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2023 Idea Accelerator Bootcamp Info

The cost to participate in the full 12-week program is $300, which comes to less than $25 per week. Registrants must pay the full fee in advance of the second session on Tuesday, Feb 28th, and commit to attending the remaining 11 sessions. If you learned about the program after the Info Session, that's OK - you can still sign up!

About the Bootcamp

Have a business idea? Maybe you have an old business that needs revamping? Need advice and guidance on getting it started? Then have we got a program for you!

The Creative Coast Idea Accelerator Bootcamp, in partnership with BIG (Business Innovation Group, an outreach arm of Georgia Southern University) and ATDC (Advanced Technology Development Center), is an annual 12-week educational & mentoring program starting with a free pre-course to help you determine if entrepreneurship is the path for you! It is heavily based on the teachings of Steve Blank (an entrepreneur turned professor from Stanford) and Eric Ries (the author of Lean Startup)

The program runs the gamut from creating a strong "Why" for your entrepreneurship journey, to utilizing lean startup principles for validating your customer, to building your financial model, to incorporating structure. Finally, we will end with telling your story to investors, employees, and customers.

Who Should Attend?

The Idea Accelerator Bootcamp is for anyone who is ready to get started with and test their business idea or anyone who wants to refresh or update an old business. You don't need a ton of money in the bank to get going, but it will take commitment to the program.

Entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs interested in learning about The Creative Coast's startup accelerator program should plan to attend the first Info Session on February 21, 2023. This free session will contain an overview and details of the full program schedule. After attending, you will have a better idea if you want to commit to the full $300 program.

How Much Does it Cost?

Our first meetup will be an Info Session, which is free. If you decide to join the remainder of the 12-week program, the cost to participate is $300, a non-refundable fee that must be paid before the second session.

When and Where do We Meet?

The program begins on February 21st and ends in the early May.

Meetups will occur once per week, every TUESDAY from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Please scroll down for a program overview including specific meeting dates.

Workshops will take place virtually via Zoom. Registrants will be emailed a Zoom link one to two days before the Info Session on February 21st.

What Can I Expect?

To get the most out of these weekly meetups, it is important to attend the entire 12-week program. The program will require activities, research, and communication between weekly workshops.

Benefits of the Program:

- Direct mentorship and education from experienced Founders and Industry Experts
- Hands-on, intensive Customer Discovery and market viability research to test your idea
- Resources to help you analyze, think critically, and create your Business Model Canvas
- Financial guidance to help you focus on the important numbers for your business to be a success
- Serious accountability and honest feedback to help you get your idea moving in the right direction

All classes except the Info Session will run from 6-8pm, and feature roughly one hour of lecture followed by one hour of workshop and/or active participation time. Attendees will be expected to share updates with the group on their progress and where they need assistance or guidance.

This year's program leverages the Kauffman Foundation FastTrac program, a full online suite of tools, which will help participants develop their Business Plan, Financial Model and more.

Classes will be taught by Jennifer Bonnett, Recovering Entrepreneur/StartupChick, Executive Director of the Creative Coast, and Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Savannah Economic Development Authority. Jen is a serial entrepreneur who has raised over $50 million in angel and venture capital funds across three startups. Previously she led the Advanced Technology Development Center for 7+ years in Atlanta before moving to the area in 2018.

Radford Harrell will also be instructing and mentoring classes. Rad is the resident Startup Catalyst for the Advanced Technology Development Center in Savannah. Rad manages the ATDC Savannah programming and works with entrepreneurs looking to build technology companies and product-based startups in the greater Savannah region. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Rad earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from Auburn University and invented Navy medical devices. He relocated to Savannah from Atlanta in 2009, and has been active with the Creative Coast in Savannah ever since. Also a serial entrepreneur, his most recent venture is as CEO of the very successful TalentSoup.com.

Dwayne Stephens will also be instructing and mentoring classes. Dwayne is the Program Director at the Creative Coast for Make Startups, and is a budding serial entrepreneur. At the age of 28, Dwayne started his entrepreneurial journey as the Owner & Operator of a retail business in Savannah's Historic Landmark District. He has since launched another venture as a Built Environment Consultant where he advises companies and everyday people alike, on how to navigate building projects. Additionally, he is part-owner of a small tech venture. To date, Dwayne has amassed 10 years of entrepreneurial experience and doesn't plan to stop his entrepreneurial journey anytime soon.

In addition to Jen, Rad and Dwayne's instruction, the program will offer various lectures and mentorship from a pool of very talented subject-matter-experts at every stage as well. The Idea Accelerator Bootcamp is a community effort including contributors such as Savannah SCORE's mentors, as well as the Savannah Economic Development Authority and the City of Savannah.


Idea Accelerator Bootcamp
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The Program At a Glance



First Session

 “Start with the Why”  - FREE Pre-course teaser class.

Intro Session on the Bootcamp.

Homework: What’s Your Why? Business Model Concept

This Info Session is FREE. The cost associated with the entire bootcamp is $300. Please register for first Info Session here, and if you wish to attend the rest of the Idea Accelerator Bootcamp, register for the remaining 11 sessions <<LINK COMING SOON>>


Second Session

“Market Research I - Customer Discovery Overview”

Overview of the Customer Discovery Process

Homework: Customer Profile


Third Session

“Market Research II - Market & Competitor Analysis”

Homework:  Market & Competitive Analysis


Fourth Session

“Business Model Design”

Overview of the Business Model Canvas

Homework: Business Model Canvas


Fifth Session

“Pricing Strategy”

Overview of Pricing Strategy and Mechanisms

Homework: Pricing Model


Sixth Session

“Legal Strategy”

Guest Lecture: Corporate Lawyer on legal formation and other topics.

Homework: Positioning Statement


Seventh Session

“Marketing Distribution & Sales”

Homework: Sales Assumptions/Projections


Eighth Session

“Financial Management 101”

Homework: Cost Assumptions/Projections & Financial Model


Ninth Session

“Financial Model Review”

One-on-one session with mentor on financial model


Tenth Session

“Intellectual Property”

Homework: Executive Summary


Eleventh Session

“The Pitch”

Review the Exec Summary & Learn about Pitch

Homework: Pitch Deck

Mentors: Red Pen Executive Summary


Twelth Session

Launch & Learn

Best practices and tools for launching your business, evaluating success, pivoting and more