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Startup 101

The Class is a practicum, led by industry experts who provide personal “been there, done that, got the tee shirt” lessons that will insure you can articulate the value of your business idea as an impactful product as it solves the problem or fulfills the need of a specific audience base.

Within these 6 classes and associated pitch day, our focus is on learning the steps needed to complete a clearly understood executive summary and associated TEDCO TCF proposal.


Class 1: Thursday, June 2, 2016

Idea to Paper, Does Your Mom Get It?

Speaker(s): Peter Ettinger, Russell Clark

Participants will discuss the power of product clarity, and persuasion drawing the difference between the technology driven idea and a product that someone will buy. Can you present your idea in ten words including the product/service concept and the market need. Register (LINK TO EVENTBRITE TO REGISTER


Class 2: June 9, 2016

Concept Scrutiny, Defining Customer Value Vs. Technology Benefits

Speaker: Dave Holly

In this session, participants will be presented with analytical frameworks to test their business hypotheses. Through the application of these frameworks, participants should come away with a broader understanding of audience need and product positioning as it relates to customers, industries, markets, and competition.


Class 3: June 16, 2016

Identifying Customer Needs, Customer Segmentation and Selling

Speaker: Grace Garry

When you introduce a product or a service, you are seeking to satisfy a customer’s need. And this need is seldom uniquely answered, What makes your product stand out from the crowd? Who will buy your offering? Why will the customer buy your offering now? And what is the positioning product and pricing offering of your competition.

And now that your product’s positioning is clear, it is time to define your customer segments with a clear understanding of approach motivation and reasons to say yes.


Class 4: June 23, 2016

Hiring, The Introvert, Extrovert, Entrepreneur Challenge

Speaker: Grace Garry

At some point, your startup needs the “right” human capital to successfully scale. These human resources decisions are critical. Whether one outsources or hires, where one looks for talent, what role one needs filled – these are some of the questions that merit consideration. Furthermore, as a startup considers its potential human infrastructure, it is beneficial to define those values that will ground the company’s culture and set the company for future investment


Class 5: June 30, 2016

Financial Model: Do Your Narrative and Financial Stories Match

Speaker: Neil Davis, TEDCO, Director of Entrepreneurial Development, Russell Clark

A business can only be sustainable so long as it has the money to carry out its operations. Many startups will choose to seek external funds, but all will seek out revenue. Revenue provides the foundation for cash to the company and, as it is said, cash is king.

Here, we will go over the fundamentals of the financial operations of a company. Going from revenue models to expense structures, this session will inform participants how to think about forecasting a basic financial model that will help drive operational decisions. This understanding will help participants understand the unit economics of their product and the overall working capital needs of a company.


Class 6: July 7, 2016

Fundraising, Risk, Rewards and Temptations

Speaker: Valerie Gaydos, President Capital Growth, Inc.

Companies have a number of fundraising options to accelerate their growth. The challenge is to determine which option is right given the lifecycle of the company. This session focuses on how to not only be prepared for this event, but make the right choices moving forward. In the discussion of fundraising vehicles, from debt to equity, we will explore and examine the disparate constituents of these vehicles and the structure and characteristics of financing instruments. Moreover, we will consider the criteria of success to win these financings and the possible impact these transactions and relationships will have on both the entrepreneur and the business.


Class 7: : July 14, 2016

The Pitch Can a Demo Day Move Your Product Cycle

Speaker: TBD

The series culminates with the final session: the pitch. Whether one is talking to an investor or to a client, it is essential to be able to persuade others to believe in your business model. We will go over the key components of a pitch and gain an understanding of what contributes to the success or failure of a pitch.

In this session, participants will be able lay down the framework of a pitch, incorporating the learnings form the prior sessions. We will be engaged to refine the business model to position it best to win over its intended audience.


9250 Bendix Road
Columbia, Maryland
RSVP to Rita Anderson


Howard Tech Council

The Howard Tech Council is at the epicenter of the local tech community. Our active and engaged membership base spans a variety of industries, providing members with access to a diverse collection of organizations.

Innovation Catalyst (iCat)

The MCE incubator program, called the Innovation Catalyst (iCat) helps companies accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies.