After the Startup Weekend of April 2014, I found out about a new program organized by the same organizing team. RISE @ Cocoon should guide early startups on what would be next after SWHK. I was eager to learn more, because I felt that I was onto something with my idea, but it was still hard to define the path forward.
For my startup idea, Flippercast, I still needed to find the all combining element that would strike a chord with my target audience. The scope is broad, since I want to build a new open-source web content management sytem that eases collaboration between web designers and web developers. Feature creep easily happens. I hoped RISE @ Cocoon would be able to help me to discover the essence of my idea, and finding a way to build my MVP.
So it was thrilling to learn that Flippercast was accepted into the program. There were weekly gatherings together with 3 other teams. Every week we would get assignments to learn more about a topic in the Lean Startup methodology.
Now you might think ‘oh, I know about that already,’ which were my thoughts exactly. However, this is where I felt the program shines. During those gatherings we had workshops with mentors to exercise a topic. These workshops are great, because there is a big difference between reading about something and actually doing it.
We also did workshops on topics that were not applicable to the current stage of our startups, however likely to happen in the months up ahead. That was a nice introduction on what was to come, and to set focus for the current stage.
The mentors that participated in the progam were very hands-on, and gave great advice. Not only on methodologies, but also on things that would reflect whether you would be fit for running a startup, and encouragement to keep going.
The one thing that had the most impact, was the way of interviewing customers and relating this to customer discovery elements. The assignments were a great demonstration of the effectiveness, and it had a big influence on how I shaped my idea into a clear direction. With that I was able to explain myself better, and I believe this helped to excite others. Thanks to that I’m happy that I’ve been able to welcome 2 new co-founders to the team.
The program kept the startup buzz going after the Startup Weekend, and I can recommend anyone who is serious about continuing their idea after the weekend, to join this program the next time. It doesn’t take a lot of effort, and you’ll learn exactly about what you’re up against. Give it a shot!
If you’d like to know more about what I’ve learned during the program, feel free to chat with me at the meetups I organize every friday. Just search for ‘Friday Beer Bay’ on meetup.com.
Post written by Bart Verkoeijen
Featured image from http://startupstockphotos.com/