Bootcamp Overview

What is Entrepreneurs Bootcamp?

The Entrepreneurs Bootcamp is a semester-long program in which participants experience full entrepreneurial emersion. Those enrolled will participate in teams and live the life of an entrepreneur by conceiving, developing and pitching an idea from start to finish. Bootcamp participants will work with a variety of mentors throughout the process by attending once-a-week Sessions on topics such as the business model canvas, customer validation, marketing, finance, etc.

What is the role of VACE staff in Bootcamp?

VACE staff are the founders and administrators of the program. We are responsible for administering the sessions, coaching, monitoring progress, providing feedback, and mentor pairing. We do not recruit team members to teams, or write/create any powerpoints and/or written documents for teams in the program. It is the responsibility of the team to do all written work and recruitment for their startup.

Who is eligible to register for Bootcamp?

The program is free and open to the general public and students. Bootcamp 1.0 and 2.0 are offered to eligible UK students for academic credit through an EXP class on a pass/fail basis. The number of students accepted for class credit will be limited. Tuition rates will apply for those seeking class credit. Bootcamp 1.0 is offered in the Fall, and those that complete Fall and meet all the milestones in 1.0, have the potential to receive an invitation to Bootcamp 2.0 in the Spring.

Anyone interested in the program for academic credit should contact a VACE staff member.

What is the time commitment for Bootcamp, and how much time should I expect to spend working outside of my regular commitments?

As a rule of thumb, plan on spending at least 2-4 hours a week working on Bootcamp related tasks. Bootcamp weekly sessions alone are 2 hours, once a week on Thursdays, from 5-7pm. If you cannot commit to attending the sessions, Bootcamp may not be right for you at this time.

Is attendance mandatory at each weekly session?

Absolutely. Bootcamp is intended to mimic real-world expectations. This means consideration of your teammates, commitments, and team mentors helping you along the way. Success means 100% participation, hard work, dedication, and respecting the time of those involved. Building trust within your team is essential if you wish to develop a successful startup.

Can I bring my own idea into Bootcamp 1.0 (i.e. be a Team Leader)?

Yes. This is highly encouraged. Anyone bringing an idea into Bootcamp will be the “Team Leader” of the project, and will be responsible for all communications, assignments of teamwork, and pitch deliverables in the program. Please keep in mind that ideas should be scalable, competitive, and innovative.

I don't have an idea to work on. Can I join a Bootcamp team as a Team Member?

Yes. All team members that wish to join a team can apply to the program as a team member. Team members can join a team at any time and will be accepted at the discretion of VACE in both Bootcamp 1.0 and 2.0.

How many team members are allowed on teams, and what is the best number of team members for a successful outcome?

2-3 team members is typically the best number of team members to efficiently divide the work. Successful teams usually include a variety of expertise: finance, marketing, engineering, software, legal, or other specialty.

Does VACE recruit team members to join teams?

No – VACE is not responsible for identifying, recruiting, nor placement of team members onto select teams. The Bootcamp Kickoff is the primary Session to deliver the 1-minute pitch of the idea and “sell” it to recruit additional team members.

Can I work on my idea as a 1-person team if I don’t recruit any team members?

Yes! If you’re unable to recruit team members at Kickoff, we encourage you to stick with the Bootcamp and try to recruit/add team members anytime during the semester.

I want additional team members, but how do I go about recruitment?

You’ll need to be very diligent in identifying what “gaps” needed filled on your team. Write a list of the skills needed, and start promoting these needs on social media, make quick announcements at networking events, or email friends/family that may be able to help you. There is no limit of outreaching efforts as to how you can build your team.

Can teams Dropout of Bootcamp?

Yes. Teams that are unable to commit to the program can withdraw. VACE requests that anyone withdrawing from the program email a VACE staff member prior to doing so.

Why do Teams dropout of Bootcamp?

  • Time commitment – Bootcamp requires a time commitment that is at least 2-4 hours per week in addition to a normal work schedule. If a team has too many things going on outside of Bootcamp, they may drop the program.
  • Passion for the idea – if the team loses passion for the project, often times a team will dropout.
  • Team dynamics – sometimes the team’s cohesion loses momentum, and the team will dropout.