Startup Fundamental Workshops

Have you been kicking around a few business ideas? Or maybe a few ideas for research? These workshops are here to help you make sense of those ideas.

Across these four workshops, you will learn how to evaluate and critique your ideas, distil the value of your ideas, develop a sustainable model to support that idea, and talk to the customers and stakeholders potentially impacted by your idea.

These workshops are open to the public and the University of Guelph community. As these are hands-on workshops, it is required that you have 2-3 ideas to explore during these sessions. The workshops will span four weeks with one workshop occurring each week.

We are currently in the process of planning our next workshop. Bookmark this page and follow us on social media for updates.

If you are interested in running private workshops for your organization, please contact us and we can develop the content to meet your specific needs.


Workshop Overviews

Developing a Big Impactful Idea

Although entrepreneurs and idea makers love to start by prototyping the actual technology/product/service they are proposing, this is premature. Participants in the Idea Modeling workshop will learn first to create more impactful, inspiring ideas, to quickly sketch ideas and then how to evaluate and critique these ideas allowing them to optimize value and mitigate risk from idea conception.

Developing a Value Proposition

A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model – a business model begins with a value proposition – what are you offering, who are you serving? Participants in the “Developing Value Proposition” workshop will develop answers to three crucial questions: 1) What you offer to customers? 2) What type of value or benefit is associated with your offering and how is the value generated? 3) To whom you are offering that value? This provides a strong foundation for other business activities to build from.

Developing a Business Model

Startups are not smaller versions of large companies. Large companies execute known business models, startups search for effective, and unknown business models. In this workshop, participants will develop a business model using the Business Model Canvas developed by Alexander Osterwalder. In the words of Apple, “a company that fully understands business models must think innovatively about an organization and its relationship with its customers and to the outside world.” Participants will learn to think critically about how their venture will interact with customers and clients, and how all stakeholders, key activities and resources come together to form a viable and scalable business model.

Conducting Customer Discovery

Startups are not smaller versions of large companies. Large companies execute known business models. Startups search for unknown business models. A startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. Startups often fail because they confuse search with execute. In this workshop, you will learn how to use customer discovery as a tool to search for a sustainable business model.