Gaining admission into Innovators of Progress is an achievement worth celebrating. Once admitted, students are off to the races to begin the hard work of transforming their bright ideas into real products and services of value. Below are the key components of our program, which are designed to lead each student, no matter their idea, to success.
Customer Development: The Science of Entrepreneurship
We leverage the first three processes of Steve Blank’s articulation of Customer Development: Customer Discovery, Customer Validation, and Customer Creation. Our program is akin to a series of “lab courses” where students continuously design measurable, bite-sized experiments to validate their assumptions with real data from stakeholders. After each experiment, students shape their idea and work their way toward a solution.
Experiments must be effective for deriving actionable insights that lead to informed decision making. Students are supported with a variety of research methodologies to collect data the right way, from the right people, and at the right time.
Freedom to Learn
Our program is a sandbox for learning, which allows students to fail early, fail often, and fail without the normal risks of operating on their own. The motto is not “fail fast,” but “learn quickly” as we want students to make the best of their limited time in the program.
Students are admitted into cohorts at the beginning of each program cycle. Cohorts provide students an immediate multi-disciplinary network of like-minded students that can serve as resources to support and hold each other accountable.
We strongly encourage our students to intern at local start-ups and small businesses each summer to experience firsthand how entrepreneurship operates in the real world.