Founder-Centric delivers Lean Startup, Customer Development, and Business Model Generation workshops - but in a practical way that is relevant to their specific context.
We're buzzword-free, motivating, and alternate between covering core principles and fast-paced workshops where each founder makes progress on their startup.
Drawing from a large collection of tools and techniques, we give your founders immediate skills to quickly expose blind spots, better alternatives, and customer behaviours that point to real commercial opportunity. Instead of blindly "making the leap," which can seem daunting, too time-consuming or hard to get right, they have the tools and skills to make regular course-corrections.
Programme directors rely on us to help design, redesign and iterate through each cohort. Whether that's pre-product-market fit in an accelerator, learning basic opportunistic skills in a university, or building and scaling a product or a marketing channel, we help programme's reach their targets through a responsive approach.
Usually over a coffee, we review the entire program together, share our formats and materials to plug in throughout the program. We look at where our time can add the most value, and help achieve program goals, whether that's keeping teams on track for demo day, helping them find the signal from the noise after mentoring, or showing them which tools and skills are applicable now so they become part of the founders' styles.
Rob Fitzpatrick is a tech entrepreneur based in London and Barcelona. He has successfully bankrupted 3 companies, is a YCombinator alum (summer 07), and has built products used globally by brands like MTV & Sony. He's raised funding in the US & UK. He is finishing a book about how to actually talk to customers called The Mom Test, blogs at The Startup Toolkit, and is starting up his next company at Dex.io.
Get a sense of what Rob's about from some of his blog posts:
Salim Virani is the creator of Leancamp, which has connected active founders with many leading lights in entrepreneurship – Eric Ries, John Mullins, Alex Osterwalder, David Heinemeier Hansson, etc. – to evolve the tools entrepreneurs use. He's founded 5 tech startups, built the digital media department at a JWT agency, and taught continuing education through to Masters students at University College London. Sal advises and mentors startups, and has done Customer Development with a range of startups including Alex Osterwalder's own business model tool, Strategyzer. Sal generally galavants around the globe for Leancamp.
Get a sense of what Sal's about from some of his blog posts:
The History Of Lean Startup
Peter Thiel vs the Science Fiction masters
The question that lifts conversion or points to a pivot
Essential Customer Development skills – Softball, Anchor and Deflection questions
Jordan Schlipf is a tech & consumer product entrepreneur. He's co-founded 4 companies and has raised seed capital from both angels & VC. He's previously worked in tech transfer (H2O Venture Partners), ran a pushchair company, and launched a female cosmetic in the US (thebioeffect.com). He spent time as a CEO Confidant Apprentice working with top (FTSE 30) CEOs across EU & China (Xinfu). Jordan holds a MEng from Oxford and successfully escaped an early career in corporate finance. Presently, Jordan is Entrepreneur In Residence with #1seed.
Daniel Tenner is a serial entrepreneur, tech geek and startup blogger. Prior to his current business, GrantTree, Daniel started two startups (Vocalix and Woobius), and has been a successful startup blogger since 2008 at swombat.com. Daniel teaches on topics ranging from startup strategy to government funding, and advises several UK startups. After failing hard at his first two startups, Daniel learned many lessons that he's applying to his successful third venture. A strong bias against unlikely moonshot and towards pragmatic (if sometimes smaller) successes make Daniel a great advisor for startup founders who want a clear path toward building a healthy business (as opposed to rolling the VC and exit dice).
Most of the latest entrepreneurship approaches come with a heavy dose of theory and process, making it hard for startups to apply them. Startups don't have time to read books or impose big process changes. So we cut to core principles, and add a range of quick, actionable and valuable tools so founders can see benefits immediately.
We draw on an arsenal of these tools, and have a very context-specific approach to creating new tools as-needed. We consider the startup stage, goals, founders' psychology and their contraints and resources, zooming in on their next step or current block. This allows us to strip away superfluous theory and process, so the founders get rolling in minutes with real experience.
We're open source. We work collaboratively with startup programmes, sharing our techniques and tools openly (even if we're not hired.) In a casual setting, we can help by taking a big picture perspective of the whole programme, the success criteria, and what's worked and hasn't. We then zoom in to specific problems and teams, ensuring our work finds traction. Rather than pre-plan and over-schedule, we help you become more flexible and responsive to needs as they arise. We also help you set an energetic and open culture. This entire process usually happens over a cup of coffee, so buy us one!
Experienced Lean Startup founders have all found that Iteration, Doing Less, Navigating By The Big Picture, Learning Clearly and Focusing On Next Steps are valuable principles.
Within 8 hours, we cover these principles by giving founders 14 tools and techniques that put these principles in action. We take this a step further than training and education, and actually use those tools on their startup during F-Day, so each tool has moved them forward and they are comfortable putting them to immediate use that evening.
Depending on your needs, and your founders' needs, we can help build other founder skills on-demand:
Customer development hands-on experience.
A great way to start their good habits from day one, we literally get out of the building and do customer interviews with your founders. This not only overcomes their fear and scepticism, but gives them personalised feedback so their interview techniques get them to actionable facts quickly.
We strategically place 1-to-1 sessions with each team, catching wheel-spinning, mentor advice overload and pointing out useful tools and resources – before it's too late.
Topic deep dives
Different teams often have specific problems that can be addressed by particular domain experts or experienced founders. Our Deep Dive format allows for them all to be addressed in a half-day. We've brought in experts on: Marketplaces, Enterprise sales, UX & design, Acquisition channels, Advanced business model design, and Programming for non-programmers, but the format works with any domain expert and up to 10 teams.
Give your mentors the tools they need to make sure their advice is actionable and useful for the teams, especially if the mentors don't have their own startup experience.