FAQ

April 27, 2016

Company Ideas

Is this class for web startups only?

No, anyone with any idea and preferably a product can form or join a team.

What if I do want to test a web idea?

Great. Only condition is that you have to get the site up and deliver the minimum product feature set during the quarter.

Intellectual Property

I feel my idea / Business Model may become a real company and the “next killer app” and I want to own it myself what should I do?

This is more than likely the wrong class to take. Your slides, notes and findings will be publicly shared. Your team owns everything done in class. Discuss Intellectual Property rights with your team from the beginning. If you can’t come to agreement with the team, join another team, pick another project, or drop the class. Remember anything you do and learn in the class is public.

Will my Intellectual Property rights be protected when I discuss my ideas with the class?

NO. This is an open class. There are no non-disclosures. All your presentations and Customer Discovery and Validation notes, business model canvas, blogs and slides can, and more likely will, be made public.

This class is not an incubator. At times you will learn by seeing how previous classes solved the same class of problem by looking at their slides, notes and blogs.

Keep in mind that successful companies are less about the original idea and more about the learning, discovery and execution. (That’s the purpose of this class.) Therefore you must be prepared to share your ideas openly with the class. It is a forum for you to “bounce” your ideas off your peers.

I’m not comfortable sharing what I learn with others what should I do?

Don’t take this class. This class is not an incubator. At times you will learn by seeing how previous classes solved the same class of problem by looking at their slides, notes and blogs.

Help!

What kind of support will our team have?

The teaching team consists of professors and mentors. A mentor is an experienced entrepreneur, investor or consultant assigned to your team. They’ve volunteered to help with the class and your team because they love startups. Their job is to guide you as you get out of the building.

How often can we/should we meet with our mentor?

Your mentor is expecting to meet with you at least every two weeks face-to-face or by Skype. You can email them or meet with them more often if they have time.

Can I talk to a mentor not assigned to my team?

By all means, do so. All the mentors are happy to help. However they cannot support your team full time unless your mentor decides to swap places with them.

I have a busy schedule and my mentor can't meet when I want them to.

Mentors have day jobs. Asking them to meet or reply to you ASAP is not acceptable. So plan ahead to allow for a reasonable amount of time for a reply or meeting. Be concise with your request and be respectful of their time.

I need help now.

You first stop is your Instructor. Email or sit down with them during the week if you have a problem. Your professors have office hours right before class. If you need something resolved sooner, email us.

Team Dynamics

What roles are in each team?

Traditionally, each team member is part of the customer development team. You have to figure out how to allocate the work.

What if my team becomes dysfunctional?

Prepare to work through difficult issues. If the situation continues, approach the teaching team. Do not wait until the end of the quarter to raise the issue.

What if one of my teammates is not 'pulling his/her weight'?

Try to resolve it within your team. If the situation continues longer than a week, please approach the teaching team.

What kind of feedback can I expect?

Continual feedback weekly. Substandard quality work will be immediately brought to your attention.