Throughout the state of Utah, entrepreneurs are developing some of the most amazing innovations for every sector of the economy. However, commercializing these innovative ideas and starting a business around those products is no easy task. While many of these innovators have brilliant research and development minds, there is a significant need for training on taking their products to market.
Startup Weekend NEXT, a five-week, intensive, in-person, mentor-driven program, fills that need assisting startups and entrepreneurs by teaching skills and tactics to help start and run a successful business. The training focuses on customer discovery methodology developed by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Steve Blank.
Participants will enroll in courses that are built after Blank’s ‘Lean Launchpad’ curriculum which has been taught in some of the nation’s top universities such as Stanford, Berkeley, and Columbia. The program is an effective preparatory course for acceptance into some of the nation’s most prestigious accelerator programs.
“This NEXT program is designed for early stage startups that have a product, but need to take their customer development to the next level,” said Jeff Jackson, associate director of USTAR’s Northern Region. “The program is also a great example on how the state is continually building out its entrepreneurial eco-system.”
The Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) initiative Northern Utah Technology Outreach Innovation Program supports commercialization activities by lending business expertise to local opportunities and focus areas. USTAR North assists Utah entrepreneurs, businesses and innovators across the state and is a sponsor of Startup Weekend NEXT.
“After attendees complete Startup Next entrepreneurs can expect to be more prepared for an accelerator, incubator to more realistically be able to raise seed funding,” said Jackson. “Accelerators and investors like NEXT because it breeds strong teams and companies that produce greater revenue.”
Additionally graduates of Startup Weekend NEXT will also have the opportunity to apply for a USTAR Go-to-Market (GTM) grant. The purpose of GTM grants is to accelerate the transformation of innovative ideas and technologies into commercially successful companies, thus creating high paying jobs in Utah. GTM grants focus on helping Utah’s high potential technology companies perform customer and product validation activities before initiating equity fundraising or sales efforts. The purpose of the grant is to accelerate the transformation of innovative ideas and technologies into commercially successful companies, thus creating high paying jobs in Utah.