Startup School – A Recap

Take Michael J. Sikorksy’s brain and everything he’s learned from the 5 companies he’s founded, the 17 companies he’s invested in and the countless pitches and try and stuff it all in your noggin over two days. It’s a bit like trying to stuff a pig into a turkey. That was Startup School this past weekend. 

I participated with 8 other entrepreneurs and while  all had different motivations everyone was looking to learn and grow as entrepreneurs. 

The length and breadth for someone brand new to starting their own business can be a little intimidating but it’s all essential. Share structures, how venture capitalists work, company discovery vs company building, capital efficiency, scale, cap tables, pre-money vs post-money valuations, how to find investors, how to build a team, advisors, the niceties of boards and on and on. All of this greek to me before, now it’s slightly less greek.

But it’s not only the participants who get something out of it, Sikorsky gets to “spend the weekend with crazy smart and passionate people.  I love getting to know all of the next titans of industry when they’re still refining their pitches.”

This is the third Startup School under the name but Sikorsky has been coaching entrepreneurs for four years. Unlike some Startup School’s where they bring in a couple of billionaires to speak, the aim here is give the participants the base to launch a successful company. Along with the two day workshop Michael makes available a host of files, documents, contracts, spreadsheets, term sheets, grant applications and presentations Michael has created over his last 12 years (under NDA, and with redacting).

Stephen Gazzard had great things to say about the experience.

“I think the most valuable experience that I took away was Mj’s experience, and the thoughts and experiences of the others in the group. The range of businesses was truly interesting and it was definitely a valuable experience to see business in various phases, from franchising through getting initial funding to finding a market.

My expectations were perhaps exceeded; although I knew I would learn much during the weekend, I perhaps did not expect to learn so much. The sheer volume of information that we were given during the weekend was astonishing, and I now feel that I have a general view of the process of business, versus before where it was largely a mysterious thing beyond the point of creating a product.”
The next Startup School will be September 26/27 – 2009. Get the details on Michael Sikorsky’s blog

This post was reposted from my blog. Find the original here