JumpStart is a free 12-week entrepreneurial bootcamp for product-based startups. This inclusive and engaging program offers a specialized group coaching experience that will guide budding product-based business owners step-by-step from prototype to launch.
Participants will experience a combination of live-taught curriculum, group learning, and personalized 1:1 support that will provide adaptable and easily customizable strategies to help them confidently launch life-changing products.
JumpStart is completely free of cost to participants. Accepted entrepreneurs will receive membership at Generator’s 15,000+ square foot coworking/fabrication space in the heart of Burlington, Vermont’s South End Arts District. This includes access to Generator’s community of engineers, designers, makers, and fabrication experts. Participants will also receive tool trainings to help them learn and refine skills that can be used to enhance or continue the development of their products.
JumpStart ‘24 participants will receive the following:
- A comprehensive 12-week business development program
- Three months of free membership to Generator valued at $99/month
- $300 Generator tool training credit (tool training list)
- Access to fully-equipped metal, wood, jewelry, sewing, electronics and rapid-prototyping facilities, 7 days a week, 9am – 9pm
- Access to Generator’s 200+ member community of engineers, developers, crafts professionals and entrepreneurs
Applications are due by January 17, 2024
Facilitated by Emily Eley
Emily Eley is an anti-capitalist business coach, facilitator, and CliftonStrengths expert in the Burlington area. She is the creator of Made 4 More, an anti-capitalist nationally run business coaching program for small business owners looking to do business differently.
Emily has devoted her career to teaching folks how to grow ethics-based and values-driven businesses without exploiting their or others’ energy, time, or resources. Emily is also a mama to two, a partner to her beloved Matt, and can often be found on the back of her mountain bike or under a barbell at Crossfit Burlington.
Emily’s mission is to empower womxn-owned businesses, BIPOC-owned businesses, queer-owned businesses, and other folx from marginalized communities to generate sustainable wealth and significant impact in their communities.
All JumpStart program sessions will take place in-person at Generator in Burlington, VT (Map) on Wednesdays from 2:30-5:00pm. The only exception is the final graduation session which will happen from 5:00-8:00pm at Generator.
We’ll introduce you to our Generator Staff, and provide a tour of our space and membership orientation to ensure you are equipped to take full advantage of this three month program.
In Week 1, we’ll cover your CliftonStrengths profile, how to set yourself up for success over the next 12 weeks, curriculum overview, and a vision exercise of where you want to be a year from now and what it will take to get there.
Mission and Values
Week 2 will cover defining who you want to be as a company. What do you stand for? What is your deeper why? Defining your Customer Value Proposition – what is it that makes you unique? How will you stand out in a sea of other makers?
In Week 3, we’ll go deep into market research. We’ll get clear on who your Ideal Customer is, what they struggle with and what they enjoy. This week will include conducting some field research including informational interviews and surveying and polling of your community.
Milestone & Implementation Week
No new course work will be delivered during Milestone and Implementation Week. Instead, there will be a structured opportunity to bring your prototype in for a product review with industry reps and the Generator community.
This is a fun get together in the evening where folks can come and troubleshoot scaling and manufacturing obstacles, problem solve on materials or anything else getting in your way from shifting from prototype to scaling.
Building an Online Presence (Part 1)
During Week 5, we’ll start building your website or continue to flesh out your current website. Let’s get a product page up and running! We’ll explore ecommerce platforms and weigh the pros and cons of platforms like Etsy, Shopify, and others.
Building an Online Presence (Part 2)
During Week 6, we’ll identify what the most effective use of your time is when it comes to online marketing.We will also cover some beginner basics for navigating social media; building an email list and learn easy to implement strategies to start immediately growing your list.
Ask a Lawyer
During Week 7, we’ll discuss what it takes to establish & maintain limited liability. We’ll cover topics like: Insurance & Product Liability, Understanding Terms & Conditions and how to customize them, Implementing Reasonableness into your business, Patents, trademarks, and copyrights, Understanding regulations and consumer product safety. Knowing when to switch to an S-Corp. And how to find a lawyer that’s the right fit for you and your business.
Milestone & Implementation Week
This second Milestone and Implementation Week will be focused on participants meeting with their key stakeholder to discuss what they need most at this stage in their journey. Stakeholders will either be ready to mentor you that week in a 1:1 session or will warmly hand you off to a community/local business contact.
Making Money (Part 1)
Week 9 is dedicated to getting you to your first sale. We’ll discuss pricing, payment processors, financial projections, and setting up a sustainable sales pipeline.
Making Money (Part 2)
In Week 10, we’ll continue our conversation of financials and dive into accounting, budgeting, taxes, borrowing money & take a sneak peak at what it takes to run a successful Crowdsourcing or Kickstarter Campaign.
This week is dedicated entirely to practicing your pitch! We’ll tie up any loose ends you might have and address any outstanding needs or questions.
It’s graduation week! This session will consist of a public showcase of all the participants’ pitch decks, products and asks of the community. The community at large will be invited to witness and cheer on your graduation!
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 JUMPSTART 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 JumpStart lecture we’ll start with a check-in with the members of our JumpStart cohort. Hear how eight local entrepreneurs are launching and growing their businesses after 9 weeks in the JumpStart 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.