The program kicks off each month with a workshop, giving the fellows the tools and structure they need to move their venture to the next phase. These workshops come in six pairs – one half focused on the business tools of the venture’s phase, the other on social media tools that help bootstrapped start-ups get off the ground for little to no money investment. At the core of our pedagogical model is transmedia theory, enabling us to use narrative storytelling rooted in the Jewish tradition to explain difficult concepts such as value proposition, business model development, operation planning and more.
During the Inspiration phase, the program pushes fellows to diverge from their original idea and understand their social and personal bottom-line.
- Visioning: Taught through the story of Moses approaching the Israelites to leave Egypt, fellows learn about how one identifies the market context, understands the bottom line, and develops a vision for a product fit for a specific target market providing for a specific value proposition.
- Sharing Vision: A vision is only powerful if shared. In today’s networked world, entrepreneurs seeking to share their vision need to have full familiarity with online tools. This workshop provides social media fundamentals.
- Environmental Scanning: Taught through the story of the 12 Spies sent by Moses to scout the Promised Land, fellows learn how to identify competitors, comparatives, complements and collaborative forces in their market—and learn from each.
- Knowing & Influencing Environment: Once an entrepreneur enters a market, she will have to find her way to interact with other players and stakeholders to further her cause. This workshop provides advanced tools.
During the Ideation phase, the program pushes fellows to converge on a business model and prototype that model to see if their assumptions are correct.
- Social Business Models: Taught through the story of Milk and Honey, fellows learn how to separate between outputs and outcomes, and identify key exploitable revenue opportunities along the way towards social good.
- Prototyping and Assessment: Taught through the story of the Creation of Man and the Flood, fellows learn that no one gets things perfect the first time around, and constant testing and iteration is crucial to venture success.
- Operations and Finance: Taught through the story of the building of the Mishkan —or Ark of the Covenant—fellows learn about how one breaks down a vision into constituent parts, and then translates those plans into the hard numbers of a budget.
- Volunteer Management: A number of online tools can help an entrepreneur focus on her work and spend as little as possible time running her business. This workshop teaches practical tools to provide support for operations and finance.
- Pitching and Friendraising: Taught through the story of Shavuot and the bringing of first fruits called Bikkurim, fellows are taught that if they engage people around the needs of their venture and make them feel they are a key part of its narrative, they will provide all the resources an entrepreneur needs. To provide the fellow with practical tools to speak with foundations, donors and investors, as well as take as much out of conference environments, this workshop provides the fellows with hands-on experience in pitching and friendraising.
Seminars are presented by a PresenTense-certified trainer, including staff and young professional instructors who have completed the SocialStart Training Course.