Friday, June 12, 2009

Lean Startup Workshop scholarship program

I haven't had much time to write lately, and so haven't been able to share much about the Lean Startup Workshop series I have been producing with O'Reilly in their Master Class division. We had the first event last month, and the next is coming up on June 18th. The May workshop was a huge success, with much better turnout and feedback than I had any right to expect. I'm incredibly grateful to the early adopters who were able to be there. Thank you all.

Part of what made the workshop so successful was the caliber of the participants in the room. These were serious entrepreneurs who have the vision to see how the lean startup concept can help them increase their odds of success. Thus, the quality of the questions I was asked, the discussion in the room during exercises, and the overall intensity was higher than anything I've experienced in any other venue. That's why I'm so excited about this format. (For more on what it was like, you can read an in-depth review from the first workshop here).

So far, we have limited registration at the workshops to people who can afford the admittedly high cost of entry. I believe this is part of what made the first workshop such a success - the people in the room were visionary customers who therefore came ready to work, not just to be entertained (by contrast with what I see at some of my speaking engagements). However, this financial bar has had the effect of excluding one segment of potential customers that I'd really like to see there - early stage entrepreneurs who have all the intelligence and vision of their later stage counterparts, but simply cannot afford the cash flow to attend.

Thus, I'm excited to announce that we're trying an experiment in providing scholarships for worthy entrepreneurs. For starters, we've reserved a few seats in the June 18th workshop (next week), and O'Reilly has agreed to jointly sponsor these scholarships with me. We're also soliciting additional sponsors for future workshops; if you or your company are interested, please let me know. The next two workshops aren't scheduled until the fall (Oct 30 in SF, Dec 10 in NYC) - look for a separate announcement about those.

These scholarships will provide extremely discounted pricing for entrepreneurs who demonstrate that they would contribute positively to the discussion in the room. They are not for people who are casually interested - we're looking for more early adopters. If you think you meet that description, and want to come join us on June 18th, please send me an email with a brief less-than-one-page (please, no more) explanation of why you want to be there. We'll reply by email if you are selected to attend.

Once again, thanks to all of you for your passion and support. For more on the workshop series, you can read about them here.
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