What I Learned At A Startup Bootcamp

Richard Fang

A summary of my experience and thoughts and what you can do

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Last year, I partook in an intense 4-day Bootcamp for early-stage startups. It was called the Lighthouse program and was led by someone who had been leading accelerators. Instead of focusing on startups with traction, this was focused around the ideation stage to help kickstart startups from the ground up.

I decided now would be a great time (even after a year!) to talk about how it went as I wanted to give light on how awesome of an idea this was. Many first-time founders often get lost in the mess of launching a startup from scratch,

‘Lighthouse’s vision was to create a large-scale, high-density, values-driven, startup community in the heart of Sydney’. A place where high-performing teams would thrive. Where startup aspirants would be inspired. Where educational institutions and organisations could operate knowing that they are closely integrated into a buzzing community.

To me, it was an opportunity for beginner founders like myself to learn from veterans on how to execute, test and begin the foundations of a startup. With incubators and accelerators dominating the startup horizon in terms of programs, when the opportunity to learn and be part of a FREE pilot program focused on education, I pounched immediately.

How To Begin

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One of the amazing things about it was that they gave us resources and help and told us how to execute it by the next lesson. This forced us to get out of our comfort zones and actually start doing.

If you want to begin, start taking a look at these concepts:

  • Learn what marketing stack to use
  • Learn to develop a Lean Canvas
  • Start Testing
  • Develop an MVP ASAP

Too many times I have heard friends ‘I want to start a business’ or ‘I have this great idea!’. BUT how many of them actually started testing the idea, let alone executing?

This was the key takeaway from the program.

Test, Test, Test, and Do

The key takeaway that all of us learned during the program was the cycle to test, execute, change the product based on feedback and then repeat. There were many stories on how failures resulted in an idea not being tested enough, especially wasting valuable time and resources on providing a solution for a problem that didn’t exist.

Being agile and testing your hypothesis, such as doing surveys and going out on the street (if you're not in lockdown), are ways you can prove your idea works. The more you do it, the more validation it gives.

But the main point is to just do it.

What’s the point of having a brilliant idea in your head if you’re not going to do it? Yes the startup road is tough and to be honest, quite sensationalized at times, but if you have the passion and guts to go for it, then why not?

For me, the program was an amazing experience and provided me a solid foundation in pursuing my startup idea. Even though it has been discontinued indefinitely, the content I learned I still use today.

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Editor at CornerTech and Marketing @richardfliu on Twitter

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