• Introduction - Start Here
  • Section 1: Planning Your Business

    In the first section, Planning Your Business, you will learn how to find your customers, how to create a value proposition (a product that customers want) and how to build a business model around it. You will also learn how to use your startup to test your business model quickly and cheaply, and how to make necessary changes.

  • Section 2: FUNDING Your Business

    In the second section, Funding Your Business, you’ll learn how to test your startup like an investor. You’ll also better understand how venture capital works.

  • Section 3: PRESENTING Your Business

    In the third section, Presenting Your Business, you’ll learn how to present your startup to investors and customers.

  • Resources

    Finally, the Resources section at the end contains a glossary and reading list to help you on your journey from an idea to a profitable business.

  • Primer Demo Day

1.0 Introduction – An idea is not a business

1.0 Introduction – An idea is not a business



Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve taken the first step in turning your product or service idea into a startup. But what is a startup, exactly?


Despite what you may have heard before, a startup is not a company. A startup is the process that takes an idea for a product or service and creates a company to sell that product or service (or “solution” as we will call it). That process involves discovering who the customer will be, building a team of founders and creating a business model that allows you to deliver your solution to your customers.


Think of a startup as a “pre-company,” or the stage between an idea and the business built around that idea.






This section will show you how to discover who your customers are, explain what a business model is and why every startup needs one, and show you how to make a business model for your solution.


If you remember nothing else from this workbook, remember this:





Just as an idea is not a business, a business model, which we will teach you to make, is not a business plan. Here are the differences: