Startup Bootcamp

Learn how to take your idea from zero to startup in ninety days

Sept. 5th - Dec. 5th 2017

Applications are open from June 19th to July 31st. Decisions will be made by August 11th.

Follow Along with the Bootcamp

To learn more about the program, check out The Bootcamp Blog



At the PSL bootcamp you'll learn the fundamental elements of starting a business and get a chance to experiment and receive instant feedback from Philly's best startup minds like Keith Gornish (SmartyPal),Taryn Cahill (CurrenC), Ted Mann (Slyce/SnipSnap) and others.

Each week participants will be given a different framework for tackling different parts of the startup puzzle. You will prepare for the session by doing reading or research and will follow up with assignments that you will present the next week. Local startup leaders will teach the frameworks, share their experiences and help you put it into practice.

This training program will help you gain the skills you'll need to join or launch your own business. We're looking for ambitious, self driven people who are committed to their personal growth and to the completion of the program. Students, recent grads or experienced professionals are welcome!

Cost: $250

Schedule: All sessions will take place on Tuesday evenings (6-8pm) at Benjamin's Desk in Rittenhouse Square (1608 Walnut)

Questions? Contact us at

Register at

Bootcamp Curriculum

Finding a Problem You're Passionate About

Segment 1 - Sept. 5th & Sept. 12th

Segment Info

During his epic 2011 Stanford commencement speech, Steve Jobs told students "Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." For those who wish to take the leap into entrepreneurship, finding something that ignites your fire and passion is the ideal way to start on your journey to building a successful business. But how do you identify these passions?

Jeremy Peskin


Speaker Bio

Jeremy is the founder of Borderwise, which helps immigrants become US citizens. He previously founded Matchme Philanthropy, a grant-funded startup in the nonprofit sector. He has a JD with a Certificate in Management from Penn Law and Wharton.

Yasmine Mustafa

ROAR for Good

Speaker Bio

Coming Soon.

Nonya Collier

Pad Porter

Speaker Bio

Coming Soon.

Debbie Schwartz

College Money Search

Speaker Bio

Coming Soon.

Ideation and Vision, Market Research

Segment 2 - Sept. 26th & Oct. 3rd

Segment Info

Ideation and vision isn’t just about saying you have a great idea; it’s about knowing you have a great idea! But how do you know? Startup ideas are educated guesses. But what if your guess is wrong? You must teach yourself to think big and often. And you must teach yourself to be intellectually honest about the merits and market potential of each idea before you invest weeks, months, or years pursuing it. In this segment you will learn a framework for brainstorming and assessing your idea, as well as performing intelligent market research, to set the stage for all that is to come.

Keith Gornish


Speaker Bio

Keith’s global experience across tech, media, and scaling businesses includes CMC (CEO / Co-founder), AKG Technologies, Comcast Strategic Development’s Connected Health, and JPMorgan. MBA from The Wharton School with a focus on Innovation.

Prasanna Krishnan


Speaker Bio

Prasanna has built products and grown businesses at large tech companies (Microsoft, Comcast), startups (Jetsetter acquired by TripAdvisor) and VC (early-stage investor and Kauffman Fellow at DFJ). MBA from the Wharton School (Palmer Scholar), and Masters in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Siebel Scholar).

Lean Thinking

Segment 3 - Dates Coming Soon!

Segment Info

Lean thinking is a method for developing businesses and products first proposed in 2008 by Eric Ries. Based on his previous experience working in several U.S. startups, Ries claims that startups can shorten their product development cycles by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and what he calls validated learning. Ries' overall claim is that if startups invest their time into iteratively building products or services to meet the needs of early customers, they can reduce the market risks and sidestep the need for large amounts of initial project funding and expensive product launches and failures. Originally developed with high-tech companies in mind, the lean thinking philosophy has since been expanded to apply to any individual, team, or company looking to introduce new products or services into the market.

Speakers Coming Soon!

Closing Your First 10 Customers / Gaining Traction

Segment 4 - Dates Coming Soon!

Segment Info

Landing your first ten customers is one of the most difficult milestones any company must meet in its quest for success. And meeting this milestone is simply one step towards gaining traction, some clearly identifiable momentum and progress. Entrepreneurs' attention is nearly always stretched, very often shifting focus to the most urgent project rather than most important. Furthermore, many entrepreneurs believe adoption will come easily if they've built a high quality product. However, this is less than straightforward. There are specific frameworks that can be used to assess various traction channels and evaluate which one fits best. During this session you will be exposed to these frameworks as well as hear strategies for landing those first few critical customers.

Speakers Coming Soon!

Mapping the Product

Segment 5 - Dates Coming Soon!

Segment Info

By this point in the bootcamp our theme is becoming very clear: data leads decision making! Mapping the Product is our first venture towards creating a "real" product. The goal of this segment is to learn to translate your idea and the market feedback you’ve gathered into a product that will provide just the essential features, a true MVP (minimum viable product), necessary to gather a new set of data points that will bring us closer to a market validated product. In this segment you will learn an iterative process for moving efficiently from idea to validated product. Topics include test-driven design, high-level UI/UX, prototyping tools, and product design.

Speakers Coming Soon!

Building a Business Model and an MVP

Segment 6 - Dates Coming Soon!

Segment Info

Can your business make money and become profitable? This is perhaps the most critically important question an entrepreneur must ask. There are strategies and tactics to become profitable, just like there are strategies and tactics to maximize profits. A business model with its related financial plan describes how an organization creates, delivers and captures value. This, in turn, drives your cash flow. Ultimately, building and relying on a good business model is one of the keys to the success of any venture. In this session, you will build the first iteration of your business model and related financial model. You will understand a business model and complete each of the nine building blocks for your business, build your first iteration and complete your first financial model using the business model canvas, and run through the checklist for a crystal clear business model.

Speakers Coming Soon!

Final Group Presentations

Presentation - Dec. 5th

Final Info

Info Coming Soon.\!

Ted Mann


Speaker Bio

Ted is the CEO of Slyce, a Philadelphia-based startup that is the market leader in image recognition and visual search for retail. Slyce has created the first human-curated and trained computer vision system, which enables Slyce's technology to outperform competitors and has led to customers like JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, Best Buy, and Urban Outfitters deploying Slyce's universal scanner intotheir apps. Prior to Slyce, Ted founded SnipSnap, the first mobile app to let consumers save printed coupons to their smartphone and redeem in store. At the time SnipSnap was acquired, it was profitable, with 6 million users, who redeemed more than 500 million coupons. The company was started at the DreamIt Ventures accelerator in Philadelphia and launched in May 2012.

Morgan Berman


Speaker Bio

After almost a decade in the non-profit world of women's health, Morgan cartwheeled head first in to the tech startup scene. She is the founder and CEO of MilkCrate, a platform that tracks and grows impact for large organizations like CSR for Fortune 500 companies. Through her work with MilkCrate she has been honored by the UN Foundation as one of the Top Female Entrepreneurs to Watch, was selected by Forbes for the 30 Under 30 Pitch Summit, visited the White House to discuss clean energy policy, gave a TEDx talk on chasing dreams (actually, unicorns!), auditioned for Shark Tank, and won the Rad Girl Product of the Year Award for her design of MilkCrate. In hindsight, the journey makes perfect sense. After starting her first socially-minded enterprise at 16, Morgan has been featured extensively on local and national news outlets like the WHYY, the Philadelphia Business Journal, Boston Metro, Philadelphia Inquirer, NBC10, Forbes, Philadelphia Magazine's Be Well Blog, and others. She is a passionate Philadelphian, chosen as a "Keeper" with Leadership Philadelphia and a World Economic Forum Global Shaper- two organizations that are helping cultivate thoughtful leadership for the future. Morgan started MilkCrate while earning her Masters in Sustainable Design from Philadelphia University, the best serendipitous tech incubator on the planet. She is a novice SCUBA diver, and recently won her first Jiu Jitsu competition.

Liz Brown


Speaker Bio

Liz Brown is Co-CEO and head of design at Webjunto, a user-experience-focused design and development company based in Philadelphia. Liz has a passion for both research and design. Over the past 15 years, she has worked on a wide range of projects including research on motivation theory, cognitive learning theory, and user experience. After more than 10 years of taking on side gigs as a web designer and front-end developer, she earned a master's degree in information design and technology from SUNY Polytechnic Institute and went on to cofound Webjunto. Prior to starting Webjunto, Liz received a master's degree in urban planning from the School of Architecture and Planning at SUNY Buffalo, and practiced as an urban planner specializing in urban revitalization. Liz continues to do work in the community as a civic hacking enthusiast, event organizer, and public speaker in the Women in Tech community.