Local venture technology agency BlueChilli has partnered with New York-based boot camp Lean Startup Machine to host a three-day workshop for entrepreneurs in Sydney later this month.
BlueChilli combines software development, marketing, branding and business development skills with investments in online start-ups. It refers to this strategy as venture technology.
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Led by Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin, BlueChilli’s goal is to invest in 100 start-ups by 2016. It has made 23 investments to date.
BlueChilli has partnered with Lean Startup Machine – an intensive, three-day workshop, which teaches entrepreneurs and innovators how to build disruptive products.
LSM provides participants with tools, techniques, resources and knowledge to help them identify their key market and iterate products quickly.
The LSM Sydney workshop will be held from Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 21. In order to maintain an intimate learning environment, it will be limited to the first 50 people who register.
Participants will be coached by local venture capitalists, investors, successful entrepreneurs and the LSM team on how to apply the lean start-up methodology.
Speakers and mentors include Shoes of Prey co-founder Jodie Fox, Right Click Capital partner Benjamin Chong, Freelancer.com founder Matt Barrie and PushStart co-founder Kim Heras.
Others are from the Founder Institute, the Optus Innov8 Seed Program, Pollenizer, the Sydney Seed Fund, Innovyz START, Fishburners, ATP Innovations, Southern Cross Venture Partners and Sydney Angels.
The two top teams, chosen by a judging panel on the Sunday, will participate in mentoring workshops, sponsored and hosted by BlueChilli.
“We basically sit with each start-up founder on a day in, day out basis to give them recommendations and suggestions based on our own experience,” BlueChilli marketing manager Elisa Chan says.
“[The aim is to] solidify that idea even further to see if there’s an opportunity where they can make it a reality.”
According to Chan, the prizes are designed to motivate the teams during the workshop.
“The aim of that is to really make them think further of what they can really build on,” she says.
“Very often, you come up with really good ideas [during workshops] but only a few follow through with their ideas after the event.”
While LSM insists it is not a hackathon, it is structured in a similar way. The workshop kicks off with a series of product pitches, from which the participants form teams.
Each team then develops its problem hypothesis, solution hypothesis and a series of assumptions that are core to the success of the business.
The teams then create a minimum viable product. The goal of the MVP test is to speak with real customers and to collect cash or non-cash currency, which serves as validation.
The event culminates with each team pitching its solutions and its experience.
The winning team is not selected based on who has the best idea, but on which team honours the process and gains the most insights through its pivots.
James Nathan, who founded Food Orbit, is a previous participant of LSM. Food Orbit enables leading restaurateurs to connect and trade with local farmers in a bid to promote a more transparent food marketplace.
“The weekend on the whole was invaluable to me personally and to the business idea itself,” Nathan said in a statement.
Nathan has since been accepted into the Founder Institute and has also received funding from BlueChilli.