A partnership between the City & The University of Texas at the IC2 Institute
A small business growth initiative powered by the City of Austin and the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin
The City of Austin Economic Development Department is investing in the growth of Austin’s small businesses by offering the FASTFORWARD Entrepreneur Training Program to selected businesses.
The FASTFORWARD program is an intensive 12-week training initiative developed and led by the IC2 Institute of The University of Texas at Austin, based on its extensive experience accelerating entrepreneurial success and wealth in Austin and throughout the world. The program is offered to existing small businesses headquartered in Austin that embrace innovation, i.e., those who are ready to utilize new technology, offer novel business models, pursue fresh markets, or have a concept to create enhanced value for their enterprise.
Each business that applies to the FASTFORWARD program must be represented by a team of two representatives to allow for greater depth of market analysis and ensure attendance at all training sessions. No single participants will be admitted. A total of 20 innovative businesses will be selected from the application and interview process. Participants will work as a team and will be trained to:
Define measurable economic opportunity for a validated market problem;
Differentiate the business through offering a superior and articulated solution to the defined market problem;
Develop a financial model for the economic opportunity the solution offers the business; and
Deliver the solution using the FASTFORWARD go-to-market strategy to realize the defined economic opportunity.
FASTFORWARD sessions will be held every Tuesday and Thursday evening, from 6-9 PM, beginning April 5th and ending June 23rd.
Training Sessions will be held at the IC2 Institute, 2815 San Gabriel St., Austin, Texas 78705 to provide the necessary theory and tools to investigate and validate market and product claims, financial models, and go-to-market strategies. Attendance at every training session is mandatory.
One-on-One Mentoring Sessions will be held at the 2815 San Gabriel St., Austin, Texas 78705 to enhance learning experiences and improve the FASTFORWARD go-to-market strategies developed by each participating business. At least one representative from each participating small business is strongly encouraged to attend a weekly one-on-one mentoring session.
All participants attending every program training session and delivering a final presentation will receive a FASTFORWARD Entrepreneurial Program Completion Certificate issued by the IC2 Institute. The certificate will be presented in the Austin City Council Chambers by the IC2 Institute and the City’s Economic Development Department Small Business Program.
The City’s Small Business Program will bear the majority of the cost to make FASTFORWARD available to your enterprise. An investment of $1,000 for a business team of two persons is required. Participating businesses agree to participate in periodic post-program surveys that will measure the FASTFORWARD program’s impact on their business. All individual business data collected will be treated confidentially and only aggregate, program-level data will be made public (e.g., number of jobs created by FASTFORWARD business participants, total increases in sales revenue by FASTFORWARD business participants, etc.).
Interested parties can contact the City of Austin Economic Development Department’s Small Business Program at 512.974.7800 for additional information. Learn more about the program and application. Applications must be submitted no later than March 14, 2016.
Preference will be given to members of the minority chambers of commerce for this initial program offering.