Ballston LaunchPad Challenge

An exciting initiative offering visionaries the chance to develop their discoveries.



Participants enjoy free, exclusive access to a range of education programs tailor-made to their endeavors.


Our exclusive mentorship program will help participants develop their ideas into viable business plans.


The chance to pitch to Mr. Ted Leonsis, Founder, Chairman, Majority Owner and CEO of Monumental Sports & Entertainment.




LaunchPad Challenge Curriculum


Welcome to the Ballston LaunchPad Challenge, our goal is to provide tools, learning experiences and exercises that increase your venture chance of success. This program is not intended to help you write a business plan, but rather to support you in discovering a business model that provides, delivers and captures value for the long term. Each part of this curriculum is designed to put you and your venture in a position to provide value into the future.

Outline of LaunchPad Curriculum:
When: Every Other Tuesday, June - Oct 2013
Where: Ballston LaunchPad (Old Chevy's Space)
Time: 5:30pm - 7:30pm
           5:30 - 6:30 mentorship time
           6:30 - 7:30 event



Segment 1: Vision, Mission Competitive Advantage*

Proposed Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Instructor: Ginny Bianco-Mathis, Marymount University
Book: Art of the Start by: Guy Kawasaki
Description: This session will explore the beginning framework of startup business ventures--specifically, mission, vision, and competitive advantage. You will gain knowledge of basic definitions, examples, and tools you can immediately use as you begin to formulate your business plans and move towards taking action and making a real impact. This program will not only paint a picture of these initial concepts, but will also share the spirit energy, and focus necessary for a successful enterprise.

Segment 2: Startups & Business Models*

Proposed Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Instructor: David Miller, George Mason University
Book: Business Model Generation by: Alexander Osterwalder
Description: This session will introduce and explore the connections between startups and business models and will work with Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas. During this session participants will begin sketching business models for their new ventures or innovations within existing organizations.

Segment 3: Marketing & Competitive Analysis

Proposed Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Instructor:  Anthony Pappas, Pappas Group
Description: This session will be focusing on marketing and competitive advantage. This session will help entrepreneurs and startup companies take a second look at their competitive landscape and target audiences. Participants will break down who their main audiences & main competitors are to help them bring their idea to the next level.

Segment 4: Lean Startup and Customer Development Part I*

Proposed Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Instructor: David Miller. George Mason University
Book: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Description: Part 1 of this 2 part session will introduce participants to the today’s leading theories and frameworks in the startup world. Originally organized in Silicon Valley on the campuses of Stanford and UC Berkeley, Lean Startup/Customer Discovery ideas and techniques are now employed globally as innovators look for strong business models. From new ventures to government entities, organizations globally are experimenting with these ideas and methods. Join this session and begin learning the basics of this business model discovery approach to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Segment 5: Lean Startup and Customer Development Part II*

Proposed Date: Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Instructor: David Miller, George Mason University
Book: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Description: Part 2 of the Lean Startup and Customer Development session will build on the session 1 and will have participants presenting lean experiences to one another. Cases studies will be employed to highlight various experiments, customer development interview techniques. The frameworks and tools explored in this course will support participants in their search for defensible, sustainable business models. 

Segment 6: Presentations/Pitching Part I

Proposed Date: Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Instructor: Charlie Sibbald, Marymount University
Description: The session will start off with startup pitching fundamentals- going through the basics of whom are you pitching to, what you want from them, how to convince, and how to close the deal. Then the session will go into the specific pieces of throwing a pitch, as well as watching and critiquing several recognized experts in the field.

Segment 7: Marketing, Branding & Sales

Proposed Date: Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Instructor: Sam Frentzel-Beyme, Diligent Rocket
Description: What startup doesn't need a stellar marketing plan? The session will teach startups and entrepreneurs brand strategy for how to present their product or service in today's market. This is the session to attend to learn how to make your company stand out from all the rest!

Segment 8: Financials (Revenues, Costs and Profits)

Proposed Date: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Instructor: Scott Cotter & John Gillespie, Veris Consulting
Description: In Progress

Segment 9: Business Model Canvas Review (private-only open to LaunchPad Challenge Contestants)

Proposed Date: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Instructor: David Miller
Description: In Progress

Segment 10: Legal and Intellectual Property

Proposed Date: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Instructor: Jonathan Bachand & Lincoln Essig, Knobbe Martens
Description: This session will be focusing on the legal aspects of starting a business- from the basics of building and forming a corporate strategy for your startup to discussions on intellectual property & how to build a team of advisors to ensure success. Entrepreneurs will learn about patents and how to protect their businesses as they begin to grow. Participants will be provided tools to help participants navigate all legal efforts that need to be covered in the startup world.

Segment 11: Presentations/Pitching Part II

Proposed Date: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Description: In Progress

*Part of Ballston LaunchPad Book Club
**Make up Day- Tuesday October 22, 2013