Launchpad kicked off earlier this week with the introductory Bootcamp! The 2-day event consisted of interactive sessions each laying the groundwork for the next 10 weeks. With over 30 students making up 14 business ideas, the energy was high and the discussion enlightening.

Entrepreneurs are constantly learning therefore, the programme focused around the idea that there are no failures, only feedback on how to do things. The participants began with discussing the problem that their business would try to solve, before moving into a real-world case study. After reading discussing the example, the students began analysing their own ideas through a Business Model Canvas: 9 building blocks that are essential in order to keep ideas moving.

At the end of day one, participants took their work outside of the room; their challenge was to conduct research with five strangers before taking a selfie with them. The feedback the next morning revolved around figuring out which approach and methods worked best. By the end of the discussion, each business idea had a clear view of what questions they should be asking in order to receive the best validation.

Day two continued with lessons on validation, what it is and how you accomplish it. The students were able to look at their Business Canvas and use it to plan researching competitors, run market tests and how to talk to their customers.

Each start-up is not entirely on their own as they have been paired up with mentors; successful business founders based at Accelerator. These mentorships are an essential and fun resource to the process as they will have direct insight into what has worked in the past and how to apply it.

We weren’t all work and no play though. To celebrate the end of the Bootcamp, Accelerator hosted drinks and networking in the lobby. It was an exciting and positive evening as the Launchpad participants built relations with their mentors as well as with each other. We look forward to watching the startups learn and grow throughout the next 10 weeks!

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