Startup Quest: Bootcamp

Introducing Startup Quest: Bootcamp

A new formulation of Startup Quest® has been redesigned and simplified for a broader audience, and is being offered in Gainesville for the first time in Spring 2018.

What is it?

Startup Quest Bootcamp is an 8-week training program, modeled after the nationally-recognized Startup Quest® , to provide a more entry-level understanding of how to build a business model from an idea. This 16-session entrepreneurship program pairs participants with seasoned entrepreneur mentors to walk through the elements of a business plan, and form mentor-led teams to develop a business model canvas for a lifestyle business of their choosing. Eligible participants will engage in a hands-on, team-based laboratory training experience.

Eligible participants* will be selected to engage in this unique training program where they will:

  • Gain valuable entrepreneurial skills
  • Learn how to develop a business model canvas
  • Collaborate in a team environment
  • Meet, network and learn from experienced entrepreneurs
  • Compete in a final presentation

When is it?

Startup Quest® is a 16-session, twice weekly training program, with an additional open session per week for out-of-class collaboration activities. This year, Startup Quest®: Bootcamp kicks off with an Introductory Workshop on April 3. Participants will begin sessions on April 10, with the final presentations and judging to be held on May 31.

Key Dates

  • March 12, 2018: Applications for Startup Quest®: Bootcamp open
  • April 3, 2018: Introductory Workshop (Open to the Community – Reserve Your Seat)
  • April 10, 2018: Session 1 for Enrolled Startup Quest®: Bootcamp Participants Begins
  • May 31, 2018: Session 16 – Final Presentations & Celebration

Class Sessions & Locations

Session 0: Introductory Workshop – The Introductory Workshop is open to the public and will be hosted at the CareerSource NCFL Gainesville Career Center at 10 NW 6th Street.

Session 1-15: Training Sessions – Participants accepted into Startup Quest® will meet at the CareerSource NCFL Gainesville Career Center at 10 NW Sixth Street.

Session 16: Pitch Competition – Open to the public. Location to be announced.

4/3/18 – Session 0: Introductory Workshop
Learn more about the training curriculum, program history, and eligibility requirements.

4/10/18 – Session 1: Welcome and Introductions
Get a more in-depth overview of the training syllabus and objectives. Get to know your instructor, your mentors, and your peers.

4/12/18 – Session 2: Why Start a Business
Why do you want to learn about business? What are your motivations and definitions for success? How do you turn an idea into an opportunity?

4/17/18 – Session 3: Business Model Canvas Overview
Explore the concept of a one-page business canvas, and the individual elements which contribute to your overall business plan. Each of the nine topics will be explored in-depth in Sessions 4-13. Review the lifestyle business templates, and select one with your team.

4/19/18 – Session 4: Value Proposition
Define and explore the value proposition. What makes your business idea marketable? What distinguishes you from your competitors? Teams will work on the value proposition of their business canvases.

4/24/18 – Session 5: Customer Segments
Learn to identify which customers your business is trying to serve. Various sets of customers can be segmented based on their different needs and attributes, with different strategies to meet the characteristics of selected groups. Teams will work on the customer segments of their business canvases.

4/26/18 – Session 6: Customer Channels
Learn how your business can deliver its value proposition to its targeted customers through different channels. Effective channels will distribute a company’s value proposition in ways that are fast, efficient, and cost effective. Teams will work on the customer channels of their business canvases.

5/1/18 – Session 7: Financial Basics
Explore some of the fundamental concepts of financial literacy and management.

5/3/18 – Session 8: Revenue Streams
Learn about the variety of ways your business can generate income through each customer segment. Teams will work on the revenue streams of their business canvases.

5/8/18 – Session 9: Key Activities
Key activities are the most important activities in executing your business’s value proposition. Learn about production and operations, problem-solving and project management, as well as communication and corporate culture. Teams will work on the key activities of their business canvases.

5/10/18 – Session 10: Key Resources
These are the resources that are necessary to create value for the customer, and are needed in order to sustain and support the business. These resources could be human, financial, physical and intellectual. Teams will work on the key resources of their business canvases.

5/15/18 – Session 11: Cost Structures
Learn to identify the most important costs inherent to your business model. Which activities and resources are the most expensive? Is your business cost-driven or value-driven? Teams will work on the cost structures of their business canvases.

5/17/18 – Session 12: Key Partners
In order to optimize operations and reduce risks of a business model, organizations usually cultivate buyer-supplier relationships so they can focus on their core activity. Learn to identify and cultivate these partnerships. Teams will work on the key partners of their business canvases.

5/22/18 – Session 13: Customer Relationships
Learn to identify the types of relationships you may want to create with your customer segments. Teams will work on the customer relationships of their business canvases.

5/24/18 – Session 14: Additional Resources and Business Canvas Finalization
Learn more about professional networks, strategic partnerships, and franchise opportunities. Teams will firm up their final business canvases and presentations.

5/29/18 – Session 15: Additional Resources and Business Canvas Finalization
Learn more about additional funding options, including investors, grants, and bootstrapping. Teams will finalize their business canvases and presentations.

5/31/18 – Session 16: Final Presentation and Judging
Present your chosen lifestyle business model canvas to a panel of judges representing successful entrepreneurs and other experts in the final session of the Startup Quest: Bootcamp program.

How do I participate?

To participate in the 2018 Gainesville Startup Quest®: Bootcamp, you’ll need to complete three steps:

  1. Confirm you are eligible
  2. RSVP for the Introductory Workshop
  3. Secure financial assistance through STEM Ready or Opportunity Quest (details below)

Am I eligible?

Startup Quest®: Bootcamp exposes motivated individuals to the processes required to form a lifestyle company and develop a basic business model. Applicants should have:

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Those seeking financial assistance through STEM Ready should be long-term unemployed or underemployed (27 weeks or more)
  • Those seeking financial assistance through Opportunity Quest should be long-term unemployed or underemployed AND the parent of guardian of a child 13 years of age or younger (or older than 13 years with a documented disability)
  • Contact a staffing specialist today to see if you qualify for scholarships under one of our other programs!

How do I apply? Does it cost anything?

Startup Quest®: Bootcamp is provided at no cost to eligible participants courtesy of scholarships through many of our programs.

Each Startup Quest®: Bootcamp cohort starts with an Introductory Workshop. This workshop is open to the public and anyone interested in the program. At this workshop, you will:

  • Review eligibility criteria,
  • Hear about the program vision and history, and
  • Learn more about the curriculum and training schedule.

Next Introductory Workshop:

April 3, 2018 (Open to the Public)
CareerSource NCFL Gainesville Career Center
10 NW 6th Street

Currently Enrolled in a CSNCFL Program?

If you’re currently a CareerSource NCFL customer, contact your staffing specialist today to see if you’re eligible for a scholarship for Startup Quest®: Bootcamp through your program.

Once you are deemed eligible, your staffing specialist will walk you through the application process.

Not sure who your staffing specialist is? Email Valerise Dukes or Leah Chapman,, CareerSource NCFL Program Managers, today.


New to CareerSource North Central Florida?

If you have never worked with CareerSource NCFL, but want to check if you are eligible for Startup Quest®: Bootcamp and a scholarship through one of our programs, join us for a CareerSource NCFL Training Services Information Session. CareerSource NCFL team members will walk you through our training programs and guide you through the application process.

Training Services Information Sessions are held every Tuesday beginning at 10:30am at both the Gainesville and Starke career centers.

Not sure who your staffing specialist is? Email Valerise Dukes or Leah Chapman, CareerSource NCFL Program Managers, today.

You can also get a head start on your program application prior to meeting with a staffing specialist.