Program Overview


We are now accepting applications for the sixth cohort of Accelerate UConn (Spring 2018).  Below are the program dates for this cohort.

Date & Time: Topics & Assignments:
Thursday, February 15

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Location TBD

Program Kickoff: Day 1

·         Testing your Assumptions using the Business Model Canvas

·         Understanding your Customers, Value Propositions & Markets

·         Mapping your Market

·         Developing a Customer Discovery Plan

Friday, February 16

8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Location TBD

Program Kickoff: Day 2

·         Participant Presentations: Initial Business Model Canvas

·         How to Interview Customers

Thursday, February 22

3:00-6:00 p.m. via WebEx

Webinar #1:

·         Participant Presentations: Customer Discovery Plans

·         Seminar: Talking to Humans

Thursday, March 1

3:00-6:00 p.m. via WebEx

Webinar #2:

·         Participant Presentations: Customer Segments (1)

·         Seminar: Market Size & Feasibility

Thursday, March 8

3:00-6:00 p.m. via WebEx

Webinar #3:

·         Participant Presentations: Customer Segments (2)

·         Seminar: Distribution Channels

Thursday, March 22

3:00-6:00 p.m. via WebEx


·         Participant Presentations: Distribution Channels

·         Seminar: Customer Acquisition Strategies: Get, Keep, Grow

Thursday, March 29

3:00-6:00 p.m. via WebEx


·         Participant Presentations: Customer Acquisition Strategies

·         Seminar: Business/Revenue Models

Friday, April 6

8:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

Location TBD


Program Closing:

·         Team Presentations: Business/Revenue Models

·         (AL & IM)

·         Discussion: Do you have a Viable Market Opportunity?

·         Partnership Agreements & Company Formation

·         What’s Next Resources for Venture Development


Time Commitment, Roles & Responsibilities:

The time commitment and expected level of involvement for Accelerate UConn participants varies by the role assumed by each member of the team:

Entrepreneurial Leads (ELs) are responsible for attending and representing the team at all in-person and WebEx meetings during the 7-week program. ELs are also expected to lead the team’s customer discovery efforts and weekly 10-minute presentations on the insights and progress made during this process to the rest of the cohort, and program instructors. ELs should expect to spend 8-10 hours per week on developing and refining their venture’s business model during this program. During the opening and closing weeks, this will be taken up by in-class time. During the interim weeks, 3 hours will be spent on group WebEX calls, and an additional 5-6 hours should be dedicated to customer discovery and the recording of information gained through interviews.

Academic Leads (ALs) may have a variety of roles in the program, depending on the makeup of the team, and the relationship with EL. However, a key role of the AL is to support the EL in the identification of critical issues in the business model, and in the process of customer discovery. The Academic Leads who participate in program sessions and check in with their ELs frequently during the program will get the most value from the experience. The opportunity exists to learn effective ways to test and validate the market opportunity associated with your technology. Participating in some customer interviews and joining in the process of analyzing the results is the only way to do this.

Mentors are responsible for helping the EL and AL understand the context of the market that they are seeking to enter. They should assist the AL and EL by helping them to map the market and major players in the industry, and make introductions that will facilitate effective customer discovery throughout the program. Serving as an Accelerate UConn mentor is a voluntary role, and the mentor should not expect any ownership stake in the company or other form of compensation. Mentors are encouraged, but not required to attend in-person or WebEX meetings during the program. Mentors should expect to spend 1-2 hours per week outside of these meetings assisting the EL and AL during the program.