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Young Entrepreneurs Get Help From New Program at Georgetown

September 24, 2013 – Budding Georgetown entrepreneurs have a new toolkit to help them get their product and business ideas off the ground.

The Lean Startup is a series of three one-day, interactive workshops beginning Oct. 12 that apply real-world strategies to startup and product ideas.

For young entrepreneurs, this means focusing on the core qualities of one’s new product or service, and not on big budgets or splashy entries into the marketplace.

“The Lean Startup program will help students create products in the most cost-effective way possible, saving entrepreneurs and companies thousands of dollars in wasted development cycles," said Danny Boice, who runs Georgetown’s Lean Startup workshops. "Most products and features fail because people don't want them and/or don't want to pay for the them.”

Boice is co-founder and chief technology officer of Speek.com, a free, web-based visual conference-calling platform that has received widespread recognition as an innovative service especially appropriate for the 21st century.

Favoring Experimentation

The workshops are designed to provide resources for building product and business ideas, measuring customer response and challenging or pursuing ideas.

They will be offered on Saturdays during the fall semester through Georgetown’s Center for Continuing and Professional Education (CCPE) at the School of Continuing Studies’ new downtown campus.

Lean Startup is a universal methodology that Boice says favors experimentation over elaborate planning, customer feedback over intuition and iterative design over traditional “big design up-front” development.

Smart People, Good ideas

The first workshop, which takes place on Oct. 12, is an introduction to the Lean Startup methodology, providing students with a thorough overview of the approach and principles.

The second workshop on Nov. 2 delves deeper into the methodology and features guest lectures from startup founders who used Lean Startup to successfully get their ideas to market.

In the third workshop, on Dec. 7, students will use available tools and techniques to begin building the bare bones of their projects using data collected, and then create marketing plans and begin seeking funds.

“Starting a business is a viable career path for students because today's business environment demands smart people with good ideas,” said Edwin Schmierer, associate dean of CCPE. “A student with a great idea and knowledge of the Lean Startup methodology is in a great position to make a meaningful impact in the marketplace.”

Georgetown students, faculty, staff and alumni are eligible for special tuition rates for all programs, courses, seminars and workshops offered through CCPE.