Program Curriculum Calendar

Having experimented with several different formats for program calendars and curriculum I’ve found that having thematic weeks is typically the best approach. This makes it easy to schedule the relevant mentors for that week and helps the founders mentally prepare for both the current week and the weeks to come. It also allows the founder to optimize their team’s travel needs if the program takes place outside of their home country. For example, the founder can include marketing team members for the weeks where growth marketing is covered. For heavily technical weeks the CTO can take a larger role. When the content is not relevant for them they can then skip some of that time to address the day to day needs of the business.

In terms of program length, the most common structure is a 3-month program. Although it’s possible to run programs on a shorter cycle, say 1 month, these shorter programs are typically less impactful as it’s too short of a time to show any significant results. They are a good match for a ‘pre-accelerator’ program, but to really go deep you need at least the 3 months. Programs that are longer than 3 months run the risk of founder and staff fatigue and less engagement in the tail end of the program. Those longer programs are more of an incubator format.

Additionally, there are several weekly recurring sessions you should consider for your program. They include:

Pitching (group session): Every team should pitch to a group or staff member every single week. Crafting a good pitch takes a lot of time and the only way to get great is to do it hundreds of times during the program.

POC Check-in (private session): Each team should meet with the POC from the staff at least once a week just to update and ask questions. Here’s where you help them address any blockers they’re having in terms of growth, fundraising or staffing.

KPI Session (group session): Get each founder to present their weekly KPIs and/or growth successes every week. This is a chance to hold founders accountable and motivate them to focus on the most important things they can do in a program to grow their business faster.