Startup Executive Academy 2020 Online
The Startup Executive Academy (SEA), designed as an international week-long Go-to-Market program for early-stage (seed, A or B phase) technology startup executives and founders, has been taking place annually since 2017 in Salzburg, Austria.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we were forced to reinvent the SEA, so in the past months, we transformed it into a three-month online Go-to-Market program that takes place in three stages. Nevertheless, the aim of the academy remains unchanged; to enable startups to accelerate their business by providing highly relevant and practical input that’s delivered by a world-class faculty from academia and business, led by Prof. Baba Shiv from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
The highly practical, hands-on Go-to-Market sessions cover topics such as value proposition, storytelling, pricing, sales, investment, and negotiation. The Live Online Sessions take place every Saturday in November 2020. Alongside the sessions, the participants work on their startup’s challenges by completing e.g. the SEA Sales Canvas and Investment Memorandum.
The program is led by Prof. Baba Shiv from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The faculty body includes executives and former leaders of global companies like Dolby, Sony, PWC, McKinsey, Napster, and Deutsche Telekom. Between sessions, the SEA participants receive individual advice and feedback in 1:1 Online Sessions with selected faculty members.
During the Live Online Sessions, the 1:1 Online Sessions with faculty members and their regular exchanges with their peers, the participants develop ideas, gather knowledge, and collect feedback. They can immediately use this input to accelerate their business and take their company to the next level.
The SEA CIRCLE is the Alumni network of former SEA participants and enables continuous learning through regular SEA CIRCLE Online Sessions on startup topics. SEA CIRCLE members can share their experiences on success and failure and receive advice from peers.
Stage 1 – October
Week 1-2: Online Business Challenge Assessment
You and your team will have a video call (1,5h) with the Silicon Castles team and selected SEA Faculty members. We will identify your startup’s challenge(s) and advise you on what to discuss and prepare internally to increase the value of your SEA20 participation.
Week 3: Meet your SEA20 Group
You will be assigned to a small group (4-5) people based on your startup’s assessment. Your peer advisor group will support you in the learning process and together you will prepare for the sessions and exchange experiences. The Silicon Castles team will moderate your first call (1h) together and introduce you to each other.
Stage 2 – November
Week 4: SEA20 Online – Business Model & Strategy I & Storytelling
Every Monday, for the following four weeks, you will receive access to new videos and pre-reading material. We strongly recommend you watch all videos carefully, as they provide the base knowledge that every participant should have for the interactive, Live Online Sessions that take place every Saturday afternoon (CET time). If your schedule allows it, we also recommend you read the pre-readings. In the days between the Live Online Sessions, you will get the chance to get individual advice from selected SEA faculty members during two 1:1 Online Sessions (0,5-1h each).
Prof. Baba Shiv, our lead professor from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, will kick off the first week of stage 2 with the Business Model Canvas, a powerful and comprehensive visual tool that innovators find useful in developing and honing their business strategy and model. In the preparatory videos, Baba will explain every aspect of the BMC. During the rest of the week, you should create or update your own BMC. During this and next week’s Saturday Live Online Session, Baba will discuss the challenges you faced in creating your own canvas and he will offer to go into more detail on how the BMC can help to accelerate your startup.
The second Live Online Session of the week is taught by marketing expert Catherine Ogilvie, a founding member of Napster and former marketing executive in global companies like Dolby. She will guide you in putting together a compelling and authentic company story that will provide the essential backbone for your communication strategy and messaging for both internal and external audiences. In preparation for the session, you will create your own Marketing Canvas with the help of this week’s videos.
Week 5: SEA20 Online – Business Model & Strategy II & Value Proposition
Prof. Baba Shiv will continue with Business Model & Strategy II.
Value Proposition, the second topic of the week, is also taught by Prof. Baba Shiv. You will gain a rich understanding of the workings of the instinctual brain, which shapes a substantial proportion of human decisions and actions, that are not only automatic but also often non-conscious. You will learn how to use this information to discover and design solutions that the instinctual brain seeks and craft value propositions for these instinctual solutions.
Week 6: SEA20 Online – Pricing, Sales & Negotiation
In week 6, Maciej Kraus, VC and former Global Pricing Head of PWC, who has gained experience in 100+ global projects on pricing, will first introduce you to pricing strategies and tactics. This includes pricing in competitive markets, estimating demand, price discrimination, pricing in B2B, and pricing of innovative products. Alongside the input from the videos and the session, you will prepare your own Pricing Canvas.
Next, Andreas Spechtler, founder of Silicon Castles and former President of Dolby International, and Mahesh Sundaram, CCO of Authentic Vision and former VP of Worldwide Sales and Customer Support at Immersion Corporation. who have collectively closed 500+ sales deals all over for the world, will share their key learnings, common misconceptions, and best practices in technology sales, as well as how sales management evolves as your company grows with you. Before the Live Online Session, you will work on your Sales Canvas.
Successful sales require negotiation skills. Christian Dreyer, a seasoned entrepreneur with 30+ years of experience building up companies and former McKinsey consultant, teaches you what it takes to be a good negotiator, how to push your best interests without alienating the other side and how to react when your opponent uses dirty tricks.
Week 7: SEA20 Online – Investment
The last week of stage 2 starts with Investment – a topic that’s highly relevant for most startups but also feared and associated with a lot of uncertainty. Pascal Levensohn, Senior Managing Director of Dolby Family Ventures and a Silicon Valley veteran, introduces you to the different types of investors and how and when to approach them. Additionally, Andreas Spechtler will lead you through the creation of a comprehensive Investment Memorandum, which attracts investors.
Two additional optional Live Online Sessions will be offered depending on the needs of the participants.
On November 29, the SEA CIRCLE Day takes place. On this day, your class will be joined by members of the SEA CIRCLE, the SEA alumni network of some 40+ companies. Together, you will discuss the highs and lows your startups have experienced (1h) during the Covid-19 crisis and how your startup coped. Afterward, you will get the unique opportunity to peek inside the head of a VC for one hour as he shares his thoughts and comments while someone is pitching. This allows you to understand the standpoint and mindset of a VC and enables you to finetune your own pitch. Next, Prof. Baba Shiv will present a keynote (1h) on a current topic (tba). The SEA CIRCLE Day will finish with a final plenary Q&A session with all participants and the SEA Faculty.
Stage 3 – December and beyond
Week 8-9: Online Faculty Sessions
So, you’ve learned lots during the SEA20 online and you’re brimming with ideas to take your startup to the next level! Navigating these changes can be highly rewarding but tricky. Selected SEA Faculty members and the Silicon Castles team will offer guidance for you and your team to enable a smooth implementation process during a 2h call. The faculty members in attendance will be selected based on your startup’s industry and challenges.
January 2021 and onwards: SEA CIRCLE Sessions
Reunite virtually with your SEA CIRCLE peers and the SEA Faculty for one evening a month starting in January 2021 to learn about new topics to ensure the continuous acceleration of your startup – broaden your horizon and ask all your burning questions!
Application & Terms
Open until September 15, 2020.
Price for one participant: €3.000 (excl. VAT)
Price for one additional participant from the same startup: €1.500 (excl. VAT)
Price for up to three additional participants from the same startup: €3.000 (excl. VAT)
Max. participants per company: four
We understand that Startup Executives occasionally have changes in plans or schedules that will result in their inability to attend the program as planned. If you wish to cancel and receive a full refund, you must submit your request in writing no later than August 31, 2020. Cancellation requests are valid only upon receipt of an acknowledgment email from Silicon Castles confirming the receipt of your request. After August 31, 2020, cancellations are not accepted.
Please use the application form to apply. You will need to provide personal information, details about your startup, and why you would like to participate. Please complete all sections, otherwise your application cannot be properly reviewed.
CONFIRMATION OF RECEIPT
You will receive a confirmation of receipt by email.
Please contact email@example.com if you have questions about the status of your application.
NOTIFICATION OF YOUR ACCEPTANCE
Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis. You will hear back no later than two weeks after submitting your application. We understand your need to know your admission status and try our best to balance that with our admission process. With the final acceptance you will receive further instructions and details. Important: No full payment necessary before you have been accepted.
Get trained by top professors and experienced executives.
Meet passionate founders, global industry experts and top investors.
Become a member of the SEA Circle – a world class startup network.
Here’s what our former SEA participants have to say:
„I’ve never participated in a program where top executives of corporations, Silicon Valley VCs and Stanford professors get together to share not only their knowledge and expertise with us but also insights that are hard to access from the outside. I hold an MBA in Strategic Management but the SEA provides a totally different, tailor-made experience. The fantastic international peers turn into your friends, mentors, advisors, and supporters. I recommend the SEA to startup leaders who seek to move to another level, gain practical knowledge and build a powerful network.“
„I was blown away by Prof. Baba Shiv and the intensity of the Startup Executive Academy program. I have received so much new input that changed my mind and helped me to gain a different view on many aspects of my company. Our group of participants was really international and this gave me very interesting insights on how to grow globally. After the Academy, I was invited to give a lecture for a Stanford executive program which was the first step to expand my business in the US. I can highly recommend the Startup Executive Academy.“
„The Startup Executive Academy was very good, both the lectures as well as the curriculum. I already attended at similar programs of top US business schools and would like to congratulate for this great curriculum and very competent faculty. I was able to learn again and can recommend this Startup Executive Academy in Europe!“
London, UNited Kingdom
The SEA was an intense but incredibly encouraging experience. Insights from top executives, investors and professors have proven to be a real catalyst for the development of my business and myself. Working on your business model is, in theory, not hard, but in practice slight nuances in your decision-making can have a huge impact in sharpening your product vision, reaching your target group, telling your products‘ story and cutting the deals in sales. Getting a better understanding of these nuances through inspiring talks, intense discussions and insights with the vastly experienced faculty and my international peers made me humble and thankful. It’s great to be part of this family!