Working on his startup since 2021 and having worked on many projects for other clients, Jeffin Johnson, co-founder of Thinkgrid Labs, was looking to build his own SaaS product. With his startup being in the growth stage, he thought he would take this opportunity to take a few steps back and get a ‘reality check’. That was partly why he cancelled two important meetings to be at Pre-flight, as he told one of the Launch Pad staff. ‘The reality check that comes with your idea is what I found most useful. It’s a very structured program,’ said Jeffin.
‘Pre-flight’ is a 2-day startup pre-accelerator hosted by Western Sydney University’s Launch Pad aimed to help founders get a taster into our programs before committing to 10 weeks.
‘Instead of wasting time into things that might not work, you can focus on the things that work,’ the founder added. During the 2-day program we helped founders question their ideas and really dig deep into what the problem was… before trying to find a solution. After speaking to lots of founders, validation is the most important part of a successful startup, but one that is overlooked by many founders.
Jeffin also came to ‘meet mentors and like-minded people’, so he can ‘bounce ideas off them’, and get feedback on his ideas. A lot of other founders came to Pre-flight for this same reason. During the exercises and break times, founders could be seen networking and sharing ideas with other founders.
Instead of just helping founders test and evaluate the one business idea they brought with them to the program, Launch Pad Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs) team Jamie Pride and Jonathon Wolfe developed a methodology that can be applied to the founders’ future ideas as well.
‘Startup success is more science than art,’ Chief EIR Jamie spoke from his years of experience in the startup world being a serial entrepreneur himself.
‘I would recommend this program to all business owners and tech team leads for the sole reason that you get a lot of feedback from different people, and you get the right mentors to help you in that ideation process, to validate the ideas and launch the product successfully.’
Part of the program involved working in teams to wireframe (on paper) an idea for an app which they presented to the rest of the group. Then Jamie showed them using an online tool, how to create a clickable prototype app that demonstrated the user interface. Many founders were surprised to see how quickly and easily their idea could be wireframed and be used to demonstrate their idea. It was good to see the founders working together to solve a problem.
Jeffin along with other participants came out of the program with a refined business idea along with a clickable prototype – ready to be tested with potential customers!
They are on the right track to apply for the Ignition Startup Accelerator 2023 – starting in March. Applications close 1 March.
About Pre-flight Startup Pre-accelerator
Designed to be a taster of the 10-week accelerator program ‘Ignition’, ‘Pre-flight’ is a 2-day intensive pre-accelerator experience for people who are curious about entrepreneurship or launching their startup.