Startup Bootcamp

Coming in 2018.


Ideation & Validation Workshop

  • Start: June 11, 2016, 9:30AM
  • End: June 12, 2016, 7:00PM


How does the great business idea in your head make the leap into reality?

Join GRID110 and the LMU Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship for a 2-day intensive workshop on ideation and business plan validation. Collaborate with and get feedback from fellow entrepreneurs. Meet your future co-founders and partners. Test your idea with serial entrepreneurs, investors and academics. Come out of this workshop armed with an iron-clad business plan, and the vision to make it real.


Day 1: Working on the Idea

9:30 - 9:45 AM
Icebreakers & Introductions

9:45 - 10:45 AM
How I Did It: Entrepreneur Interview / Vlad Gyster

10:45 - 11:00 AM
General State of Entrepreneurship

11:00 - 11:30 AM
1st Ideation Session

11:30 - 1:00 PM
1st Pitches / Nina Ojeda

1:00 - 2:00 PM

2:00 - 2:30 PM
Building an Organization / Lew Jaffe

2:30 - 3:00 PM
How I Did It II: Entrepreneur Interview / Dori Howard

3:30 - 4:30 PM
2nd Ideation Session

4:30 - 5:30 PM
2nd Pitches

Day 2: Business Validation Through Analysis

9:30 - 10:00 AM
Entrepreneur Financing 101: F&F, Angels, VC, Equity

10:00 - 10:30 AM
Analyzing the Competitive Landscape

10:30 - 11:30 AM
Building the Business Model Canvas

11:30 - 1:00 PM
3rd Pitches

1:00 - 2:00 PM

2:00 - 2:30 PM
Business Law for Entrepreneurs / Stephen Kane

2:30 - 3:30 PM
Marketing and Sales 101

3:30 - 4:00 PM
Failure & Resistance I: Entrepreneurs Coming Back / Justin Wolske

4:00 - 4:30 PM
Prep Time

4:30 - 5:30 PM
Final Presentations

5:30 - 7:00 PM


Jason D'Mello, Ph.D, Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship, Loyola Marymount University

Jason D'Mello, Ph.D is an Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship at Loyola Marymount University. He teaches entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurial marketing at the undergraduate and graduate school level. His research interests involve new venture teams and the inner-dynamics of cofounders. He also has researched pay what you want pricing models, governance boards, and post-traumatic growth as it relates to entrepreneurship. He has founded multiple technology and educational startups and serves on the board for The Incubator School (LA), Health Digital (NYC) and is the subject matter expert for Caseworx.

Justin Wolske, Founder, CaseWorx and Co-Founder, GRID110

Justin Wolske's work is focused on the intersection of education and media. A film and new media producer for over ten years, his edtech startup Caseworx transforms case-based learning in business and corporate education into video-based, interactive learning platforms. At the same time, he co-founded GRID110, an economic development organization that is building the startup ecosystem in Downtown Los Angeles. His first company was The Royal Institute for Picture Quality, a media production consultancy that held MTV, Reebok, AOL, UCLA and Crunchroll among its client list. Justin is determined to innovate education, especially for adult learners, and continues to teach at the Dept. of Television, Film & Media at California State University, Los Angeles. He holds a BA from Indiana University and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Vlad Gyster, Founder & CEO, Airbo

Vlad Gyster is the Founder and CEO of Airbo, an Employee Communications Platform that's used by companies like Fujifilm. He's run the bootstrapped start-up for the last 5 years. He was recently recognized as Top 50 Benefits Technology Innovator by Employee Benefit News. Prior to starting Airbo, Vlad spent five years at Willis Towers Watson. There, he cofounded the social media practice and worked with Fortune 500 companies like 3M and American Express to develop new products and engage employees in the HR ecosystem. In 2006, Vlad graduated summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Healthcare Management. He was awarded Student of the Year from the Center for Healthcare & Insurance Studies. Vlad is a frequent speaker at conferences and contributes to publications like Fortune, Employee Benefit News, IHRIM, and SHRM. He resides in Venice, CA, where he occasionally sneaks out of the office to surf.

Nina Ojeda, CEO and Founder, PRÊTE and CEO & Founder, The Avenue West

Nina runs The Avenue West's day-to-day marketing operations. Driving innovation with experimentation, she increases exposure for existing brads and spotlights burgeoning startups. A scholarship landed Nina in LA, but she quit college to figure out her future. While exploring her love for people and branding in retail, an internship offer cataplted her into entertainment branding. Dissatisfaction with long hours and lack of impact led Nina to entrepreneurship, and insired her to help brands connect communities.

Lew Jaffe, Professor, Fred Kiesner Center for Entrepreneurship, Loyola Marymount University

Lew Jaffe provides leadership, getting teams aligned around a common goal and over achieving their mission. His methodology is based on a simple principle, all businesses are the same; they exist for the sole purpose of “gaining and retaining customers, profitably in order to create stake holder value.” He is a proven operating executive with significant turnaround and growth experience, successful with generating profits and creating shareholder value in both public and private companies by aligning strategies with customer and market demands, bringing existing products to new markets and refining offerings to existing markets. Experienced in creating sales and margin growth organically and through M&A activities, and exploiting synergies. He has guest lectured at numerous major Universities, speaking at Private Equity/Venture Capital and various industry conferences and provide some consulting to companies in distress that require a change in strategy, operational improvement and financial restructuring. I currently sit on the Board of Directors of Benihana Corporation and serve as its lead independent director, sitting on the audit and governance committees and Bond Laboratories. He is also on the Board of York Telecom a Video Conferencing service provider. He has also earned my Advanced Professional Director certification from The American College of Corporate Directors focusing on the intricacies of board governance, audit practices and executive compensation issues, as well as to be versed in the skills required to manage today's complex legal and ethical environment.

Dori Howard, Co-Founder, Wade & Belle

Dorian Howard is the co-founder and one half of the sister duo behind Wade & Belle — an e-commerce platform that is revolutionizing the women's tights category. Wade & Belle was founded upon the simple premise of challenging the status quo in women's fashion. Developing a patented waist-band, the Howard sisters are committed to bringing an unparalleled product to the underserved hosiery category. Previously, Dori was the CEO and co-founder of Milk & Honey – an e-commerce platform in the customization space. Milk & Honey was featured in the New York Times, InStyle, Lucky, PeopleStyleWatch and on TV shows including The Today Show, E! News, and countless local news segments. Prior to diving into the crazy waters of startups, Dori worked at Paramount Pictures, New Line Cinema, Miramax Films and MTV. Her feature film projects included working on early stage development of the Oscar award film The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale (worldwide box office of $129 million) as well as selling the feature film script The Proposal to Disney, working very closely with the writer to shape the script to land lead actors Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. On a budget of $40 million, the film grossed $163 million domestically. Her last stop in Hollywood was as Vice President of Production at Paramount Pictures. Dori's film projects ranged in budget from $40 million to $170 million and included rebooting the GI JOE title that grossed over $300 million worldwide and relaunched the franchise. She also worked closely with Nickelodeon to adapt one of their top animated series into the feature film The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and grossing $319 million worldwide.

Craig Wilson, Principal Advisor, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Bixel Exchange Accelerator

Craig is Principal Advisor and fractional Chief Product Officer for entrepreneurs and CEOs of Pre A Series startups with experience in Internet of Things, AdTech, FinTech, Distributed Data, Mobile Media, E-commerce, Software as a Service, and On-demand Economic Models. Craig currently serves Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce for the Bixel Exchange Accelerator SBDC focused on startups in Los Angeles County. In addition, Craig drives advocacy for Technology and Innovation Policy with the State of California and congressional leaders in Washington DC for technology transfer, STEM, immigration, data management, and digital privacy. He is a member of the Innovation and Emerging Technology Council for Los Angeles. Previously, he spent time at Microsoft in various management roles in business development, product management, and marketing for divisions in Software as a Service, Cloud, Big Data, Office, Mobile, and global marketing operations for Windows. He's been successfully involved with two merger and acquisitions of startups totaling $1.4B. Craig is a mentor to TechStars StartupNext LA, UCLA Startup Accelerator, UCLA EDGE, and UCLA 3 Day Startup programs for student entrepreneurs. Craig graduated from City University of Seattle in Business Administration with Finance and Marketing, and UCLA Anderson School of Management in Executive Management.

Stephen Kane, Founder, Fair Claims and Founder, GRID110

Stephen Kane is a small business and start up attorney who frequently presents essentials of start up law and other legal workshops at General Assembly, LA Chamber Bixel Exchange and the LA Law Library. He has legal and business experience ranging from corporate to small business to startup. As a business owner and entrepreneur, he has confronted many of the same challenges encountered by startups, and provides practical legal advice from the perspective of a lawyer who “gets” business. He is a former associate at the national firm O'Melveny & Myers LLP, and earned his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University. He's also founder and Chair of GRID110, and founder of ArbiClaims, an online dispute resolution platform.