Preflight helps entrepreneurs, developers, and designers experiment and validate a scalable product/startup idea. We take a hands-on approach to help you make that first real commitment to building a high growth startups.

Why Preflight?

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Discover the art and science behind what it takes to build a scalable startup. And it takes more than just ideas and cash.

Understand startup methodologies/tools to test hypotheses, develop prototypes, and validate your business model.

 

 

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Learn from experienced mentors who are entrepreneurs and investors, and from your fellow participants in Preflight.

With prototypes ready, business model verified, and initial customer traction, start ramping up towards funding and growth.


Workshops

Preflight I

Customer Validation 5 weeks, once per week

Prerequisite:

Individuals or teams should come in with an idea for a tech-enabled business with some initial work done and having started the process of building a product.

Workshop Overview:

  • The goal of these 5 weeks is to help entrepreneurs, developers, and designers experiment and validate their product/startup idea
  • It is an experiential learning workshop built around the Customer Development methodology by Steve Blank.
  • These sessions are structured as a mix of instructional lessons, presentations, and individual assignments. At the end of the workshop, you’ll have what you need to make a commitment towards becoming a full-time startup.
  • This workshop will provide hands on experience working alongside other founders and mentors.
  • The workshop includes copy of The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank.

Outcome:

At the end of the 5 sessions the individual or team should have a minimum viable product (MVP) and a basic presentation talking about what problem is being solved,  how its being solved and who the customers are.

Preflight II

Product Development
5 weeks, twice per week

Prerequisite:

A founder will be required to have at minimum an MVP and know who there customer are and what problem they are solving.  Workshop attendees will be expected to do some prep work in advance of the beginning of the workshop.

Workshop Overview:

  • This session is for startups that have a minimum viable product and want to move their product to the next level of development and launch.  These sessions will also be valuable for founders that have launched there product but want to focus on specific area of improvement.
  • This 5 phase workshop uses design thinking, championed by IDEO and Stanford’s d.school as the basis for its structure.
  • During these 5 weeks you will work through understanding your design problem, deciding on the best solution, rapid prototyping and validating the prototype.
  • There are two sessions a week with one day being a work session/mentorship and the second being an instructional day.
  • Participants are expected to completed assignments and other tasks outside of the session.

Outcome:

At the end of this workshop Founders should have a product that have gone through multiple prototypes but have landed on a focus that they can continue to build out, get customer feedback on and send to market.

Preflight III

Pitching Your Startup
2 weeks, twice per week

Prerequisite:

Founders coming into this workshop should be looking at improving their pitch because they are raising money for their startup or needing to improve their startup pitch to customers.  Founders will be required to come into the workshop with a basic pitch deck as a starting point.

Workshop Overview:

  • Open to startups that want to improve their pitch.
  • Workshop designed to help you understand the key ingredients of a successful pitch
  • Provides advice on how to articulate your startup idea to investors, partners and general public
  • Pitch deck critique and development
  • Weekly pitch practice sessions with optional extra pitch practice sessions
  • Participants are expected to completed assignments and other tasks outside of the session.
  • This workshop includes Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.

Outcome:

At the end of these two weeks the Founders will be in a position to effectively pitch investors and communicate to customers and the general public about their product.

Preflight is open to students and graduates with a business idea that has the potential to scale.

We recommend working through each Preflight workshop in order, but it is not required.


Investment and time

 All sessions are held in the evening from 530 - 730 pm at AcceleratorYYC. Participants are also expected to complete assignments and other tasks outside these sessions.       

The cost for each Preflight workshop is $299 plus taxes, per individual ($149 for AcceleratorYYC members & Students to Startups). Included are all materials and books used during the Preflight workshops.

Dates TBA for 2015.    


Notes:

  • Fees are based on an individual, not team basis. If you have more than one founder on your startup team, then each of you will need to register.
  • Participants are responsible for providing their own laptop with wi-fi for notes, presentations and work sessions. We would also recommend bringing a paper notebook for brainstorming, diagrams, and wire framing.
  • Scholarship are available, after your application you will be notified.  Payments can be made by credit card or interac transfer. 

Questions about the application process and program? See the FAQ.