The first step in taking your idea from concept to business is figuring out if you have identified a problem worth solving.
Our 4-week Idea TestLab helps you:
Applications for our Spring Idea TestLab are now closed.
Successful startups begin by spending time with potential customers to figure out exactly what the problem is and how much “pain” they are having.
As part of the Idea TestLab, you will:
It’s critical that you understand where other solutions fall short from the perspective of your target customers.
The Idea TestLab helps you:
“I’ve had the idea in my head for a few years now, but I needed that push and direction to turn that idea into something real.”
Our programs are free. We take zero equity in your business and charge no rent to use our facilities.
Get 24×7 access to our facilities for the duration of the program. Also, free coffee and Wi-Fi.
Sign up for weekly 1-on-1 mentoring sessions to get additional help building out your idea.
Individuals/teams who have successfully completed the Idea TestLab program will be fast-tracked into interviews for our Accelerator program.
The Idea TestLab is best for individuals who have identified a problem (or idea) they want to work on, but have not yet systematically collected data to validate the problem/need and who has it. We look for scalable ideas that have an unclear, or unknown business model, do this program is not a good fit for individuals wanting to open a traditional business such as a restaurant or retail store.
We are looking for teams or individuals who…
Our programs are best suited to non-traditional businesses where the business model is unknown or unclear.
If you are looking to open a traditional business, we do offer many resources to help you:
You can set up appointment here. All clinics are co-located in our down town facility.
Nope. We welcome individuals who are looking to better define an idea for their business.
In fact, we hope that you might be able to find others to work with by participating in this program and hanging out at the LaunchBox.
The number of applicants varies, however, we typically see between 30-60 applicants for each program cycle.
A lot depends on who you asked and what you asked them. A good way to see if you have a clear understanding of your customer is to see if you can clearly articulate the answers to the 5 questions below?
If you are unable to clearly answer all the questions in detail, based on real data from potential customers (not your friens and family), or if others can’t easily understand what you’re talking about, then the Idea TestLab would be a great place to start.
If you have talked to numerous potential customers and can answer the questions based on what you’ve learned from those customers, and others can easily understand what you’re talking about, then the FastTrack Accelerator may be the best program for you.
If you’re not sure, set up a time with us to talk about it.
That’s hard to say. We can tell you, however, that by the end of the program, you will:
With all that under your belt, you’ll be ready to start building a minimum viable product and start testing the market.
Yes. It’s not automatic, but qualified teams can apply for up to $3000 for customer discovery purposes from the NSF I-Corps program.
No. We take zero equity and charge no fees.
That’s it. Simple.
It is our expectation that all participants are serious about, and will be dedicated to, testing their idea. Participants in the Idea TestLab should be prepared to spend between 7 – 12 hour a week during the program.
Time commitment includes 2 hours a week in a weekly group meeting and 5- 10 hours preparing for and carrying out customer discovery.
Not required, but recommended.
If you have others that you are working with, or might want to work with, the 4-week program is a great way to get everyone on the same page and see how well you work together.
Not a day goes by when Ben isn’t thinking about how to turn cool ideas into viable businesses. His first venture, started as an undergrad, was the Blue and White potato chip company, Tailgater Taters (which you can buy at the Creamery). His next startup venture was as COO of Phospholutions, an agricultural technology company focused on reducing phosphorus runoff. While there, he helped grow the team, support research trials, and sales across the East Coast. Ben is now bringing his passion for the early-stage startups here to the LaunchBox as the Idea Catalyst where he is building new programs to support blossoming entrepreneurs.