Welcome to Startup Bootcamp
5 Class Series for Founders
When the entrepreneurial seizure first takes hold of a startup founder, they can often find it hard to suppress the urge to quit their day job, break the piggy bank, and start chasing their dream before properly vetting their business concept. But we all know the realities… 68% of startups fail to thrive. And that’s just counting the ones that followed through with setting up a corporation and raising money from scratch. Many more potential startups actually fail to launch because the founder lacks the confidence in their own idea, and qualified mentors that can help them hone their idea into a viable business plan.
But you don’t need to remain a wantrepreneur forever. So how do you move forward with figuring out whether your plan has a viable chance of succeeding? And assuming it’s a great idea, how do you find the right co-founders to build that rock star team you’re going to need to pull it off? How do you build the right funding round structure to win investors without giving away too much equity? How will you develop a marketing and sales strategy that brings in more margin than it costs to acquire customers? And if all that works out perfectly and you sell the company for a ginormous pile of cash someday, what steps can you take at formation to ensure the passing of generational wealth without a huge tax bite?
"How To Determine If Your Concept is Good Enough?"
"Forming a Rock Solid Corporate Structure and Protecting Your Valuable IP"
"Branding, Customer Acquisition Strategy & Tactics"
"Building a Dream Team for Startup Success"
"The Right Maneuvers at the Beginning Could Double Your Startup’s Eventual Financial Outcome"
Meet Your Instructors:
CEO Venture Mechanics, 9-time serial entrepreneur
Ron Wiener is a startup CEO career spanning nearly four decades, Ron has founded and run nine investor-backed technology companies, with multiple successful exits. His technical background includes software/internet, electronics and mechanical engineering, as well as extensive global manufacturing experience. A named inventor on more than a dozen patents, he also brings deep expertise in D2C and D2B digital marketing and global strategic partnership development. He has been an angel investor and board member in numerous companies, and has operated four separate startup incubators, in PDX and SEA, since 2000. Ron starred in the first season of Startup Junkies in 2008, and is a widely published author in aviation, ergonomics and entrepreneurship. He also occasionally consults to early stage venture funds and hedge funds, as well as to start-ups and new business divisions that are spinning up or spinning out. He has been an avid pilot since 1984, is a gourmet chef, and addicted chess player.
LightLegal.com, startup attorney and MBA
Brooks Lindsay is the Founding Attorney of Light Legal PLLC, a lean law firm for high-growth startups. He is a corporate and commercial-contracts attorney who uses his experience as an entrepreneur, and education with a JD/MBA, to help other founders and business leaders thrive. He is experienced in entity formations, general corporate, fundraising and securities, commercial contract drafting and negotiations, tech transactions, IP, M&A, and other common legal issues facing ambitious founders. He provides superior outside general counsel by taking a multidisciplinary approach and quarterbacking across a spectrum of common startup legal needs. Brooks received his JD/MBA from the University of Washington and his undergraduate degree from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.
John J. Murphy
Intellectual Property Strategy and Technology Transactions Expert
John J. Murphy is the Principal Attorney of Audentes Fortuna Law, a solo technology law practice in Seattle, WA. For more than 14 years, John was the Chief IP Counsel of T-Mobile USA, where he was responsible for all aspects of intellectual property asset development, including worldwide trademark/domain legal and brand management for the company during the period of its greatest growth, from a subscriber base of 25 million to more than 100 million. Earlier in his career, John negotiated the first wireless content licenses for such premier Warner Bros. properties as Harry Potter, Batman, Looney Tunes and a number of films and tv shows as Director, Business & Legal Affairs at Warner Bros. Online. Before Warner Bros., John was a Patent/Trademark litigation and Technology Transactions attorney at Jones Day in Los Angeles where he represented premiere brands such as Starbucks, VoiceStream (predecessor to T-Mobile USA), and the City of Pasadena Rose Bowl. John received his JD degree from Northwestern University in 1997 and his B.A. degree from Harvard College in 1989.
Veteran Strategic Marketing Executive
Chris Silva brings over 15 years in marketing and strategy, and is a renowned growth strategy expert. His focus on customer-centric approaches has fueled success in environments from pre-seed startups to Fortune 500 companies, including Peloton and Amazon. Chris combines strategic thinking and market insights to enable others to excel in shortening the time to reach their venture's growth targets. His data-driven strategies enhance customer engagement and drive growth. Chris is also recognized for his authentic leadership and commitment to diversity, particularly in supporting neurodiversity and underrepresented communities. As a mentor and founder of multiple businesses, he inspires innovation and growth, emphasizing constant learning and emotional intelligence.
Organizational Behavior Expert and HarvardX Verified Neuroscience Researcher
Shannon Smith, J.D., M.S. is an expert in human behavior change and neuroscience research. She’s been helping companies create high-performing teams and sustainable change across multiple verticals for ~20 years, including Big Tech. She developed a program that changes your habits for the long-term by leveraging her work and research. Shannon’s currently translating the habit change program into a mobile gaming app so that the information and application of it can be brought to scale. She has a razor focus on providing value through the real-world application of neuroscience and human behavior to elevate team performance. She sails a sloop out of Elliot Bay, is a dog mom to Belley-Bean (a.k.a., Smusher-Pusher) and is an avid baking-attempter.
Her current project:
A mobile gaming app based in neuroscience research that is designed to create positive changes in your daily habits while you play.
JP Morgan, Private Wealth Manager
Logan Blue is a Private Banker in the Seattle office of J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Logan works closely with many of the most successful founders and entrepreneurs in the Pacific Northwest, from those in a growth phase to others contemplating a transaction event. He serves as their powerful advocate, attending to their personal wealth management needs so they are free to focus on their demanding businesses. Logan’s advice spans cash management and liquidity strategies, tactical investing, lending, banking, trust and estate planning, and more. He is known for his dedication to the best interests of his clients and for delivering direct access to business, commercial and investment banking partners. As part of his wealth advisory practice, Logan leverages JPMorgan’s team of specialists to deliver innovative strategies related to executive compensation, private business owners, retirement planning, tax advisory, wealth transfer, and philanthropy to enhance his client’s wealth after taxes and across generations. Logan graduated Cum Laude from Seattle University’s Albers School of Business with a degree in Finance. During his time at Seattle University, Logan was an Equity ResearchAnalyst for the school's endowment fund and held leadership roles in the Albers Investment club. Logan is currently an MBA candidate at the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business and will be graduating in the Summer of 2025. Logan and his fiancé live in Bellevue and love food, travel, and their miniature Aussiedoddle, Banana. In his free time, he enjoys playing golf and tennis and is an avid reader. Logan holds the FINRA Series 7, 66 and SIE securities licenses.
Jonathan Olson is a seasoned intellectual property attorney with a passion for strategic thinking, helping you avoid IP pitfalls, maximizing licensing leverage, and getting into the details. Prior to joining ÆON Law in Seattle, Jonathan drafted and prosecuted high-value patents for Intellectual Ventures and Seagate Technology. As a registered patent attorney Jonathan has obtained hundreds of domestic and foreign patent registrations including software patents for prominent inventors like Bill Gates and Paul Allen. He also has a special passion for medical technology from having been cured of Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, against the odds, in 2010.
Evan Poncelet is the founder of the Washington State Black Angel Network, an emerging Angel investor syndicate geared towards accelerating and proliferating startup and startup funding culture in underserved communities. He is a Seattle Angel Conference and Decile Group Venture Institute alumnus in addition to having spent 12+ years in the software industry as a developer and program manager working on everything from embedded systems to cloud/SaaS. He is the current director of information technology and technologist in residence for the Africatown Community Land Trust and sits on the Black Community Advisory Board for the UW school of Human-Centered Design and Engineering. When he isn’t in Seattle working on closing the wealth gap via building on-ramps to the STEM economy, entrepreneurship, and investing, he is working in/on his aquaponics greenhouse, electronics lab, or metal fabrication shop at his hacker-compound in Silicon Valley and spending time with friends & family before the eventual release of The Elder Scrolls VI which has lived rent-free in his head since he got a VR mod of Skyrim for his Valve Index to get through the pandemic.