A curriculum of twenty-one classes to get you started


As a fellow of the Startup Leadership Program, you'll join with thirty other high-potential, early-stage entrepreneurs in New York City to develop a foundation of startup knowledge through a twenty-one class curriculum. In doing so, you'll leave the program as a better-prepared founder with a foothold to grow your startup network. Fifteen hundred startups have completed SLP across our chapters in twenty-three cities around the globe. Combined, those startups have raised more than $550M.


SLP '18 Curriculum

2017 Curriculum - Part 1

Sept 12: Kickoff + Values + EJs
Sept 26: Class Planning + Keynote + Product Pitches (All)
Oct 3: Authentic Leadership
Oct 17: Ideation & Business Model Innovation
Oct 21: Customer Development (Lean Startup) #Saturday
Nov 1: Product Development Lifecycle
Nov 14: Cofounder Conflict
Nov 18: Nuts and Bolts + Hiring + Enneagram #Saturday
Nov 28: Wild Card
Dec 5: Mentor Speed Dating
Dec 19: Holiday Party

2018 Curriculum - Part 2

Jan 16: Launch and Traction (Go-To Market  + KPIs + Growth Hacking)
Jan 20: Fellow Product Fair #Saturday
Jan 30: PR and Content Marketing
Feb 13: Sales
Feb 20: Startup Financing by stage
Feb 24: Pitch Workshop and fundraising #Saturday
March 6: Term sheet competition
March 10: VC competition #Saturday
March 20: Pivot or Persist
April 3: EJ updates and alumni stories
April 17: Graduation

** Please note that the above curriculum is subject to change

Curriculum Details

Your Entrepreneurial Journey

A critical component of your education at SLP is learning from your peers. During this class, you'll give the fellows a brief overview of your entrepreneurial journey. This isn't a startup pitch - this is about why you've chosen to become an entrepreneur and where you hope the path will take you. SLP classes are customized to you and this is your chance to tell us how we can help you grow. 


Product Introductions

As an entrepreneur, your company is your challenge, your opportunity, and your educator. You'll tell the fellows what you've been working on - your successes and your failures, so that they and the SLP alumni network can help move you closer to your goals.


Authentic leadership

Leadership in a startup is more than a strong pitch at a competition, or even a brilliant product - it's the ability to enable your team to achieve more collectively than they could individually. This class will highlight the commonalities among successful leaders in the tech sectors as well as pitfalls to avoid. 



Ideation doesn't have to be a result of random occurrences - a series of light-bulb moments that arrive unannounced. Team dynamics, physical settings, and diversity of thought can lead to a steady stream of those "aha" moments. In this class, we'll cover how other organizations, from startups to political campaigns, have cultivated idea generation.


market fit iteration

You've likely heard it said that a successful product is a painkiller, not a vitamin. The process for identifying which of those categories your product falls in is critical to your company's success. In this class, we'll overview the tenants of the lean startup methodology, of developing tight feedback loops, and of team communication to increase your chances of finding product-market fit.


Product development lifecycle

As your product(s) move from inception to your customers, it will traverse many stages along the way. Each of those stages requires different forms of talent, financing, and feedback. In this class, we'll explore each of the primary stages from the perspective of hardware and software alike.


Cofounder conflict

As entrepreneurs, you and your cofounder will immerse yourselves in an environment fraught with high risk and a perpetual lack of information. The stress of such an environment will manifest in conflict, and what you do with that conflict determines the fate of your company. In this class, we'll address how to deescalate conflict and focus on the fundamental causes of  tension, and how to approach resolving that tension.


nuts and bolts

Your company will involve many people outside your immediate team, your suppliers, and your customers. You'll engage with accountants, lawyers, consultants, etc., and understanding how to work with them can mean the difference between a sharp focus on your main mission and a never-ending parade of distractions. We'll discuss what to look for in these partners and how to develop an efficient relationship with them to propel your team. 



Entrepreneurship has a steep learning curve, and as such, an entrepreneur can greatly benefit from an effective mentor. In this class, we'll pair you with 2-3 SLP partners or alumni with relevant experience in your field and help you develop mentorship relationships that will help guide your business.


Holiday party

Being a founder requires emotional support. The holiday party will give you a chance to take a break from company-building and focus exclusively on your personal relationships with other fellows. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is a bumpy road - you'll want a few friends in the car with you, along for the ride.


launch & traction measurement

A critical component of your education at SLP is learning from your peers. During this class, you'll give the fellows a brief overview of your entrepreneurial journey. This isn't a startup pitch - this is about why you've chosen to become an entrepreneur and where you hope the path will take you. SLP classes are customized to you and this is your chance to tell us how we can help you grow. 


Product Fair

The Startup Leadership Program maintains a longer calendar than most startups, and as such, your startup may change significantly over the seven months the fellows spend together. The mid-year product fair is an opportunity to show other fellows how your product and company has changed, and to solicit their feedback for further growth. 


Press relations & content marketing

The factors of successful startups include a product that solves a market need and a communications machine to let the world know. As part of this class, we'll discuss how to gain good press for your team, what to do when bad press hits, and how content marketing can play an effective role in building and shaping your brand.


Sales Strategy

Startup sales isn't just about getting as much press as you can, or attending a few conferences. It's an iterative, quantitative process that can be honed over time - first, maybe by one or two individuals in your company's early days, but with time, across large teams. Learn the key metrics you should be paying attention to, and how to experiment with different sales channels.


Startup financing by stage

Much of startup development is dominated by financing. At SLP, our focus is on helping you learn how to develop a strong product in the right market - but doing that often requires financial partners. This class highlights the key things to know at each stage of the fundraising process - from the first steps to post Series A.  


pitch workshop

A key part of being a CEO is the ability to pitch - pitch your product, your team, yourself. And it's not only to investors - it's to potential hires, to strategic partners, to distributors. During this eight hour class, we'll help you hone your pitch and give you the opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of top NYC venture capitalists. 


term sheet competition

Obtaining interest from an investor if the first step in the financing process. From there, you and your financial partner will have to negotiate a series of terms on the investment, which are summarized in a term sheet. During this class, you'll learn the different types of terms you may receive from your investor by competing with your classmates to achieve the best terms in a mock investment round.


VC Competition

Having been introduced to a term sheet in the previous class, you'll spend a Saturday with your fellows once again competing for the best terms, but this time, you'll do so as a representative of five real NYC startups to five real NYC venture capitalists. 


Pivot or Persist

A reality of the startup pursuit is the possibility of needing to shut down your company. But how do you know when it's time to shut down, versus time to power through a rough patch? We'll give you the tools to make this decision, and coach you on how to communicate your decision to your team and your investors.  


Entrepreneurial Updates

Our second to last class is devoted to hearing how you grew, and how your company changed, throughout the seven months we'll have been together. We'll ask what you need help with going forward, and we'll work with you to become an active member of the alumni community.



After seven months, your time as an SLP fellow has come to a close. However, your time as an SLP alumni is just beginning. During graduation, we'll take the opportunity to recognize your achievements and induct you into the SLP alumni community