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those at the meeting understood them when they explained their project ideas; whether their mission inspired others; and whether fellow entrepreneurs found them appealing as possible teammates. The participants will be able to see whether their ratings improve from week to week on skills such as storytelling.
This summer’s Startup School is the fourth session since it began four years ago, and the curriculum is always evolving. Last year, of the 15,442 founders who registered, only 5,065 graduated. Of the total enrollees, 83 percent had yet to launch their companies, and nearly 50 percent were working only part-time on their startup plans. Thousands had signed up as auditors seeking only to learn. Hale says this year’s school will offer new lectures to help students evaluate and refine their ideas for a business.
But Hale says having no solidified product idea is not necessarily a handicap when entrepreneurs begin Startup School. “A lot of people have no idea,’’ he says. In fact, it can be a hindrance to come in with “a solution in search of a problem,’’ he says. “That’s a bad way to start.’’
Instead, founders should come in thinking about a problem they want to solve, as Frenkel did.
“The core of any startup is a problem,’’ Hale says.