In March 2017 I heard about Startup School, a 10-week one-on-one mentoring program for startup founders created by Y-Combinator
. I decided to see what this was about and if this could help us with the 4D3d Therapy Puzzles digital apps. This has ended up being a very wonderful adventure. Here is the story.
We are not located in Silicon Valley or any of the hot entrepreneurial hubs. We do our best to keep up with what's going on but with working on our business projects we're bound to miss something. A few years ago I joined a Facebook group of tech women from underrepresented groups (Black/African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American). The creator of that group post a link that talked about Startup School. I said to my husband Bernard that I was going to submit an application for the program and focus on 4D3d Therapy Puzzles, a family of 2D and 3D puzzles and games created to help people suffering with a cognitive impairment to recover quicker just by playing them. To our delight we were notified 1-2 weeks later that we were one of 2,820 startups selected out of 13,321 startups that applied from around the word. We had to wait another two weeks before the classes started the first week in April.
Startup School is a MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) which is a scaled down version of the full Y-Combinator incubator program which normally lasts three months.
A MOOC made it convenient for all of us to take advantage of the knowledge of Y-Combinator graduates with one-on-one access without having to move to the Bay area. We met in groups of 30 companies weekly to give our updates of what we were doing, problems we ran into and other business related issues. We also watched two videos a week taught as a special guest lecture series from Stanford University. This link
includes an ordered descending list of the videos we watched with links to attached resources. The videos are also available on the Stanford Online YouTube channel
along with many other interesting videos.