Lean Startup Machine: Workshop for aspiring entrepreneurs starts Friday

Got a great idea for a new startup? A three-day workshop kicks off Friday that’ll put it through its paces. 

Lean Startup Machine is the name. It’s based on methodology designed to whip entrepreneurial ideas into shape.

“Basically it’s about validating your concept,” said Kert Heinecke, the event’s local organizer. It’s about “making sure that the market actually has a need for it before you proceed with developing any code, before you proceed with building a product.”

It’s Philly’s third time around for the international workshop series. Last fall, the winning idea was an app that sought to cut down on spoiled food.

Heinecke says the goal isn’t to have something built by Sunday night; it’s to impart an entrepreneurial toolset.

“Really, what this is about is taking these huge endeavors — building a start-up company — and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps,” Heinecke said.

And it all boils down to a simple, three-step process: the build-measure-learn feedback loop.

“We’re really trying to reposition Lean Startup Machine as sort of a gateway event into the startup world,” said Heinecke.

This year, LSM is aiming to get more college-aged entrepreneurs involved. The workshop is being hosted by Drexel’s Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, which is sponsoring a handful of its students.

At $300 a ticket, the weekend event is sold out. About 55 people are expected to attend, roughly double the amount who came last fall.

“It’s really about connecting people,” said Heinecke. “You have mentors and leaders in the startup community here networking with students and people trying to get in to the community.”

But does it work?

“The proof in the pudding, from my perspective right now, is the way it’s actually empowering people to step into the startup world,” Heinecke said. “Where that will manifest itself down the road? I’m not exactly sure just yet.”

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