Cubberley Community Center, Palo Alto
July 27th - August 9th, 2016
Session 2 of Launch Camp 2016 brought seven students from all accross the Bay Area to Palo Alto, where they founded three businesses, impacted hundreds of customers and built the confidence to boldly create value for others without fear of failure.
"All the skills we learned are so useful, not only in getting your business of the ground but in life as well. I would totally recommend this camp to anyone with tons of ideas or none at all."
"This was the most fun camp I've done. I learned a lot, but not in a school way"
"Going to the same streets where I'm normally a buyer, but now as a seller, was a really cool experience"
Exploring as an entrepreneur, selling to strangers.
We started the day with an introduction to the Effectual Reasoning philosophy of entrepreneurship. Effectuation scholars argue that founding a successful business is like exploring the wildnerness. They found that the successful entrepreneurs they studied were not distinguished by their capital, ideas, or risk seeking behavior, but rather by a bias towards action. Through repeated experiments, mostly failures, their subjects came to know what obstacles and prizes existed in their market, built a resource pool, and eventually discovered valuable products. Launch Camp focuses on action over planning. We guide students through a terrain unlike anything they've explored before, starting on day 1, when they sell a pre made product to strangers in Downtown Palo Alto.
Working in pairs students sold wooden postcards - a product from session 1. After selling for 50 minutes, some teams were able to make over $60 and in total the group sold 16 cards. We debriefed over lunch at Pizza My heart before students returned to University Ave to talk with local business owners and build a network they could use in their indepedent projects starting on day 2.
Launching a business, finding your first customer.
The morning of the second day focused on action oriented ideation. Students listed resources which they had immediate access to including their skills, equipment and network. Then, starting from these resources they planned out products which they could execute on by the end of the day. Together the group discussed ideas and each student chose one to independently pursue for one hour. During that hour the students gathered feedback from three people, made three changes to their product and got their first pre-sale. Students presented the results of their hour-long exploration to their peers and then formed teams of up to three, around shared interests.
The afternoon was a sprint to create a prototype and acquire a paying customer. Every team had an initial prototype by the end of the day and two teams had received interest in a bulk order from local stores.
Meet the teams:
Sweet and Melty
Healthy treats, made easy.
Sweet and Melty sells high quality, healthy, baking mixes packaged in decorative jars.
Make your tart into art.
Tria's Treats sells handcrafted wooden gift boxes for pastries and other baked goods.
Bottles with flair.
Birch Bottle sells glass bottles wrapped in beatiful wooden sleeves, printed with a custom design.