On Saturday 5/12/12 we kicked off the Lean Launchpad class with five passionate teams, a few observers, and a handful of seasoned, local mentors. These teams will spend the next twelve weeks learning how to apply customer development and lean startup principles in a hands-on environment. This first week was spent primarily on getting to know each-other, identify ground rules and make sure teams knew what to expect from the class.
During the class on 5/19, teams got practice interviewing customers by designing a dream vacation for their partner in the class. We then moved into initial pitches which we’ve linked to below. Everyone then provided feedback about the initial pitches and we got ready for next week where we will be conducting initial experiments.
The teams participating are listed here and you can view their initial pitches by clicking their business name:
- City Recess
- Forward Intel – Big Data Web Analytics
- AppStore Analytics
- Verb Club
We also have some incredible mentors helping to ensure the teams are successful:
- Andrew Abernathy – Andrew possesses 30+ years of combined experience as an architect, business and IT consultant. He combines his experience building collaborative teams with lightweight project management tools and Building Information Modeling to create and integrated and efficient process for building projects.
- Aaron Eden – Aaron is the director of Gangplank Tucson, co-founder & CEO of Webglimmer Internet Solutions, founder of Garious and Vice President of Atrevete, Inc. For more than 20 years, Aaron has utilized his passion for innovation, entrepreneurship and customer empathy to start over 10 businesses in industries ranging from information technology, real estate, online continuing education, family entertainment and consulting.
- Rick Gibson - Rick has had a 34-year career building businesses. He founded and co-founded several successful technology companies and has advised over (75) others. He is 57-years old. Since 2000, Rick has served as Managing Director of HOTventures, a “mentor capital fund” for the Southwest U.S., which invests in and advises fast-growth companies, specializing in Information Technology, BioSciences “light”, GreenTech and Media. As an investor and entrepreneurial activist, he’s totally immersed in early-stage growth companies…finding them and making them great.
- Joann MacMaster - Joann is a successful technology entrepreneur and executive with over 20 years’ experience in leadership, strategic planning, innovation, and new product development and commercialization. She is also an award-winning educator with10 years of experience in higher education as a faculty member, administrator, and education entrepreneur.
- Dr. Patrick Marcus -Patrick is the president of Marcus Engineering, LLC, an electronics engineering firm, in Tucson, AZ. His company supports product development, project management and instrumentation development for a variety of industries with a preferential focus on medical devices and medical instrumentation.
- Justin Williams – Justin is founder of StartupTucson.com and a PhD candidate in the MIS Department of the UA Eller College of Management. Justin also serves as Executive Emeritus with the Arizona Technology Council. He joined the Council and established the Tucson office as part of its 2008 merger with AMIT – Tucson’s Aerospace, Manufacturing and Information Technology Cluster, where he served as founder and Executive Director since 2005.