Founder Firesides, Acting Drills, and Sprint Demos: ISA Weeks 2 and 3

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As the days till Launch Day decrease, the energy in the ISA 2016 Cohort keeps increasing.

Weeks 2 and 3 introduced new elements to the cohort that will be part of their regular cadence including Founder Firesides, Workshop Wednesdays, and Sprint Demo Days.

Each week, starting in Week 2, the Cohort is introduced to founders of successful startups during our Founder Fireside chats. For an hour and a half on Tuesday afternoons, a successful startup founder shares deeply personal stories about their mistakes, success, and ongoing struggles. The past two Founder Firesides featured

Derian Baugh of Men’s Style Lab
and Michal and Riley Eynon-Lynch of Pear Deck.

“Derian’s talk was an eye opener and inspirational at the same time.”

AssetRover CTO Uriel Barillas

“I like Founder Firesides because it’s real life people in the trenches making their business. They’re people we can relate to because where we are is still fresh in their minds.”

AssetRover CEO Jeri Frank

To build on the success of the training introduced in Week 1, part of each Wednesday afternoon is dedicated to skill building workshops. In Week 3, Kristy Hartsgrove Mooers introduced acting and breathing techniques to help the teams put passion and authenticity in their pitches. Her workshop also increased camaraderie within the cohort.

“Kristy’s workshop helped me remember that the reason I’m here is because I have a vision fueled by emotion and passion.”

Girls With Ideas CEO Allison Poss

“I thought it was great that ISA brought in someone who was out of the box but still had business applications for her training. I understood meditation and breathing techniques but had never thought of using them in a presentation setting.”

AMP’d Cycles CEO Kyle Gatzmeyer

Another improvement from previous years is a change in focus for Sprint Demos. This year, instead of pitching their business each Monday, the teams showcase their progress, good or bad, with each other and other mentors in attendance on Friday mornings.

In the demo, each team gives a:

  1. One minute (or less!) elevator pitch.
  2. Five minute demonstration of the work they’ve accomplished in the past week that previews their goal for the following week.

Following each piece of the demo, NewBoCo staff, mentors, and the entire cohort provides feedback to the presenting group. While pitch clinics will come later in the program, having the demos focused on progress gives the teams a clearer trajectory for growth.

“The sprint demos show what progress looks like. Really focusing on the process of finding answers is so helpful.”

Girls With Ideas CEO Allison Poss

To see more of each team’s journey, subscribe to their newsletters and follow them on social media.

AMP’d Cycles: @ampdcycles (coming soon!)
Smart bicycles creating a safer experience for cyclists.

Streamweaver: @GetStreamweaver
Influencer marketing platform for e-sports.

Written: @writtenapparel
Creating a globally respected and desired fashion brand from Iowa.

Girls With Ideas: @girlswithideas
Leadership development program for young females.

Asset Rover: @AssetRover
Real estate investing simplified.

Hang: @jointhenoww
A mobile app that increases awareness of gatherings, hangouts, and local events to help users be more present in their lives and communities.

Corporate Innovation Team: Quickscore
Rapid test scoring for assessments with data analysis.