PostFlight is now PostLaunch!

Already been through the Wond’ry’s PreLaunch Program?

Have a business you’ve already started, but want to get additional training and mentorship?

About the Program

PostLaunch provides a step-by-step guide for aspiring Vanderbilt entrepreneurs (faculty, staff, and students) with a viable early stage idea to actually launch that venture. The program is set up as a series of 7 weekly 1 hr 15 minute sessions (4-5:15 pm) led by the Wond’ry Mentors-in-Residence. PostLaunch is the perfect next step for graduates of the Wond’ry PreFlight/PreLaunch program, entrepreneurs with a validated and market-ready product or technology that have already engaged in customer discovery efforts, and/or those individuals who would like to learn how to launch a non-profit or for-profit venture. Near the end of the program, participants will have the opportunity to pitch their company to a panel of judges and compete for micro-grant funding to support the launch of their venture. Participants must be enrolled and actively participating in each PostLaunch session to be eligible to apply for a micro-grant.

Dates:
The program is a total of 7 sessions plus a pitch night. The first session will take place on February 22, 2018. The course will meet each Thursday until April 12, 2018 (no meeting during Spring Break). Each participant will have the opportunity to pitch their idea to a group of investors, entrepreneurs, faculty members, and Wond’ry staff on April 18th for potential micro-grant funding and additional mentorship.

Time and Location:
Each session will take place from 4-5:15 pm at the Wond’ry on the 3rd floor.

Expectations:
Participants are required to attend all sessions of PostLaunch if they want a chance to pitch on April 18th. Otherwise, drop-ins are welcome and encouraged at all sessions!

Application:
The application for the Spring 2018 cohort will open on January 12th and remain open until February 16th. Applications are reviewed by an internal committee and those accepted will be notified by February 16th. Apply today

Support for the creation of this program and the development of the micro-grant opportunities are provided via a Faculty Grant from VentureWell.

Course Outline

Session 1 (2/22): Incorporation
In this session, we will discuss the process of incorporating a business. We will explore the steps to becoming incorporated, costs associated with incorporating and the options for structuring your business. We will then think through the steps to be taken after incorporation is complete.

Session 2 (3/1): Intellectual Property
In this session, we moderate a panel of different members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem (entrepreneurs, investors, and advisors) as they discuss their experiences and recommendations for early-stage entrepreneurs. We will discuss intellectual property (patents, public disclosure, timelines, etc.), as well as how to protect a business that does not have patentable technology or products.

Session 3 (3/15): Revenue Model and Accounting
This session explores how to generate revenue and how to track that revenue. We will outline different revenue models and learn the steps to determine which model is the best fit for a company. We will also learn to prepare customer validation tests and explore how to manage cash flow and burn rates and discuss the best accounting system for your business. We’ll also touch on whether or not to audit, when to hire a third party and when to handle bookkeeping internally.

Session 4 (3/22): Advertising, Marketing, and Sales
Session 4 will give an overview of setting up a sales and marketing strategy. Topics will include how to align a proper sales strategy for your business and learning the best sales strategies for closing a deal, as well as determining market size and a go to market strategy. We will learn to how to prepare and implement an outreach campaign to better target customers. Other topics in this session include customer acquisition costs and building a website economically.

Session 5 (3/29): Fundraising and Equity Distribution
Topics in this session include when, who and how to hire and Capital Raising 101 – determining which structure is best for you and how much equity to relinquish. We will discuss the proper suggested distribution of equity and incentive plans to employees, as well as cover key terms and possible consequences to understand in capital raising structures.

Session 6 (4/5): Human Resources and Leadership
The final session will explore how to build and inspire a team to buy-in to your vision. We will discuss how to play to your strengths and supplement your weaknesses.

Session 7 (4/12): What’s Next: Resources
The final session will explore what resources exist both on and off campus to support the further development of your idea/business after completion of the program.

Pitch Competition (4/18)
Participants from both PreLaunch and PostLaunch will have an opportunity to present their idea to a panel of investors, entrepreneurs, and Vanderbilt faculty and staff for feedback, additional mentorship, and the potential for micro-grant funding.