Launch Lab Online is a digital extension of the Bunker Labs community. Ideal for veteran entrepreneurs who aren’t physically near a Bunker Labs location, Launch Lab Online is a FREE 10-mission course that equips you the tools you’ll need to start and grow your own business.
We’re now accepting applications for the next cohort of Launch Lab Online — kicking off on June 11, 2018!
Not sure what to expect from the program? Based on our experience with the previous Launch Lab Online cohort, here are our 11 best tips and tricks to make the most out of your experience.
1. Be prepared to commit
For Launch Lab Online to make a difference in your entrepreneurial journey, you’ve got to be ready to fully engage with everything it has to offer — including our participant-exclusive private Facebook group.
Following the program’s steps to the fullest extent will help you to maximize your personal and professional growth.
And we’re putting our money where our mouth is on that. To incentivize folks to fully engage with the program, we’re offering:
- $1,000 to the person whose Facebook content consistently drives the most engagement
- $1,000 to the person who delivers the highest number of thoughtful Facebook comments in the group throughout the program (think quality and quantity)
And yes — both prizes can be awarded to the same person. You do the math!
2. Seize the opportunity to test new ideas
Has your latest business idea passed “The Mom Test”?
Never ask your mom if you have a good business idea. She loves you and will lie about her true feelings to make you feel good.
Launch Lab Online is all about keeping it real. In this program, you’ll get an opportunity to pressure test your assumptions about your business — and get honest feedback from fellow entrepreneurs who are doing this right along with you.
Take the risk. Submit your most daring thoughts. We can help you make your best ideas a reality — but only if you tell us what those ideas are.
3. Embrace your webcam
Here’s a secret: We’re partial to videos. The format encourages people to focus their thoughts and articulate a truly personal message.
The idea of videotaping yourself is also ridiculously terrifying. We know the feeling — the Bunker Labs team will be posting videos throughout the next six months too. They will be live, there will be mistakes, and you might even get a few good laughs at our expense. That’s all part of the fun!
Have you already completed the application? Whip out your smartphone and record a 30-second video testimonial of why you’ve chosen to #StepForward into this endeavor. Then share it with your network to challenge them to do the same.
We’re all in this together. Join us in finding fresh, engaging ways to share your business message.
4. Don’t wait until you feel “ready”
Is your business idea still an idea? To quote Shia LaBeouf, “Don’t let your dreams be dreams.” It’s never too early to start getting your ducks in a row! You can still apply to Launch Lab Online. We’re here to support businesses in every stage of development.
Through Launch Lab Online, you’ll build a thriving network of relevant contacts — which is the No. 1 resource you’ll need to take your next step forward in your entrepreneurial journey.
5. Don’t pass because you think you’re too “experienced”
On the flip side, you might already have built a successful business from scratch — while the rest of us are still hustling to make that elusive first dollar.
Good for you! But there’s still a place for you at Launch Lab Online. Help your fellow veteran entrepreneurs reach that same level of success by sharing your guidance, the best resources you found while getting started, and your knowledge on current trends.
6. Start building your support squad now
If you need help, ask for it. Very few people have “mind reading” listed as a skill on their LinkedIn profile (and we have questions for those who do). For people to give you what you need, they first need to know what you need — but once they do, you’ll be surprised at how helpful and supportive the community can be.
You’ll be able to reach out to other participants nationwide through our Facebook group and the Slack channel (participants receive invitations once they’re accepted into the program). Start tapping into these informal networks early to find your tribe, coordinate meetups with small groups, ask for advice, and share your own insights.
7. Get ready to hear “no” — a lot
If you’re new to the business world, it’ll take time for you to get your foot in the door. Developing credibility in your market will take patience, ambition, grit, authenticity, and consistent outreach.
For example, Dick Portillo (a Marine veteran) sold hot dogs out of a shack for five years before he created the first real Portillo’s restaurant. He recently sold that hot dog company for $1 billion.
The entrepreneurial world is all about the long game. Nobody likes to be told “no” — but sometimes, rejection can lead to a bigger, better opportunity. And it’s always a learning opportunity.
8. Sign up for Facebook (if you haven’t already)
Facebook has had its issues lately, but it’s an integral tool that helps us facilitate discussions, share important opportunities, and deliver live content straight to your screen. Don’t have a Facebook account? You’ll be missing out on a significant part of the experience. (And the opportunity to win up to $2,000 just for engaging with our group. Did you scroll past that part?)
Keep in mind, too, that a majority of businesses use social media to build awareness and grow their reach, and it might not be advisable to close yourself off to one of the biggest social networking platforms out there.
But if you’ve got a better option for hosting our social media presence (that a majority of people are already using), let us know.
9. Keep us in the loop
We’ll send out the occasional survey to find out how you’re doing, and whether you find what we’re doing helpful. We use this information to help improve your experience and make sure you’re getting what you need from the program.
When you sign up for Launch Lab Online, register using an email address you check often! Then, keep us posted on your progress; show us traction and momentum!
The more we hear about you, the easier it’ll be for us to share your stories and success with other partners, funders, and media. Help us help you!
10. Stay connected — you’re not alone
There are Bunker Labs chapters in cities across the country, and we’re ready to deliver the resources, tools and guidance you need to help you start and grow your business.
Throughout Launch Lab Online, you’ll be hearing from leaders of different chapters and benefiting from their diverse perspectives across many markets.
We’re rooting for you all over the country!
Take the plunge. Apply to Launch Lab Online!
Take the next step forward in your entrepreneurial journey by applying to Launch Lab Online now. We look forward to seeing your application!