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This program is open to URI students, educators, and staff ONLY! A email address will be required to register.

"I've Got an Idea, Now What!?"

Next Session: February 16, 2021

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.”

- Guy Kawasaki

Brought to you via the URI Launch Lab, the objective of this interactive 1.5-hour virtual session is to help people to understand the steps necessary to bring their ideas to life.  This workshop will introduce URI students, faculty, and staff (cross discipline) to proven techniques that provide guidance to assess their idea and decide if it is worthy of moving forward.

We’ll provide learnings, exercises and reference materials to help anyone to consider a path towards entrepreneurship.

Opportunity 1:  MassChallenge Fellowship

Upon successful completion of this workshop and a demonstrated commitment to pursuing your idea we are pleased to offer a MassChallenge 2021 Fellowship.

As a fellow you will be able to participate in the accelerator program seminars, workshops and special events (June-September) all of which at this time will be held virtually.

About MassChallenge 

MassChallenge is the largest mission-driven accelerator in the world. We are motivated by the vision to restore creativity in the soul of the economy, and drive meaningful economic, social and environmental advances by helping entrepreneurs win. The MassChallenge Awards will bring together our global entrepreneurial community to celebrate the best ideas, technologies, entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations who are working to solve humanity’s greatest challenges. 

Headquartered in the United States with locations in Boston, Israel, Mexico, Rhode Island, Switzerland, and Texas, MassChallenge is committed to strengthening the global innovation ecosystem by supporting high-potential startups across all industries, from anywhere in the world. To date, more than 2,600 MassChallenge alumni have raised more than $6.0 billion in funding and created more than 165,000 total jobs. Learn more about MassChallenge at

Opportunity 2:  RIHub VMS Mentoring

In parallel to your fellowship RIHub Venture Mentoring Services will provide a mentor team to support you throughout the summer.

About RIHub VMS

At RIHub Venture Mentoring Service, we believe when an entrepreneur is connected with a team of experienced business people, good things will happen.

In 2018, Venture Mentoring Service of RI launched with an overarching goal to help boost the RI economy. Modeled after the 20-year-old MIT Venture Mentoring Service program, VMS incorporated proven principles and methodologies to develop a mentoring program which delivers business guidance in a trusted environment. In December 2019, Venture Mentoring Service of RI merged with RIHub.

The goals of RI Hub Venture Mentoring Service (VMS) are to increase and enhance the entrepreneurial talent pool in Rhode Island and to enhance the success of RI ventures. Since launch, the VMS program has doubled in size each year.


About The Session: "I’ve Got an Idea, Now What?"

Ideas are abundant, many people think of new innovative ideas regularly. Bringing them to market is hard. Some of us spend years in the lab working on a new discovery. Others get inspiration by confronting a frustration. You may have wondered: “Could this be a business?”  You might be surprised to learn that there is a roadmap to sort this question out.

Whether starting a business or perhaps finding someone else who will license your invention, this workshop will introduce you to the important steps necessary to bring ideas to life. We will overview the steps to find your best customers and talk to them to test your hypothesis.  In this ‘learn by doing’ session you will make an assertion of who your customers might be and discover the next steps to test your hypothesis. In addition, we’ll help you to get acquainted with the Rhode Island Innovation Ecosystem and understand how you can get help to support your entrepreneurship efforts.

Session Overview:

How to research your idea and why you need to connect to potential customers now to find the answers:

  • What problem are you solving?
  • Who are you solving it for?
  • Why is it important to them that this problem is solved?
  • How big is this problem (market size)?
  • Has anyone else solved it and why is your solution better?
  • Why you need to connect to potential customers now to find the answers.
  • Are you the right person to solve this problem?
  • Do you care enough to work on this for the next 5 years?
  • How will you make money with this idea?
  • What is the business model?  And this may change a you learn
  • How to build a “Minimal Viable Product” (MVP) to test before you build anything
  • Why do you need a plan and what is in it?
  • Get going, Adapt, Adapt then Adapt!
  • The Rhode Island Innovation Ecosystem – Who is here to help you.
  • The Innovator’s Checklist & References

We’ll also leave you with a checklist to consider as you take ideas and turn them into commercial wins.

We will highlight a number of learnings, research, tools and organizations to help your entrepreneurship journey.

"I've Got an Idea, Now What!?"

Next Session: February 16, 2021

Matt Lukens – Thought Leader, Innovation Evangelist and Serial Entrepreneur

Matt is also a trainer for the I-Corp program at both MIT and URI.  He is also leading RIHub’s Customer Discovery programs throughout the year.

Annette Tonti – Managing Director, RIHub; serial entrepreneur 

Annette has founded and sold 3 high tech startups. She is currently running RIHub, Rhode Island’s Innovation Hub focused on entrepreneurship.