Startup Boot Camp

Startup Boot Camp is a 2-day experience held just before each semester starts. Learn from experienced founders, conduct sales experiments and pitch your idea for prizes!

Start Up Your Semester

You have a product or an idea that could ignite. What if you just start selling? When can you stop listening and just build? Surely your customers are just like you and they’ll buy the first time... but what if they don’t?

Learn to avoid the mistakes that stop so many founders short, and ask for help in a way that gets you the access you need. Validate your riskiest hidden assumptions!

Apply Now!

Winter 2021 Boot Camp is January 21st and 22nd. Seats are limited - students accepted on a rolling basis. Click here to apply.

How Does it Work?

Join us for 2 full days before the fall or spring semester begins. We'll provide food and any necessary off-campus transportation for program related activities. If you live on campus, early dorm check-in is available. 


Day 1

  • Form teams
  • Prototype key online marketing and sales content
  • Sell at an innovation bazaar
  • Assess what you learned one-on-one from mentors
  • Realize whether you're an inventor or an entrepreneur
  • Frame buying on logic or emotion

Day 2

  • Identify the riskiest assumptions in your business model
  • Validate risk with mentors
  • Network with experienced founders and the UB startup ecosystem
  • Pitch what you learned and make an ask
  • Formulate the next step to validate your business

What Will I Get?

If you attend Startup Boot Camp, you'll network with WNY leaders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, gain valuable skills for your venture and compete for prizes. See below for a full list of program benefits!

Startup Boot Camp Benefits

  • Realize the value in making mistakes.
  • Practice pitching for recruiting, sales, and investment.
  • Earn your first co-founders – it’s the biggest sale you’ll ever make.
  • Validate market need by prototyping a one page web site, sales video, and a way to take pre-orders.
  • Get firsthand experience selling your product in an innovation bazaar, and get one-on-one advice from our mentor community.
  • Decide whether you’re an inventor or an entrepreneur.
  • See which makes a bigger impact on buying decisions: logic or emotions.
  • Identify the gaps between your idea and a sustainable business – do you have a working product? If not, prioritize those gaps and form them into a coherent ask for help.
  • Meet key stakeholders in the UB and WNY startup ecosystem who can help you cross those gaps.
  • Pitch your idea to compete for prizes.
  • Leave knowing how to validate the next step in your own business.
  • Campus cash provided to those that fully participate.