At GLIDR, we know that being a teaching assistant (TA) is hard work. We decided to partner up with Jillian O’Connor, a highly experienced TA from University of Southern California, to bring you ten tips to help ensure that your next entrepreneurship program is guided by success.
Organize Team Members - When it's time for your cohort members to sign up, it's helpful to create a form that you can easily fill out with their names, teams, roles and emails. This will help to streamline the overall setup process.
Communicate Everything - Compose an email to the members of your cohort, highlighting instructions for logging in to GLIDR. It's also helpful to let your members know that emails received from GLIDR may sometimes be hidden in the Spam folder of their email inboxes.
Compile Resources - Before the semester kicks off, customize your Resource Menu; add an office hours sheet and any other useful materials that you will need for a successful start, and make sure to direct your students there. We've already added some useful resources, including: Team Member Get Started Guide, Intellectual Property Basics, and Example Customer Discovery Presentations from Steve Blank’s website.
Make Your Teams Feel at Home - Inform your cohort members that the first step is filling out their Team Profile, followed by adding their first Ideas (also known as assumptions or hypotheses) in their Business Canvas. We recommend starting with Customer Segments and Value Propositions.
Enable Weekly Digest Emails - Your notification settings allow you to enable daily or weekly emails updating you on the progress of your cohort. It's beneficial if the TAs and Instructors of your cohort set up weekly digest emails from their notification settings.
During the Semester
Allow four weeks for your cohort to settle in. More often than not, the start of your program may be rockier than expected. This is particularly the case when members of your cohort realize the volume of interviews that need to be conducted and start to display signs of despair during the first two or three weeks. Based on our past experience, improvements start appearing around the week four mark.
Export the Canvas by taking a screenshot. The Business Model Canvas is a rich and expansive tool, and can carry a vast amount of information. When it's time for presentations, the best way to keep the canvas intact is to take a screenshot of the canvas and insert this into their presentation.
Use the Trending Score to visualize how an Idea is progressing. Green indicates the Idea is leaning confirming, and red means leaning disconfirming. Within an idea card, there are also indicators that signal the current stage of an Idea: in testing, validated or invalidated.
Check the overall health of your cohort on a daily basis. Use your Dashboard to monitor each of the participating teams' canvases. If you notice that a team is starting to lag behind, it may be time to reach out to their mentors and instructors.
Lessons Learned & Demo Day
Congratulations, you did it! The best part of any cohort is being able to sit back and see the amazing progress that your teams have made. They have learned a tremendous amount, gotten through the trough of despair, talked to countless people and are ready for their next steps - whatever those may be. Their final presentation should not be a sales pitch, rather an illustration of their journey though their project. Make sure to recommend that they include their first and final canvas, their pivot points, and their key insights.
You can find a full guide to getting started in GLIDR here.