SBIR Phase I: Cloud-based platform to support experiential entrepreneurship education online at scale

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013

$150K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

LaunchPad Central Inc.
106 Lincoln Blvd, Ste 213
San Francisco, CA 94129
Principal Investigator, Firm POC

Abstract

This Small Business Innovative Research Phase I project aims to provide a cloud based software platform to deliver entrepreneurship education at scale. Innovation is the first step along the journey towards commercialization, job creation and profitability. On a good day this path is dark, winding, uphill and unpaved. At LaunchPad Central, they are rapidly creating the ability to help pave this road to increase the odds of successfully navigating this journey. The data from early stage startups will add to the "intellectual exhaust" allowing for pattern recognition of early warning signs of failure. The LaunchPad Central team has the domain expertise required to architect this platform. Collectively they possess an in-depth understanding of the requirements. A world-class board of advisors including Steve Blank, author of The Four Steps to Epiphany and the Startup Owners Manual (standard entrepreneurship texts across top universities worldwide) gives the company an unparalleled intellectual advantage on best practices to deliver this content at scale. The company has the experience of teaching this process in classroom and synchronous online formats to graduate engineering, MBA students and scientists/researchers from research universities. This has given the team considerable collective intellectual and operational experience. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project can be significant. The NSF Innovation Corps program has adopted Steve Blank's Lean LaunchPad process in 2011. One hundred NSF I-Corps funded teams have graduated and are on their way to successfully commercializing their lab research. The program is set to scale over the next 18-24 months. LaunchPad Central enables the successful scale of this program for early stage technologies from the top universities to learn how to navigate the financial valley of death as they seek to commercialize their science in scalable and sustainable ways. LaunchPad Central will have a much broader impact for entrepreneurs on Main Street. The Small Business Administration could offer the tools that have been tried and tested by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. Decreasing the odds of failure for small businesses (the backbone of the US economy) can have a profound impact on job creation. Scalable startups have historically grown from innovation and entrepreneurship hubs like Silicon Valley, Boston etc. Their software provides the metrics to identify promising entrepreneur across the country and potentially connecting them to mentors and investors in Silicon Valley.