This term, the Hurt Hub will expand its educational opportunities by offering three courses about startups. Their spring catalog includes “Understating Lean Startup Practices,” taught by lead instructor Rebecca Weeks Watson, founder of The Reveal Company and local entrepreneur.
The class “aim[s] to give participants knowledge, tools, resources, and encouragement…to launch their own startup process,” Watson explains. She further insists on another goal, challenging her students: “my hope is that participants will have discovered that pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and evolving quickly are more fun and rewarding than they ever imagined… this course gives people permission to try something new and be okay with whatever comes of that effort.”
Her course will investigate the “Lean Startup method,” a non-traditional business model first proposed by Eric Ries in his 2011 best-seller The Lean Startup. According to Watson, Lean Startup is a business method that “uses a fast, nimble and cost-efficient process to improve its chances for success.” She suggests that unlike the “old-fashioned business model,” a Lean Startup prioritizes the customer’s needs: “it starts…a hypothesis, meeting with potential customers to more deeply understand the problem, launching an early version of a product to test if it truly solves that problem, measuring results…customers — and how they use the product or service — are always the true north.” Several popular companies—including Dropbox, Zappos, and Airbnb—grew from a Lean Startup business model.
Although the fundamentals of the course will borrow from Ries’s The Lean Startup, Watson promises her own “spin”: “I’ve supplemented each topic with tangible before-and-after startup examples, videos, quotes, and interviews.” Watson will “also bring in successful founders as guest speakers — some from Charlotte, some from New York or Silicon Valley — to describe their…startup journey.”
Along with Watson’s innovative course, the Hurt Hub will offer two other courses on Startup studies: “Financing a Startup” and “Startup Legal Matters.” All of these courses are free for Davidson students, faculty and staff and $99 for the general public. If you are interested, you can register online at https://flywheel.courses/.