The SmartStart program assists the founder(s) in launching a new company. It focuses on helping the entrepreneur formalize the business framework necessary for the company to execute its path to market strategies, while at the same time the company must work to develop a minimal viable product. TechFW coaches work with founders through bi-weekly meetings to help facilitate the process of engaging early adopters, prototype, and test market the product/service idea. To this end the founder is connected with TechFW partners who assist them in executing in these early but crucial steps towards success.

Admission Criteria

  • Founder must own, have licensed, or be working on proprietary technology or some technology or process with a high barrier to entry.

  • Founder must agree to bi-weekly meetings.

  • Founder and TechFW must mutually agree that there is an alignment between the company’s needs and TechFW capabilities.

  • Founder must pay program fee of $4,000 per year (payable quarterly)

  • Must sign the client engagement agreement which includes a mutual non-disclosure agreement

Program Graduation Incentives

  • Clients who are SmartStart Graduates within eighteen months of joining the program will be accepted in the FastForward program and will receive a $1,500 credit towards the FastForward

Program Delivery Method and Client Benefits

  • Bi-Weekly meetings with significant work outside the meetings

  • Introduction to potential mentors, advisors, and collaborators

  • Introductions to potential early adopters in the private sector

  • Collaborations with R&D and marketing partners

  • Business funding methods (SBIR Grants, SBDC, Cowtown Angels, ATAN)

  • Skills training to engage potential stakeholders (i.e. pitch coaching for investors, early adopters, etc.)

  • Weekly Office Hours with professional services partners (attorneys, CPAs, etc.)

  • Free use of TechFW facilities (conference rooms, open work space, etc.) as available

  • Client can lease offices from TechFW

  • Utilizes the tools and principles adopted from the GrowthWheel, Business Model Canvas, and Lean Startup

  • Program length for

    • Non-regulated industries is up to 18 months (self-paced)

    • Regulated industries dependent on industry norms

    • Note: TechFW can at the discretion of the Programs Committee choose to extend the program for a particular client