New structure allows greater financial flexibility for attendees
One of our key learnings from our first year of operations is that redefining some of the elements of our program may lead to better engagement and an acceleration of overall goal achievement. Additionally, we have uncovered that our Inventives tend to take multiple paths after going through the initial brainstorming and idea formations stages. Some end up going down the path of looking for investment for their ideas; others are moving into the building and delivery phases of their ideas followed by the formation of a smaller, self-funded businesses. Finally, some find that they have figured out their passion and are considering re-entering college if a degree is useful for achieving their goals.
Seeing how the program has evolved, we have decided to split the program into 6 month phases giving Inventives multiple paths to completion. The first phase is a 6 month discovery phase that goes from passion exploration and brainstorming to idea creation and prototyping, culminating in either a Kickstarter project to gain an indication of commercial viability or an executive summary for a business plan. After completing the initial 6 months the Inventive can choose to attend the optional advanced phase of the program if that is a logical next step.
In the advanced phase of the program, they can choose one of four tracks:
- The first track would be to take their business ideas to investors which includes creation of the pitch deck describing their business in full, prepping their presentations, investor presentations and then finally, if successful, company formation and launch.
- The second track takes the Inventive through the process of forming their own company using funds readily available from friends and family or from a successful crowdsourcing exercise in the discovery phase.
- The third track is for the Inventive that does not really want to run a company but may like to profit from their ideas. In this phase, the Inventive will prep their idea and promote it to individuals or companies that may like to create and sell their idea for them. This is typically done with a licensing deal.
- The fourth track available is for Inventives that have built a successful prototype, and have market tested it in some way, demonstrating a need to take it to full production. In this track the Inventive will either figure out how to manufacture it themselves or find an outsourcing partner. They will also look for a distribution partner to take it to market if they are not going to sell it directly themselves.
Finally, if they feel like they have accomplished their goals after 6 months in the program, they can move on by themselves on whatever path they choose - starting a business on their own, simply selling what they made or even re-entering college after figuring out their passion.
We believe by shortening the duration of some of the initial phases and bringing some of the decision points in our process sooner, the prospect of completing these goals will actually increase with the Inventives. This may be counter-intuitive for most people, but for people who understand our community we think this will make complete sense. Heat and light on completing a task that is imminent produces better results than a far off task with lots of ambiguity.
This change also gives people more flexibility financially. Some have expressed concerns about whether they would be able to stick with the program for an entire year and actually achieve a deliverable. This adjustment allows people to work towards an earlier goal and make sure the program is actually working for them before re-upping and continuing on. At the 6 month mark, they can make the call as to whether to continue based on a firm knowledge of the value of their "passion".
So now we have made it even easier to "Join us!". Explore our website to see if the Lab is right for you!