February 20

Cohort Session: Discovering the bottom line | 3-5pm
Startup and ongoing needs, fixed and variable costs, break-even point

07  February 27

Cohort Session: Accounting for growth | 3-5pm
Sales, projections, cash flow, accounting

Lecture: How to make good financial decisions | 5:30-7pm

08  March 6

Cohort Session: Planning for the future | 3-5pm
Raising capital, growth plans, goal setting, pitch prep

09  March 13

Cohort Session: Celebrating success | **This session only 4-5pm**

Cohort Presentations | 5-5:30pm

Lecture: How to win support from the right people | 5:30-7pm

Last year’s lectures:

01  Who will buy it? | Market Analysis | January 11 | 5-7pm

Instructor: Cristine Hammer – Center for Women & Enterprise Vermont | Hammer Consulting

Every startup begins with an idea and a passion. But, just because you love your product or service doesn’t mean that others will and, when it comes to success in business, it’s all about the customer. Some basic keys to starting a successful business are identifying who wants what you’re selling, will they pay for it, what you need to do to stand out from others in the marketplace, and studying potential competitors. We’ll explore these issues to get you on your way to formulating an effective business plan.

Target Market [Customer Segments]

  • Who wants or needs it? What are the demographics and psychographics?
  • Can they afford it?
  • Where are they?
  • How do they get information? Print, social media, influencers, etc?

Unique Selling Proposition (USP) [Value Proposition]

  • What’s your value?
  • Why do they need it?
  • What makes you different?
  • What could make you different?

Competitive Analysis

  • Who else is out there?
  • What are they doing well? What can you do better?
  • What are they missing?
  • What advantages do you have?

02  How will people buy it? | Revenue Generation | January 25 | 5-7pm

Instructor: Kimberly Stellavato – Center for Women & Enterprise Vermont

You’ve decided what to sell and who will buy it, but how will you bring your product or service to market to generate revenue? An effective go to market strategy will improve your business results by aligning your strategy to the evolving needs of your customers. In this session, we will take an in-depth look at how to capture your customer, how to develop a pricing and revenue model, and how to launch with success.

Go to Market Strategy

  • How do you develop a minimum viable product?
  • What is your customer trying to achieve and what problems do they need to solve?
  • How will your product help your customers be successful?
  • Where are your customers, and how will you reach them? [Channels]

Revenue and Pricing Model

  • How do you develop revenue streams? [Revenue Streams]
  • What’s your customer’s willingness to pay?
  • How do you create pricing for profitability?

Plan Validation

  • How do you test your product concept with your target market?
  • How do you develop a launch plan? – 4Ps (Product, Pricing, Promotion, Placement)
  • How do you redefine your model as you learn and grow?

03  How will you manage it? | Financial Management | February 8 | 5-7pm

Instructors: Bret Hodgdon and Matt Cleare – Davis & Hodgdon

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. This session 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.

Cash Flow

  • What are your costs? [Cost Structure]
  • What are your revenue streams?
  • How do you keep track of it all?

The Books

  • What should you consider when setting up your system?
  • What tools can you use to budget and determine breakeven?
  • How do you understand your financials? Key terms and figures.
  • How do you forecast and make projections?

04  How will it compete? | Business Formation & Intellectual Property | February 22 | 5-7pm

Instructor: Justin McCabe – Dunkiel, Saunders, Elliott, Raubvogel & Hand

Intellectual property (IP) can give your business a leg up on your competition, focus your research, give your investors confidence, and protect your business assets; however, it takes planning and nurturing throughout the business development process. This session will provide an overview of the different types of IP, how to acquire and protect your IP, and, most importantly, discuss pitfalls that entrepreneurs encounter (e.g., pitch contests, taking to investors, waiting to consider IP protection). The session will also touch on the pros and cons of incorporating and when it may be a good idea for your new business.

The Value of You and What You Do

  • What is Intellectual Property?
  • Do you need to protect your Intellectual Property?
  • How do you protect and Defend your Intellectual Property?

Corporate Structure

  • What structure is right for your business?
  • How will you manage risk?

05  How will people know about it? | Brand Development | March 8 | 5-7pm

Instructors: Michael Jager – Solidarity of Unbridled Labor

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.

Brand Strategy

  • What is a brand?
  • Why does a brand matter?
  • How does your brand connect your product and your customers?

Brand Process

  • How do you create a Living brand?
  • How do you communicate your brand?
  • How do you clarify, refine, and cultivate your brand?

Brand Guides

  • What are some examples of Living Brands?
  • What resources are available to help develop your brand?

06  How will you fund it? | Financing | March 22 | 5-7pm

Instructor: Cairn Cross – FreshTracks Capital

Financing is an important consideration for all entrepreneurs. This session will provide an overview of debt and equity instruments available to Vermont startups and discuss the pros and cons of different types of capital. We will also discuss which lenders and equity providers in Vermont are active participants in the market and how a startup can organize its “pitch” to obtain capital.

Financing Options

  • What types of financing are available?
  • When should you seek financing?
  • What type of financing is right for your business?

Financing Sources

  • Where can you go to get financing?
  • Which sources should you explore first?
  • Who can help guide you through financing options?

Financing Process

  • What will you need to get financing?
  • How much financing do you need?
  • How do you apply for or request financing?