← Techstars Blog

On November 28th, Startup Weekend’s innovative NEXT program will launch in over 25 cities. Startup Weekend is joining forces with Steve Blank, LaunchPad Central, and Udacity to bring you some of the world’s most effective experiential entrepreneurship curriculum – Steve’s Lean LaunchPad program (as taught at Stanford, Berkeley, and Columbia) – customized and packaged into a 4-week pre-accelerator course as a follow-on to Startup Weekend.

By combining content from the world’s leading expert in customer development with local mentors and leaders in an intensive flipped-classroom style course, we’ve been able to create a unique, effective experience for teams of entrepreneurs that are serious about growing a customer-driven startup.  The goal? To educate 30,000+ entrepreneurs in 10,000 new startups worldwide.

Many teams leave Startup Weekend events feeling energized and ready to develop their idea further, but are seeking tangible, experiential instruction and advice.   “We’re constantly asked ‘what’s next’ by our participating entrepreneurs,” says Startup Weekend NPO co-founder and CEO Marc Nager.  “We are thrilled to help entrepreneurs everywhere take their next step toward success,” Nager says, “in a far more comprehensive program providing a new startup with a rigorous methodology, vital business tools, and a common language to discuss their progress with coaches, investors, and team members.”  Nager anticipates upwards of 200 Startup Weekend Next programs to be completed in 2013 alone.

“Startup Weekend’s NEXT program and the Lean LaunchPad curriculum are based on the premise that we have cracked the code for early stage entrepreneurship,” Nager says.  “While we don’t know how to make a startup become the next Google or Facebook, we now know how to teach founders how to dramatically reduce their failure rate through the combination of business model design, customer development and agile development.  We believe it is the new standard for startup success,” he adds.

How it works:
Startup Weekend’s NEXT offers startup teams four intense weeks:

  • Coming into the first class having developed a Business Model Canvas via Blank’s Lean LaunchPad class on Udacity.com
  • Receiving live coaching and suggestions from the Startup Weekend NEXT team
  • Taking the suggestions from each weekly meeting, and getting out of the building to talk to customers and refine their business models, including iteration of product, marketing, pricing, channels and more
  • Working with volunteer mentor partners from Startup Weekend, Startup America and Techstars – all serial entrepreneurs and seasoned startup investors – to begin bringing their business idea to life.

How to sign up: To participate in the program, startups enroll as teams.  Participants must first attend one of the hundreds of global events conducted by Startup Weekend.  Cost of the program varies by city and country. For more information, read about NEXT here. If you are interested in attending, you can apply here.

Interested in Organizing or Coaching for a NEXT program? Apply here.


Claire Topalian Claire Topalian
(@clairetopalian) Blog, Professional Writing, Communications and PR Specialist. I craft compelling, mission-driven content for companies and individuals that amplifies brand awareness, fosters community, and drives engagement. My experience includes work with tech startups, major corporations, and international non-profits. @clairetopalian