Jumbo Cafe – Getting Started Series

You are passionate and you want to make a difference, but you have not worked on innovation and entrepreneurship projects before. Where do you begin?

If this sounds like you, the Jumbo Cafe entrepreneurial workshop series can help. These one-hour virtual workshops take our foundational class, ENT-101 “Entrepreneurship and Business Planning,” and boil it down into just five workshops that give you the framework and skills to build your own venture from the ground up.

Sign up for the topics that interest you, meet fellow entrepreneurs, and learn practical skills that will help you with the Ideas Competition and beyond.

Please note that instructors are subject to change.

September 30 • 12pm • “How Do I Start?” Ideating Problems Worth Solving

Instructor: Elaine Chen, Cummings Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship, Director, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Unless you have taken an entrepreneurship course or worked at a startup before, the idea of creating a new venture can feel daunting. How do you come up with an idea? How do you brainstorm effectively? How do you choose between the many ideas that will come out of an ideation session?

In this interactive ideation workshop, you will learn how to come up with ideas for problems to solve, both by yourself and with your peers. We will guide you through the process of organizing your ideation process with prompts surrounding societal problems, technology trends and your own passions. We will explore selection criteria for problem ideas that resonate with you. We will practice both divergent thinking (generating ideas) and convergent thinking (choosing ideas). At the end of the session, you will come away with a framework that you can apply to both problem brainstorming and solution brainstorming.

October 7 • 12pm • Understanding the Market and Customer

Instructor: Omer Trajman, E00; Founder, AskFora; Member, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board

With any new venture the most important thing is not the technology, nor the product. Rather, it is a deep understanding of the target market and target customers.  In this session, we will look at how teams creating new ventures can answer one key question: “Who is your market and customer?”

We will explore how to apply good listening skills in a detailed interview to learn the pain points and needs and wants of the customer. Great listening skills will be immensely useful in all sorts of professional settings, from managing employees to working with superiors to running a successful direct sales process.

October 14 • 12pm • Developing and Testing a Product That Delivers Real Value

Instructor: Elaine Chen, Cummings Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship, Director, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

In this session you will learn how to define and build the right product with a user-centered approach. We will use the case of an internal wearable devices startup within a Big Tech to study how we can start from customer research and move on to solution research. We will explore how this team ran 7 research projects in just a few months and collected data from 450+ consumers to help us define and build the right product, how we tested customer interest, purchase intent and more via Google Ads experiments, A-B testing and other similar techniques. Lastly, we will look at similarities and differences in building a new venture as a startup versus as a moonshot project within an existing company.

October 21 • 12pm • Developing a Financially Sustainable Venture (For-Profit… Non-Profit… Anything)

Instructor: Josh Wiesman, Professor of the Practice, Entrepreneurship and Business Planning; Hub, Strategic Platform | Co-Developer, CarryOn CBD, Ocean Spray

For any new venture, it is important to develop a strategy for financial sustainability. In standalone ventures (such as a startup or a new non-profit organization), it is the business model: What are the different ways you can generate revenue from your paying customers – and how do they pay you? How much and how often? In internal facing ventures (such as an organization generating solutions for internal customers), it is the notion of quid pro quo: What value are you offering to internal customers (saving time? saving money?) and how are the internal customers “paying” you (with in kind services? With social mentions?)

In this session, we will touch on go-to-market strategies, business models, and the basics of unit and overall financials. We will touch on the importance of having the right pricing architecture and strategy, and the best ways to test pricing and purchase intent.

October 28 • 12pm • Storytelling

Instructor: Elaine Chen, Cummings Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship, Director, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

Guest Speaker: Abe Stein, A12, GM & Head of Business Development, Matter365; Co-founder, BlockParty

Great ideas can get lost in the noise if you are not able to connect with your audience and tell your story in an engaging manner. In this workshop, we will explore the three things you need to create a fabulous pitch: Great content, great delivery, and a great narrative. We will use the case of BlockParty, a non-profit co-founded by guest speaker Abe Stein (A12), to demonstrate how to put each of these elements to practice in a two minute pitch.

We will end the session with an optional live pitch practice clinic to kickstart the process of creating your best two-minute pitch ever.