At the beginning of last fall, Peter, Hasan, and I (Hi! I'm Maya!) decided to apply to the McGill Lean Launchpad with with our startup idea. Our idea seemed relatively simple and rather obvious at the time; to help online shoppers receive their purchases at night when they were actually home. Sounds great, right? But we were the first to admit that a simple concept would not suffice. Plus, as students, we figured some *free* guidance at the beginning of our entrepreneurial journey would probably help. Plus, who doesn't want to add an extra class to their already full-time school load! With night time delivery fever and grandeurs of Elon Musk close at hand, we got selected for the Lean Launchpad, and braced ourselves for a challenging and incredibly rewarding journey.
First, we were introduced to the rest of the startup teams. Let me tell you, it was humbling. Some teams had discovered new technologies and medicines, while others were award winning chefs, videographers, or coders. Collectively, it was probably the smartest group of people I had ever been surrounded by, and I got the pleasure of enjoying their company for three hours every week for 10 weeks.
Each class went like this; we would say hello, chat for a little bit, and then get right on to startup business. We would go over that week's lesson plan, which ranged anywhere from Customer Development to Distribution Channels to Perfecting your Pitch. And then, one at a time, the teams would present their five minute pitches. Afterwards, we would ask each other questions, make suggestions, and improve upon our ideas with the backing of brilliant minds.
In 10 weeks, we went from an idea to a company. Our API is finished. We have real retail partners and paying customers. A functioning website, and soon, a personal delivery service. Through the structure and guidance of the Lean Launchpad we were motivated to work faster and stronger than ever. Since the end of the program, we have worked tirelessly, implementing all we learnt and remaining inspired.
Thanks Lean Launchpad! Check out the Dobson Chronicle article below about our final presentation at McGill.
The BoxKnight Team