HOW TO GET IN
Maker-entrepreneurs selected for the program have outstanding product ideas, live in the greater Burlington region, and have a viable physical prototype ready for market testing and business model development.
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.
SERVICES & BENEFITS
Free Access to Generator
JumpStart cohort entrepreneurs have free membership at Generator throughout the program including access to workspace, prototyping tools and machines, the conference room, 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.
Mentoring and Technical Assistance
JumpStart cohort entrepreneurs will each receive 1:1 mentoring and technical assistance from leading regional business experts.
The JumpStart public lecture series invites local experts to speak on topics including market analysis, revenue generation, financial management, business formation, intellectual property protection, brand development, and financing.
JumpStart cohort members attend the public lectures after their weekly cohort sessions where they join any and all aspiring entrepreneurs in our community who are interested in these topics. Over 800 emerging entrepreneurs have attended JumpStart free public lectures to date.
Free Tool Trainings
JumpStart cohort entrepreneurs receive free tool trainings appropriate to their product designs needs including the laser cutter, 3D printers, 4-Axis CNC mill, electronics, metal shop, and wood shop.
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.
Cohort sessions are private workshops for the 8 selected JumpStart participants.
Lectures are free and open to the public! Topics and speakers are forthcoming.
JumpStart applicants should be able to attend all events listed below.
Cohort Session: Knowing Yourself | 2:30-5pm
Assumptions, Working Styles, Team Building, Obstacles
Cohort Session: Knowing Your Customer | 2:30-5pm
Customer, Problems, Alternatives, Idea Testing
Cohort Session: Building Blocks | 2:30-5pm
Distribution, Revenue, Typical Offering, Price
Cohort Session: Discovering the Bottom Line | 2:30-5pm
Startup & Ongoing Needs, Fixed & Variable Costs, Break-Even Point
Cohort Session: Planning for Growth | 2:30-5pm
Growth Plans, Goal Setting, Preparing for Celebration Night
01 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.
02 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!
03 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.
04 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!
05 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.
06 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.