JumpStart selects makers with great product ideas to participate in a free business incubator program. JumpStart entrepreneurs are given free 24/7 access to Generator makerspace, a stipend, and free tool training classes to help them refine their product prototype aided by Generator’s expert shop leads.
JumpStart entrepreneurs attend lectures from business leaders 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 JumpStart program, 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 JumpStart 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
JumpStart cohort entrepreneurs have free membership at Generator throughout the 3-month residency 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. Generator is located at 40 Sears Lane in Burlington’s South End Arts District.
Mentoring and Technical Assistance
JumpStart cohort entrepreneurs will each receive 1:1 mentoring and technical assistance from leading regional business experts. Former mentors included:
- Financial Management from Bret Hodgdon and Matt Cleare – Davis & Hodgdon Accountants
- Remote Bookkeeping setup and support from www.reconciledit.com
- 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
Each cohort member will each receive a stipend to supplement the cost of materials, transportation, childcare, and/or other costs associated with participating in the program, including making investments in their businesses.
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.
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
JumpStart cohort entrepreneurs will receive free tool trainings appropriate to their product designs needs including laser cutter, 3D printers, 4-Axis CNC Mill, Electronics, Metalshop & Woodshop
Free Wireless Gigabyte Internet
High-speed internet provided by Burlington Telecom will be available to JumpStart members.
JUMPSTART PROGRAM OUTLINE
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.
Check back in December 2019 for the official lecture and cohort meeting dates.
Created in collaboration with LaunchVT and their successful LaunchVT Collegiate program, Generator JumpStart Collegiate Summer Entrepreneur Boot Camp is a 10 week start-up intensive, built on a rigorous turn-key curriculum, exclusively for college student entrepreneurs. Participating students are undergraduates and graduating seniors, selected by their colleges. Participants maybe taking part in LaunchVT Collegiate program or maybe any other passionate students entrepreneurs who have a product prototype ready for market testing. The student cohort members will each receive up to $4,000 worth of services including, a monthly stipend, housing in Champlain College dorms, 24/7 access to the Generator workspace, free tool trainings, individualized support from business mentors, weekly expert-coached cohort meetings, and help from visiting technical and business experts to refine their product prototypes and business plans.
Applications due September 30, 2019
Generator’s Business of Art is a 9-week intensive exclusively for artists who are ready to turn their practices into a sustainable business.
A panel of retailers, curators, and art professionals will select up to eight artists with established bodies of work to participate in the 9-week program.
Selected artists will receive:
free access to Generator’s tools, resources, and shared workspace
free public lectures and group coaching from established artist-entrepreneurs and industry professionals
free expert mentoring and technical assistance
an artist-entrepreneur stipend
HOW TO GET INTO BUSINESS OF ART
The cohort will be selected on the basis of their readiness to successfully launch their creative business and will not be judged on the aesthetics of their work.
Cohort members should be able to attend all presentations and cohort sessions; check the schedule below before applying.
Potential cohort members should be able to answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:
Do you have a cohesive and professional body of work?
Have you made serious effort to sell your work in the past through multiple channels?
Do you have a professional quality online presence including website and social media?
Applications are due September 30th, 2019 by 11:59PM EST.
Presentations and panel discussions are open to the public. Cohort sessions are open only to those accepted into the Business of Art Cohort.
Please join us to celebrate the completion of Business of Art (and to do some holiday shopping) at our annual maker market, the Holiday Humbug, where each cohort member will sell their art!
Cohort Session: Getting the Relationship Right | 3-5pm
Marketing and message, getting, keeping and growing customers.
Cohort Session: Who is your Squad | 3-5pm
Business structures, licenses, intellectual property, hiring
Cohort Session: Planning for the Future | 3-5pm
Growth plans, goal setting, pitch prep
Cohort Session: Celebrating success | **This session only 4-5pm**
Artist Exhibition & Sale: Holiday Humbug Maker Market | 5-9pm
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.