Accelerator Program Curriculum
coPhilly provides a structured curriculum for entrepreneurs designed around emerging best practices of the crowdfunding industry. Entrepreneurs participate in at least three workshops per week learning how to refine their Narrative and Numbers as it pertains to raising capital. coPhilly staff, advisors, and strategic partners lead the workshops to provide entrepreneurs with necessary direction and mentoring. All workshops are recorded live and made available through our private Entrepreneurship On Demand Video Library. In between workshops, entrepreneurs collaborate with their team of Student Ambassadors, schedule office hours with coPhilly advisors, and attend networking events. The following is an abbreviated schedule of the program:
coPhilly Orientation: Meet and Match coPhilly Startups, Students, and Staff
Ready…Set…GO! Meet the startups, students, and staff involved with coPhilly through a speed-dating hour! Learn what it takes to be successful in our 9-week accelerator program and what steps YOU need to take as the business owner. Learn from Day 1 how investors are judging you based on the criteria and subjects listed below.
Capital and Idea Validation: Weeks 1-2: Defend your Narrative and Numbers
Learn how to defend your idea and your funding goal with evidence-based research. Is your solution unique enough to differentiate yourself in the market? How much of the market can you capture with your solution? Is your funding goal realistic based on existing industry data and your network? Learn the key factors to consider when deciding which crowdfunding platforms to use.
Product, Service, and Solution: Weeks 3-4: Competition, Intellectual Property, and Technology Validation
How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors? Do you have any unique intellectual property barriers or assets? Does your solution involve a product or technology build-out, and if so, has it been validated in any capacity? What are the foreseeable product and technology development risks?
Industry Attractiveness: Weeks 3-4: Strategic Partnerships and Differentiation
Given your unique differentiators, is the available market size going to provide a return for an investor? Is the market growing, and if so, at what rate? Do incumbents in this industry look to startups to drive innovation, or do they stifle new players in the market? How can you increase partnerships with pivotal incumbents?
Market Validation and Analysis: Weeks 4-5: Market Testing
What is your customer engagement strategy and how does it translate into a sales pipeline? Have you established necessary partnerships? Who is your ideal customer and are you focused on the right segment? How do your customers and competitors view you? How can social media networks help you and harm you?
Business Model and Risk vs. Talent: Weeks 6-10: Pricing, Company Economics, Scalability, Funding Strategy, Risk Analysis
Can you argue your pricing credibly? Is your downstream value positive for your customers and partners? Is your current model scalable? Is your funding strategy capital-efficient and have you identified an exit strategy? Have you performed a risk analysis and identified ways to minimize potential pitfalls? Is your team prepared in it’s current state to handle foreseeable risks, or do you have gaps in your team that need filled? Do you have an impactful advisory board? How can you minimize “red flags” that might scare away investors and donors?
Presentation Quality and Marketing: Weeks 6-10: Video Production and Pitch Refinement
Do you have a concise elevator pitch and an impactful video presentation? Is your pitch supported by meaningful data? Do the narrative and numbers reflect a winning marketing strategy for your target audience?
coPhilly Demo Weekend: coPhilly Entrepreneurs Pitch the General Public, Investors, and Advisors
The accelerator ends with a VIP Demo Weekend that is attended by local and national media outlets and judged by investor groups from throughout the Northeast US. Prizes will be awarded to select entrepreneurs and a VIP party will follow.