Category Archives: Business Incubator

First Semester: Final Exam

Refer to the resources and instructions below to prepare for the first semester final exam which will consist of three parts: a 55 point “terms and concepts” multiple choice exam, a 20 point reverse engineering a Business Model Canvas activity, and a 25 point group pitch.

Final Exam Preparation

Team Elevator Pitch

On the day of the final exam, each group will present a 2-3 minute elevator pitch/abbreviated shareback. Grades will be determined based on the rubric linked below:

Business Model Canvas

You will be responsible for knowing and understanding each segment of the business model canvas. Use the image below to test yourself to see if you know it fully.


Click here to create a copy of the document below: First Semester: Final Exam Flashcards

Terms and Concepts

Unit 1

  • Entrepreneurial DNA
    • Builder
    • Opportunist
    • Specialist
    • Innovator
  • Customer Risk
  • Product Risk
  • Market Risk
  • Cost Structure
  • Revenue Stream
  • Channels
  • Customer Relations
  • Key Metrics
  • Unique Value Proposition
  • Direct/Indirect Competitors

Unit 2

  • Customer Segments
  • Customer Personas
  • Early Adopters
  • Users vs. Buyers
  • Problem Interview: Do customers have this problem?
  • Interview Techniques
    • “5 Whys” questioning
    • Listening
    • Engaging like you are having a conversation
    • Tell  story to set the context of what you will discuss
  • Solution Interview: Will customers pay to solve the problem?
  • Product/Service Demos

Unit 3

  • Positioning
  • Positioning Statement
  • Direct Channels
  • Indirect Channels
  • Customer Relationships
  • Marketing Funnel (Get, Keep, Grow)
  • Upsell, Cross-Sell, Next-Sell
  • Marketing Tactics
  • Traditional Marketing
  • Digital Marketing

Unit 4

  • Pricing Strategies
    • Anchor Pricing
    • Value Based
    • Cost Plus
    • Penetration
  • Market Sizing
    • Total Addressable Market (TAM)
    • Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM)
    • Market Share/Share of Market (SOM)
  • Revenue
    • Gross Revenue
    • Operating Revenue
    • Net Revenue
  • Expenses
    • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
    • Sales and General Administrative (SG&A)
    • Start up costs
  • Profit
  • Income Statement

Lesson 1: Finances

This lesson provides review, instruction and analysis to each team’s financial model.

Required Outcomes

  • Teams will update and optimize all their inputs to their financial model. This will include revenue assumptions and expense assumptions for the first year of launching their business. Teams will projects assumption growth rates for years 2-3.
  • Students will assess the outputs of the model determine the financial health of the business and build the story for why they are seeking investment.
  • Students will have an updated and realistic financial model to begin the valuation lesson.


Financial Model

Using our financial model, we have so far entered data in the Revenue Assumptions and COGS tabs. Using the information that you’ve gathered during MVP experimentation, update that data to better understand your “3 year Summary model” and “Simple Graphs” tabs.
See the example below.


If your group has pivoted, or you’d simply prefer to start your financial model over, click the link below to make a new copy of the financial model template.

Lesson 2: Funding Requests

The lesson begins by guiding students through their financial model to determine the uses of and sources of capital in a start-up application.

Required Outcomes

  • Students will learn about funds, debt, equity, and financing, and will create a capital structure document for their company
  • Students will estimate the value of their companies
  • Students will identify the components of an investor proposition statement for their companies and create an investor proposition statement, including investor highlights

Funding Requests

Alternatives to Investments Activity

Half of the class will examine the growing trend of crowdfunding a business enterprise by completing each of the steps below:

  • Search for a business on
  • What do they do?
  • How much did they seek to raise?
  • How much did they actually raise?

The other half of the class will examine businesses that have “bootstrapped” their business to profitability and over a million dollars in revenue by completing each of the steps below in a short slide presentation.

  • Choose a case study from: Bootstrapped, Profitable, & Proud
  • What does the business do?
  • What is their “bootstrap” story
  • What lessons can be learned from this example?

Lesson 3: Preparing for Pitch

This lesson stretches over a number of days that include setting expectations for final pitch presentation materials and work days. It also outlines the details on how to create an investor packet.

Required Outcomes

  • Student teams will prepare a customized Pitch presentation.
  • Student teams will develop and prepare an investor packet of materials to be supplied to the BOD before pitch.
  • Students will practice strategies for successful public speaking.

Preparing for Pitch

Investor Packet Assignment

Each team will create an informational brochure/packet that introduces their company to the investor in order to provide the beginnings of a compelling argument to be funded.

  • Present your most up to date Business Model Canvas
  • 1 page on why your company should be funded
  • Introduce all team members
    • What are your roles/responsibilities for your company?
    • Give a brief biography of each member
    • Provide up to date picture
  • Appendices
    • provide any additional or pertinent information that will help make a compelling argument to receive funding


  1. Gather and reflect on all of the company documents that have been created throughout the year.
  2. Create an outline for your brochure that supports the argument of your company being funded. Review the following company examples for inspiration:
  3.  Complete all requirements listed in parameters above. This includes collecting digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) that enhances the understanding of why your company should be funded.
  4. As a team, construct your informational brochure using the following Google Docs Template as a starting point:
  5. Each team member should proof read the entire document while also allowing the mentor to review. Please make sure that the appropriate share settings are in place depending on which digital medium used
  6. Submit your informational brochure to teacher (Due Friday – May 19).

The Only “10” Slides You Need

The deck below is adapted from Guy Kawasaki’s: “The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch” infographic. The number 10 is more of a guideline than a hard rule, but you definitely shouldn’t have more than 15 slides.

Funding Pitch Presentation Rubric

Visit the link below to view the comprehensive rubric by which your team will be evaluated during the academic pitch.

Pitch Presentation

Each team will make a 10 minute presentation followed by a 10-12 minute question and answer session with the Board of Directors. Suggested questions or items to cover:

  • Introduce team and company via an elevator pitch. (Business Overview)
    • What is the problem you are trying to solve? Provide statistics where necessary.
    • How will you be solving the problem (solution)?
    • Let the investors experience the solution (i.e. screenshots or actual of app/website, prototypes, etc.)
  • Who has this problem (Customer Segment and Market Size)?
    • How large is this market (TAM/SAM/Market Share)? What does the size of the market mean to investors?
  • Who are your competitors? (Differentiation Points)
    • How do you differentiate your company from your competitors (Unique Value Proposition)? Why should people buy your product?
  • What is the 3 year financial forecast of your company? (Financial Summary and Ability to Generate Revenue/Growth)
    • What are your revenue streams and revenue forecasts within your three-year model?
      • Explain how your company will be making money.
      • What marketing and/or sales strategies will you be using to grow your business?
  • How will you acquire customers?
    • What is your gross profit margin for your three-year model?
      • Explain your COGS
      • If you don’t have COGS, in a simple sentence, explain why.
  • What is your net profit margin for your three-year model?
    • Be able to discuss main SG&A costs, in detail if asked. (Ex. If you are spending 7% of revenue on technology, what are you spending it on?)
    • No need to discuss taxes, just SG&A.
  • What did you learn about your company through the Minimum Viable Product process? What evidence can you provide about your business model? (Early Results)
    • What did you do for your MVP?
    • How did your business model change as a result of your MVP? This is where you should be providing evidence (qualitative and quantitative).
  • What capital funds are required to start your business?
    • What will you be using these capital funds for (uses)?
    • Are there any other sources of these funds that the Board should be made aware of?
    • What is the proposed structure of your business?
  • How will you conclude your presentation? Discuss group dynamics and commitment level.

Lesson 4: Pitch

A teacher and community leader work together to guide and conduct a successful pitch event. Pitch may include two events: academic pitch and public funding/competition pitch in a public forum. In class, pitches are performed and assessed as part of the student’s overall class grade. A student’s performance is assessed as a team member and as an individual. The teacher needs to schedule these team pitches and pace them with enough time for all teams to present and address questions from the volunteer Board of Directors. Allow 20 minutes for presentation and question and answer session.
Preparation for the public pitch event can be used to highlight student achievement and the school’s local INCubatoredu success. The second pitch can also provide an opportunity for top selected teams to compete for funding, or other reward. Recognition of all teams, a celebratory environment for all students, and an invitation to include the broader community are critical components of success.

Teacher/Community Leader Checklist of Activities

  • Finalize dates, schedules and communicate to all teams and mentors. Include notices to your school district/school’s administrators i.e., superintendent and communications/outreach.
  • Communicate to students, parents, mentors and BoD of these upcoming dates. Encourage parental support from home, encourage Mentor support in class and also pre pitch for practice, trouble shooting and support.
  • Finalize Rubric and Pitch assessment. Share with students.
  • Have students complete Peer Assessment if using as part of overall grading
  • Prepare materials and structure for BoD or advisory board to assess student performance.
  • Send BoD or advisory board the Board of Advisors Final Pitch Tips_2016-17.doc for guidance.
  • Prior to selection of teams to invite to the public Pitch, ask which teams want to/are willing to accept. Some students will have a strong desire to continue, some teams will not. The selection process may be made simpler by understanding who is “in it to win it.”
    External Pitch Event for Broad Community and Possible Funding
  • Determine process and criteria for team selection and invitation.
  • Finalize date, venue and time of final Pitch event that will best fit with end of school activities (e.g. AP exams, proms, final exams) and allow for attendance. Best to communicate the date to students, their families, and volunteers at the beginning of the school year.
  • Ideally, schedule a few days plus a weekend between the two Pitch events. During the class periods, meet with each of the selected finalists. Discuss the numbers – investor due diligence may be needed to better understand the thinking and assumptions behind the numbers. Importantly, conduct a:
  • Reality check – for example, does the team actually need to purchase new computers or can they make do with their existing, personal computers.
  • Personal reality check – ask each student to assess their energy, time, and passion for starting a new business venture. Will it work with their schedule for the upcoming summer/school year? Will they make time for it?
  • Team reality check – does the team want to stay together?
  • If funding will be offered, share “terms sheet” concepts. Ask students to share the non-binding concepts with their parents. These can be referenced in the sample LLC legal document.
  • Engage school communications group and publicize date and event.
  • Leverage community leader’s network to invite outside investors as funding source.

Lesson 1: Storytelling

Students will be introduced to the basic principles of storytelling and how they can apply those principles to present business ideas.

Required Outcomes

  • Students will learn the basic structure underlying stories
  • Students will learn about and use storytelling techniques to hone and maximize the effectiveness of their stories
  • Students will use their BMCs to help them identify the audience for their stories
  • Students will create a presentation for their team’s story. This will be used to help their creation of a final pitch presentation in Unit 8.


Assemble Your Team’s Story

With your group members, use the document below to organize the structure of your team’s story:

Then work together to build a visual presentation of no more than five slides (optimally three) to emphasize important points in your story.
We’ll revisit this portion of the curriculum in lesson 8.3 – Preparing for Pitch.


The story of is one of artisanal craftsmanship. See the YouTube video below to begin to understand how Jacob Ferrato can charge upwards of $2000 for a pair of sneakers.


Lesson 2: Marketing Communications Planning

Students learn the basics on how to create a marketing communication plan.

Required Outcomes

  • Student teams will create a marketing communication grid and budget estimate to be used in their financial model

Marketing Communications Planning

Marketing Communications Grid

Click the link below to create a blank marketing communications grid. You’ll use this document as you consider influencing factors of your Marketing Planning:

You will use your Positioning Statement from Unit 3: Lesson 1 to help you with this process. If you’ve pivoted since that lesson, create a new positioning statement by clicking the image below before starting your Marketing Communications Grid.

Snapchat’s Sponsored Geofilters

In this lesson, we’re going to get really granular and design a sponsored geofilter for your company using Snapchat’s advertising platform. Currently, Snapchat is so new that its cost is disproportionately lower than its value.
Check out the links below to learn more about setting up a about Sponsored Geofilter on Snapchat:

Using the template below, design a concept for a Snapchat Geofilter ad and be prepared to share when and where it would run.

Design Tips


Lesson 3: Sales Planning

Students will gain confidence through role play and demonstrating skills of overcoming objections, identifying customer value points, and asking for the order.

Required Outcomes

  • Teams will create a targeted list of prospective buyers and prepare a sales call preparation template.
  • All student team members will practice conducting a sales pitch.

Sales Planning

Sales Roadmap

Using the document below, answer several questions to start to develop a sales roadmap for your team

Sales Script

Using the framework outlined in the article 5 Simple Sales Lessons for Non-Salespeople, outline a script for your company using the following document: 7.3 – Sales Script

  1. Initiate Contact
  2. Discovery
  3. Demonstration
  4. Ask
  5. Referral


Lesson 1: Implementation Planning

Teams will work together to identify the key activities they need to complete in order to launch and measure their MVP experiment

Required Outcomes

  • Teams create an implementation plan that will guide their MVP testing plan in preparation for final pitch.
  • Teams demonstrate their organization by selecting and creating a planning tool of their choice.

Implementation Planning

What, Who, When

In order to determine what needs to be accomplished so that you can start gathering data and validating your hypotheses, brainstorm a list of everything that needs to be done on a whiteboard or piece of paper.
Distribute those tasks amongst the members of your group and prioritize their completion.

Gantt Chart

Make a copy of the template below and chart the tasks you identified above to specific members of your team within a reasonable timeframe

Example Gantt Chart

The document linked below is representative of what you need to do for your group. Think about WHAT needs to be accomplished. WHO is going to do it, and WHEN it will be completed.

Lesson 2: MVP Experimentation

The main concepts of this lesson are reinforcement and application of the Build/Measure/Learn cycle, gathering data, and interpreting data.

Required Outcomes

  • Launch MVP and begin data collection to validate or disprove business model assumptions.
  • Create tracking document that outlines what teams are testing, learning and changes they are making if any.

MVP Experimentation