Idea Shell is currently not-for-credit. There are three workshops, advising and a final presentation required for the program. We accept approximately 20 teams each semester. Upon completion of the program, 10 students from the Idea Shell stage will be eligible for seed-stage grants.
Fearless Founders is an experiential program that provides student teams the strategy, frameworks and tools necessary to develop their business ideas using lean startup methodology. In the Idea Shell stage, students learn how to:
- Identify and validate a problem/customer/solution fit
- Interview and learn from customer interviews
- Begin developing a minimum viable product
The workshops are held weekly on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. beginning February 21st and ending on April 25th.
Registration Deadline is February 14th at 11:59 p.m.
Smith School Adjunct Faculty
Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship, Student Venture Programs Manager
Eligibility for Grants
Upon completion of the course, students will present their progress to a panel of Dingman Center staff, Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, and Capital One representatives. Up to ten students at the Idea Shell stage are eligible for up to $500 in Capital One seed grants. Grants will be awarded based on the following criteria:
Student(s) demonstrate commitment to their startup and the Fearless Founders program. Metrics include thoughtful and creative utilization of Dingman Center resources, implementation of lean startup methodologies to learn from customers and iterate on ideas, continued attendance at workshops, and completion of deliverables.
Student(s) have tested hypotheses to invalidate or validate assumptions and business model by identifying and interviewing prospective early customers
- Student(s) have a clear and efficient plan to use their funds.
Attend all six weeks of Idea Shell; some exceptions can be made based on course schedules
Completion of in-class activities
Complete 1 Dingman Fridays Advising sessions
Customer discovery & experimentation (Goal of 20+ interviews)
Attend Final presentation days
“Business Model Generation” by Alex Osterwalder
“Talking to Humans” by Giff Constable http://www.talkingtohumans.com/ (free PDF)
“The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries
How to Build a Startup: The Lean Launchpad (https://www.udacity.com/course/ep245), Free Udacity course by Steve Blank