2024 West Kentucky Innovation Challenge

The Challenge Begins September 4, 2024!

Are you ready to transform your problem-solving idea into a viable business concept? The West Kentucky Innovation Challenge is designed to guide you through the essential steps of entrepreneurship. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or someone with a problem to solve, our program provides the tools, guidance, and support you need to develop a solid business idea.

Transform your idea into a viable startup in just one month!

The West Kentucky Innovation Challenge is an interactive program supporting West Kentucky entrepreneurs wanting to turn their problem-solving ideas into actionable business concepts.

This initiative offers hands-on training in essential entrepreneurial skills such as customer discovery, idea development, hypothesis testing, and MVP design. Over the course of one month, participants will engage in practical exercises and receive expert guidance to refine and validate their business ideas.

Participants must apply to access instructional videos and weekly live coaching sessions. Each session will allow participants to conceptually build out their idea/solutions using the LEAN startup methodology and other customer discovery techniques. 

The West Kentucky Innovation Challenge is available to any resident in one of the Delta Region counties in West Kentucky.

Are You an Aspiring Entrepreneur?

If you have a desire to start a business but are unsure of where to begin, this program is for you. We provide the foundational training and support to help you develop your idea into a viable business concept.

Are You a Problem Solver?

Do you have a specific problem you’re passionate about solving but don’t know how to turn it into a business? This challenge will guide you through the process of testing and refining your ideas to create a single, actionable solution.

 

Application Process:

Apply to join the West Kentucky Innovation Challenge. Once accepted, we will send you a Zoom meeting link and supporting materials to help you build your big idea.

Structured Learning:

Our program is structured into key modules that cover every essential aspect of entrepreneurship. From understanding business models to developing a hypothesis and creating an MVP, each module is designed to build your knowledge step-by-step.

Weekly Challenges:

Each week for four consecutive weeks, participants will tackle a business-building challenge. These challenges are designed to incrementally develop your business idea, ensuring steady progress.

Live Coaching Calls:

Attend live coaching calls each week where you can ask questions and receive personalized help with your current design process. These sessions are recorded, so you can review them at your convenience.

One-on-One Coaching:

In addition to group coaching calls, we offer one-on-one coaching sessions to provide tailored support and guidance specific to your business idea.

Hands-On Exercises:

Engage in practical exercises that allow you to apply what you’ve learned in real-world scenarios. These exercises are designed to help you test and refine your ideas effectively.

Sprint Sessions:

Participate in regular sprint sessions where you can work on your business idea, receive feedback, and iterate on your concepts. These sessions provide an opportunity to collaborate with peers and learn from their experiences as well.

Community Support:

Join a network of like-minded individuals who are also on their entrepreneurial journey. Share insights, challenges, and successes with a supportive community that is committed to fostering innovation and growth.

Continuous Improvement:

Throughout the program, you’ll complete homework assignments that reinforce your learning and advance your business idea. These assignments include developing business model versions, creating customer interview lists, and designing MVP promotional materials.

Kickoff Session:

The program begins with a comprehensive kickoff session on September 4th, where you will meet your coaches and expert speakers. This session sets the stage for the entire challenge, providing an overview of what to expect and how to prepare for the journey ahead.

IDEO Business Model:

In the first week, you’ll dive into the IDEO Business Model, learning the structure and components of a successful business model. This module is crucial as it lays the foundation for your business idea, helping you understand how to create a sustainable and scalable business. 

Customer Discovery:

Week two focuses on Customer Discovery, where you’ll learn how to gather valuable customer insights. Understanding your customers is key to validating your business idea. You’ll develop effective interview questions and create a list of potential interviewees. This module ensures that you can identify and understand the real problems your target customers face, setting you up for successful product development.

Hypothesis Testing & MVP Design:

In the third week, you’ll learn how to formulate a hypothesis based on your customer insights and design a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). This module is essential for testing your business idea with minimal resources. You’ll create your first promotional flyer/ad for your MVP, which will help you communicate your value proposition clearly. By testing and iterating your MVP, you’ll be able to refine your product based on real customer feedback.

Roadmapping: Business Structures, Funding, and Plan of Action:

The final week covers the critical aspects of business structures, revenue models, and funding options. You’ll learn about different business structures, their pros and cons, and how to choose the right one for your startup. Additionally, you’ll explore various funding options, including venture capital, bank loans, crowdfunding, and bootstrapping. This module culminates in the creation of a detailed roadmap for your business, outlining the next steps and key milestones to launch your startup.

Sprint Sessions:

Throughout the program, sprint sessions provide a platform for practical application and continuous feedback. These sessions allow you to work on your business idea, receive feedback from coaches and peers, and iterate on your concepts. This iterative process is crucial for refining your idea and ensuring it is viable and ready for further development.

September 4th: Kickoff Session

Meet your coaches and get an overview of the program.

Week 1: IDEO Business Model

Learn about business model structures.

Homework: Develop five business model versions.

Week 2: Customer Discovery

Conduct customer interviews and gather insights.

Homework: Create a list of interviewees.

Week 3: Hypothesis Testing & MVP Design

Develop a hypothesis and design your MVP.

Homework: Create a promotional flyer/ad.

Week 4: Roadmapping

Learn about business structures, funding, and create a roadmap.

Homework: Design your business roadmap.

Ongoing: Sprint Sessions

Participate in practical exercises and receive feedback to continually refine your ideas.

By the end of the program, you will have a clear, actionable business concept ready for further development and potential launch.

Join the Waitlist and Get Ready to Apply!
Applications for the 2024 West Kentucky Innovation Challenge Open Summer 2024

Join the West Kentucky Innovation Challenge today and start your journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur!

Still have questions?

Reach out to Hannah@sprocketpaducah.com.

The West Kentucky Innovation Challenge is a regional competition that allows local innovators expert help in designing and developing a business idea. This opportunity is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture for all communities in the Delta Region in West Kentucky. Reach out to any of our Growest communities for more information.

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