7 things you need ...

7 things you need to do to prepare for the perfect bootcamp

A Bootcamp is a learning and networking opportunity. Making sure that proper homework is done before the bootcamp will set some guidance on what to expect and help entrepreneurs take full advantage of what they may learn with the experts, mentors and peers.

The expected outcome of the Bootcamp is: the perfect pitch! Everything revolves around the pitch. Below are the 7 things we did in preparation for the Ghana Climate Innovation Center's "Green Innovator Bootcamp", to be held on February 27-28, 2015.

1. Select entrepreneurs

Group entrepreneurs by level of knowledge and development stage of their business (trying to serve too many different entrepreneurs will not help with defining and delivering relevant and added value activities) and fine tune the themes and activities to meet their common needs.

2. Attract mentors

Reach out to networks of business and clean tech people (e.g. alumni networks can be a good resource). To the extent possible, insist on the best caliber of coaches; ideally, these will be experienced entrepreneurs and/or investors who have been in the shoes of the bootcamp participants, will have industry-specific knowledge and solid professional networks they are willing to approach on behalf of the entrepreneurs, moving forward. Experience shows that the value of the people engaged makes the value of the event.

3. Mach mentors with entrepreneurs

Matching mentors with entrepreneurs based on the needs of the entrepreneurs and the background/capabilities of the mentors before the event and share this with both sides (ideally with bios).

4. Make a schedule

Outlining the detailed schedule of help desks slots/group activities/mentoring-coaching sessions before the event and share this with entrepreneurs, experts, coaches and mentors ahead of the event (as well as printed in big at the Bootcamp venue for easy reference).

5. Prepare background materials

Providing entrepreneurs with directions, background material (incl. the selection criteria) and a GCIC pitch template so they can prepare for the Bootcamp.

6. Attract and prepare judges

Reach out to networks, incl. donors supporting the Bootcamp and provide judging sheet templates with well defined criteria (that entrepreneurs should be aware of); it can only make the tough task of judging, easier. (NB: sometimes having high level individuals is good for the visibility of the Bootcamp, but there is the challenge that they need lots of guidance and have limited amount of time. Also, World bank employees should not sit on judging panels to avoid any conflict of interest).

7. Be on top of logistics

Be on top of logistics so the focus is on the entrepreneurs and their pitch, nothing else.

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