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Jumbo Cafés

Come meet and connect directly with the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center’s faculty, Advisory Board members, and alumni working in startups and established businesses. Find out what it takes to start a business of any kind. Get your questions directly answered and make connections. All Tufts community members are welcome!

Join us virtually on Wednesdays for weekly Jumbo Cafés!

Topics and instructors are subject to change.

Upcoming Topics

September 30 • “How Do I Start?” Ideating Problems Worth Solving

Unless you have taken an entrepreneurship course or worked at a startup before, the idea of creating a new venture can feel daunting. How do you come up with an idea? How do you brainstorm effectively? How do you choose between the many ideas that will come out of an ideation session?

In this interactive ideation workshop, the first in our "Getting Started" series, you will learn how to come up with ideas for problems to solve, both by yourself and with your peers. We will guide you through the process of organizing your ideation process with prompts surrounding societal problems, technology trends and your own passions. We will explore selection criteria for problem ideas that resonate with you. We will practice both divergent thinking (generating ideas) and convergent thinking (choosing ideas). At the end of the session, you will come away with a framework that you can apply to both problem brainstorming and solution brainstorming. You can join this event even if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend all five in the series!

Instructor: Elaine Chen, Cummings Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship, Director, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

When: Wednesday, September 30 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Where: Virtual link will be sent to registrants.

Click here to register.

October 7 • Understanding the Market and Customer

With any new venture, the most important thing is not the technology, nor the product. Rather, it is a deep understanding of the target market and target customers.  In this session, we will look at how teams creating new ventures can answer one key question: “Who is your market and customer?”

In the second event of our "Getting Started" series, we will explore how to apply good listening skills in a detailed interview to learn the pain points and needs and wants of the customer. Great listening skills will be immensely useful in all sorts of professional settings, from managing employees to working with superiors to running a successful direct sales process. You can join this event even if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend all five in the series!

Instructor: Omer Trajman, E00; Founder, AskFora; Member, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board

When: Wednesday, October 7 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Where: Virtual link will be sent to registrants.

Click here to register.

October 14 • Developing and Testing a Solution That Delivers Real Value

Given a target market and chosen customer, how do we can come up with a solution that solves these problems in a unique manner that is different and better than the alternative? During the third event of our "Getting Started" series, you will learn how to define the right solution with a user-centered approach. You will learn to do competitive analysis, and how to think about the core of your solution that makes it difficult for fast followers to copy your approach. You will learn to develop benefit statements and unique value propositions that speak to the needs and wants of the end-user.

One of the most important skills for a startup is the ability to break down hypotheses into testable components and to design and run experiments in the field to test these hypotheses. In the last part of this workshop, you will learn how to write a good hypothesis, and how to design experiments to quickly test it with potential end-users to validate your hypotheses. You can join this event even if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend all five in the series!

Instructor: Elaine Chen, Cummings Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship, Director, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

When: Wednesday, October 14 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Where: Virtual link will be sent to registrants.

Click here to register.

October 21 • Developing a Financially Sustainable Venture (For-Profit… Non-Profit… Anything)

For any new venture, it is important to develop a strategy for financial sustainability. In standalone ventures (such as a startup or a new non-profit organization), it is the business model: What are the different ways you can generate revenue from your paying customers – and how do they pay you? How much and how often? In internal-facing ventures (such as an organization generating solutions for internal customers), it is the notion of quid pro quo: What value are you offering to internal customers (saving time? saving money?) and how are the internal customers “paying” you (with in-kind services? With social mentions?)

In the 4th session of our "Getting Started" series, we will touch on go-to-market strategies, business models, and the basics of unit and overall financials. We will touch on the importance of having the right pricing architecture and strategy, and the best ways to test pricing and purchase intent. You can join this event even if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend all five in the series!

Instructor: Josh Wiesman, Professor of the Practice, Entrepreneurship and Business Planning; Hub, Strategic Platform | Co-Developer, CarryOn CBD, Ocean Spray

When: Wednesday, October 21 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Where: Virtual link will be sent to registrants.

Click here to register.

October 28 • Storytelling

Great ideas can get lost in the noise if you are not able to connect with your audience and tell your story in an engaging manner. In this workshop, the 5th and final in our "Getting Started" series, we will explore the core components of a venture pitch, and explore how you can use storyboarding techniques to create a compelling narrative that ties all of the elements of your pitch together. Finally, we will cover how to have a great stage presence while staying authentic to your personal public speaking style and outline the three things you need to do to create a fabulous pitch: Great content, great delivery, and a great narrative.

We will end the session with a live pitch practice workshop to kickstart the process of creating the best two-minute pitch ever. You can join this event even if your schedule doesn't allow you to attend all five in the series!

Instructor: Elaine Chen, Cummings Professor of the Practice of Entrepreneurship, Director, Tufts Entrepreneurship Center

When: Wednesday, October 28 from 12:00 - 1:00 PM EDT

Where: Virtual link will be sent to registrants.

Click here to register.