Fall 2020 Start Smart Class

Monday, September 28, 2020 at 5:30pm to 8:30pm

Virtual Event

Meets for 9 classes, Monday & Thursday Evenings, September 28 - October 29

Start Smart is an interactive virtual class for entrepreneurs who are serious about launching a startup. CEOs, successful entrepreneurs, and others who’ve seen and done it all before are invited guest speakers and an integral component of the learning experience!

The class is highly recommended for concept, pre-funded and startup stage Founders who need to define and/or refine their company’s target market, product positioning, business model and go to market strategy.

The class runs for 4 weeks (9 classes) and is held Monday & Thursday evenings from 5:30 PM EST – 8:30 PM EST. Entrepreneurs must sign up for all classes to reap the full benefit of the class.

Each student receives a digital copy of Bill Aulet’s ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’ and access to the Disciplined Entrepreneurship Toolbox with their class registration fee as well as Start Smart instructor Michael Burtov's new book "The Evergreen Startup"

Why Take This Class?

  • Learn What it REALLY Takes. Get insights on how to prep your startup for rapid growth. Define and/or refine your company’s target market, product positioning, business model and go to market strategy
  • Build a Lifetime CEO Network. The other students in the class are a natural source of an in-the-trenches peer-group + we connect students and instructors via slack to continue the conversations beyond class
  • Expert & Peer Feedback. Bring exercises you have completed to class, discuss your results and receive expert and peer feedback on how to make improvements
  • Create and/or Refine Your Pitch.  Your pitch will be suitable for potential investors, clients, recruits and partners

Questions about the class?  Feel free to send us an email.

Class 1 - Monday, September 28 , 2020, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Who is Your Customer?

Class entrepreneurs will learn about company purpose and mantra, selecting a beachhead market, defining an end user profile and estimating a total addressable market.

  • Speaker: Mike Grandinetti, CMO/Chief Strategy Exec, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Class 2 - Thursday, October 1,  2020, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
What is your Value Proposition  & Competitive Position?

Class entrepreneurs will learn about quantifying the value proposition of their offering to their target market and charting their competitive position.

Class 3 - Monday, October 5, 2020, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
Legal Issues for Startups

What does an Entrepreneur need to know about startup legal issues in the areas of corporate law, employment, intellectual property and financing?

Class 4 - Thursday,  October 8, 2020,   5:30 - 8:30 pm
The Art of Pitching (Investors, Partners and Customers)

A good company pitch can be used to achieve many goals; raising money, closing a sale, securing a partnership, and recruiting employees.

No class on Monday, October 12, Indigenous Peoples' Day

Class 5 -  Thursday, October 15, 2020,  5:30 - 8:30 pm
Determining Your Go to Market Strategy

Class entrepreneurs will consider how their target market customers will acquire their product/services.

Class 6 -  Monday,  October 19, 2020, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
How do you Design & Build Your Product/Service?

Class Entrepreneurs will consider all key assumptions underlying their business model / go to market strategy in defining a minimum viable product with which to test market acceptance/preference.

  • Speaker: Barbara Finer, COO/CMO for Growth-oriented Tech Companies

Class 7 - Thursday, October 22, 2020, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
How Will Your New Venture Make Money?

Class entrepreneurs will consider their business model and its alignment with target market buying behavior.

Class 8 - Monday, October 26, 2020, 5:30 - 8:30 pm
The Art of Raising Capital

It is possible to build a business without capital, but it may be much easier with it. This session will examine techniques for successfully raising capital from a variety of sources.

Class 9 - Thursday, October 29, 2020,  5:30 - 8:30 pm
Practice Pitch Session

CEOs must demonstrate the ability to present the essentials of their ventures concisely and in a manner that showcases their results. Each student will have twenty minutes to present their company pitch deck. Each presentation will be followed by feedback from the class and other invited MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge guests.

Event Type


Events By Interest


Events By Audience

Public, MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff


startups, Entrepreneurship





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