Spring 2020 Curriculum

We know starting a company is hard and as a first-time entrepreneur knowing what to focus on is even harder. We designed the curriculum below to get you started and prepared to launch your idea.

Ready for Venture School? 

March 5 – May 28th, 2020 (Classes will be 6-9pm at 4240 Duncan Ave.)

March 5th, 2020

Week 1

Orientation, Expectations, Mental Health, Goals

Students will all do intros and learn how to write a short intro statement. Directors will give an overview of Venture School, history, student introductions & ideas, curriculum, milestones, and expectations. We will cover mental health and misconceptions about entrepreneurship. Key terms, the St. Louis startup ecosystem, and tools needed for the program.

March 12th, 2020

Week 2

First Pitches, One Page Website & Canva Logo, Naming & Domains, Customer Surveys

Students will all pitch their idea for 2 mins and receive feedback. Director will teach naming, domains, one-page websites, and how to write a survey. Mentor will be chosen to talk about naming and how to develop early-stage messaging.

March 19th, 2020

Week 3

Customer Development Process, Branding/Logos and Website Feedback

Students will each explain their idea with their website on-screen. Director will cover the philosophy of customer development, expectations, branding/logos. Mentors will be chosen who have developed an idea or company through customer development, and what they would have done differently in the past.

March 26th, 2020

Week 4

Product Design, Idea Tech Scoping, Database Fundamentals

Students will share first customer surveys and feedback. Director will cover basic product design, scoping, and basic database design. Mentor will be chosen to talk about steps to design a beta product, writing a scope, and developing a beta product.

April 2nd, 2020

Week 5

Admin Templates, Code Languages/Frameworks, Stripe, Outsourcing

Students will share their initial high-level scope. Director will cover software templates, outsourcing, and finding a developer overseas. Mentors will cover their MVP, first scopes, and what they learned along the way.

April 9th, 2020

Week 6

Business Models, Pricing, & Competitive Research

Students will share their product templates and how they want to design their products. Director will cover competitor research & business model concepts: freemium, tiered pricing, annual vs monthly. Mentors will cover pricing, competitive research, and testing pricing, models.

April 16th, 2020

Week 7

Online Marketing. SAAS Metrics, KPIs

Students will share a competitive research and pricing strategies. Director will cover key metrics of SAAS, KPIs, landing pages, how to launch paid Facebook ads for testing. Mentors will cover online marketing for launch and grow a marketing plan.

April 23rd, 2020

Week 8

Sales & Negotiation, HR & Hiring

Students will share success from test ads. Director will talk about selling, sales pitches, and when to hire a sales rep. Mentors will cover how to sell to target customers including SMBS and enterprise.

April 30th, 2020

Week 9

Accounting, Legal & IP, Business Tools to Use

Students will give their verbal sales pitch. Director will talk about operational/accounting tools. Mentor will talk about lawyers, IP, Trademarks vs Patents, and what to pay for vs do yourself.

May 7th, 2020

Week 10

Investor Pitch Decks & Presenting

Students will give their verbal sales pitch. Director will teach fundraising presentation outlines and keys to fundraising presentations vs pitch contests. Mentors will share their pitch decks and keys to fundraising.

May 14th, 2020

Week 11

Equity, Funding, & Investor Education

Students will do their first pitch. Director will talk about investor communication, update outline, and email tools. Mentor will talk about types of investors, angels/VC/PE, how they raised money, finding your first investors, and how to work with investors afterward: updates, board meetings, etc.

May 21st, 2020

Week 12

Final Pitches, 360 Feedback

All students give a 5-7 minute pitch for feedback. Directors, students, and mentors who can attend will give feedback for revisions.

May 28th, 2020

Venture Cafe Demo Night

Showcase Demo Day at Venture Cafe Event

Students will get 7 min pitch and comments from investor/mentor pannel. Startups will have a table set up for the rest of Venture Cafe to demo and pitch if product ready.