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Business Hacking Bootcamp: Take Your Idea to Market

7/29/2013 9:00 AM - 8/2/2013 6:00 PM


Erin Sparling - Head of Consumer Technology , Dow Jones

Tricia Okin - UX/UI Designer, Papercut

Jacob Cohen - Principal, Experience Strategist, Frog Design

Jason Schwartz - Founder,

Jenn Vargas - Technical Product Manager, Birchbox

Matt Iles - Co-Founder, Nine Lines

Emily Heyward - Head of Strategy, Red Antler

JB Osborne - CEO, Red Antler

Tim Hoover - Co-founder, Product Designer , Kern and Burn, Done Not Done

Jessica Karle Heltzel - Co-founder, Designer, Kern and Burn, General Assembly

Joshua Neckes - VP of Marketing, Group Commerce


Successfully bringing an idea to market requires a combination of skills which are rarely taught together: the experimental techniques of a product manager; the insight of UX designer; the customer acquisition and engagement tactics of a digital marketer; and the commercial nous of a senior business leader. This five day immersive will provide individuals with the core, practical skills to set them up to successfully test and validate a business and product idea, and drive it into market.


Apply a rigorous process for developing and validating business ideas, to ensure ideas are commercially viable.

Create wireframes and prototype to test and refine new ideas with users.

Apply digital marketing tool and techniques to acquire and retain users for a business.


Monday, 29 July, 9 am – 5 pm

Day I - Ideas & Innovation

The first day will focus on techniques for generating new ideas and identifying those with commercial appeal. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and apply a number of ideation techniques. Participant will also have the opportunity to explore new business ideas through both creative and commercial lenses.

9 am


Developing ideas with commercial appeal

Business models design

12 pm


Tim Hoover Co-founder, Kern and Burn; Product Designer, Done Not Done

Jessica Karle Heltzel Co-founder, Kern and Burn; Designer, General Assembly

1:30 pm


Business model innovation

Business model workshop

Tuesday, 30 July, 9 am – 5 pm

Day II - Testing & Validating Ideas

All new ideas are build on a number of assumption and are inherently risky. On Day 2 will participant will begin to test and validate the ideas they generated on Day 1. Participants will learn and apply the latest product management tools and techniques, and a scope out a number of MVPs to test new business ideas.

9 am


De-risking ideas and testing assumptions

Agile product development

12 pm


Jenn Vargas, Technical Product Manager at Birchbox

1:30 pm


Creating Minimal Viable Products

Product development workshop

Wednesday, 31 July, 9 am – 5 pm

Day III - User Research and Prototyping

Great businesses are built around their users: they solve real user problems and provide a flawless user experience. Day 3 will introduce participants to the to the fundamentals of user experience design. Participants will learn and apply design research, wireframing and prototyping techniques.

9 am


User research and design research

Design workshop

12 pm


Erin Sparling, Head of Consumer Technology at Dow Jones

1:30 pm


Wireframing and storyboarding

Prototyping workshops

Thursday, 1 August, 9 am – 5 pm

Day IV - Analytics & Experimentation

Over the previous three days, participants will have learnt how to successfully prepare an idea for launch, and will now be ready to market their ideas. Day 4 provides individuals with a solid grounding digital marketing techniques, from branding to analytics to experimentation.

9 am


Developing your brand

Introduction to marketing analytics

12 pm


JB Osborne, CEO at Red Antler

Emily Heyward, Partner & Head of Strategy at Red Antler

Red Antler is a branding & design consultancy specializing in startups and new ventures.

1:30 pm


Metrics and sources

Effective A/B testing

Friday, 2 August, 9 am – 5 pm

Day V - Acquisition & Retention

On the final day, participants will learn both paid and unpaid ways to acquire new users and grow their businesses. The day will cover leading practices, as well as practical tools and techniques, for social media advertising and search marketing. Participants will also be introduced to the concept of ‘growth hacking’.

9 am


Acquisition, activation and retention

Twitter and Facebook advertising

12 pm


Guest speaker to be announced.

1:30 pm


Paid search marketing

SEO basics

5:45 pm




Erin Sparling - Head of Consumer Technology , Dow Jones

Erin Sparling is the Director of Design Technology at the Wall Street Journal, managing the team responsible for the front-end of and related Dow Jones flagship properties. In his free time, Erin has spoken at SXSW Interactive, photographed for, and explored the uncanny valley with a previous career in illustration and package design.s.

Tricia Okin - UX/UI Designer, Papercut

Tricia Okin is a user experience and product designer based in Brooklyn since 2001. She founded papercut design studio in 2004. She currently serves as an interactive product designer for BlogTalkRadio where she's redesigning and rebranding their interface to make DIY online radio easier and more fun.

Jacob Cohen - Principal, Experience Strategist, Frog Design

Jacob Cohen is currently Principal Experience Strategy at frog design. He brings 12 years of digital experience design and brand knowledge to the frog NY team. Well versed in a blend of knowing and doing, he''s developed strategy, designed user experience, and managed the development of hundreds of web experiences across sectors from industrial to fashion.

Previous to joining frog Jacob was Senior Strategist overseeing digital at Wolff Olins' New York office. While there he helped to re-brand The Smithsonian Institute, developed a future facing product strategy for Call of Duty, worked closely with Microsoft on a variety of projects and crafted the digital experience for the first modern Arab art museum in the Middle East: Mathaf.

He is a graduate of Emerson College and attended New School University for a Masters in International Affairs. He teaching business and brand strategy for startups at General Assembly in NY, is a regular panel speaker and was recently on the ArtDirectorsClub Interactive jury.

Jason Schwartz - Founder,

Jason Schwartz is a Product Manager that specializes in data and user acquisition. He founded Matchbook, an iPhone app for remembering restaurants. Matchbook has been repeatedly featured by Apple, so you're in good hands. He regularly consults for startups like Picturelife, helping them setup their user acquisition. He has taught hundreds of product managers at General Assembly from startups and companies like MTV, Warner Music Group, American Express, and Ralph Lauren.

Jenn Vargas - Technical Product Manager, Birchbox

Jenn Vargas is a Technical Product Manager at Birchbox focused on Commerce and Content. A designer and developer, she's worked as a Product Manager at Yahoo!, Flickr, and Etsy as well as creating the social goal tracking site Jenn graduated from Cornell University in 2009 with a B.A. in Information Science.

Matt Iles - Co-Founder, Nine Lines

Nine Lines is a lifestyle ecommerce agency based in Brooklyn. We develop creative, data-driven strategies to help clients grow their business and earn more online. Think of us as a mashup of business analytics, user experience, and digital strategy. Nine Lines is currently developing a data simplicity app that will bring ecommerce professionals closer to their business than ever before.

Emily Heyward - Head of Strategy, Red Antler

Emily began her career in advertising as a Strategic Planner, working on many top brands under General Mills and Procter & Gamble, as well as DeBeers, where she led research for all major brand initiatives and developed strategies for multiple launches. She started her career at D'Arcy, followed by Saatchi & Saatchi and JWT. Her years as a Strategist, combined with an entrepreneurial spirit, inspired her to form Red Antler in order to directly apply consumer insights and brand positioning to business growth. Emily graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University, where she studied postmodern theory and consumer culture. Born and raised in New York, she and her dog Sprout currently live in Boerum Hill.

JB Osborne - CEO, Red Antler

JB started his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, working for clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Mills, and the award winning international launch of Air Tahiti Nui. An entrepreneur at heart, he left Saatchi to open the New York office of Consortium, a New Zealand ad agency. In August 2007, JB founded Red Antler, where he works with clients on brand positioning, user experience, business strategy and marketing. JB has a Bachelors degree in Business, Magna Cum Laude, from Cornell University and is a member of the Entrepreneurship at Cornell Advisory Board. A Philadelphia native, he currently lives in Vinegar Hill with his wife, his dog Brodie, and a vintage BMW motorcycle.

Tim Hoover - Co-founder, Product Designer , Kern and Burn, Done Not Done

Tim Hoover is a freelance designer and writer living and working in Brooklyn. He is the cofounder of Kern and Burn, and The People’s Pennant, and former partner at The Infantree. He received his MFA in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art ( MICA ). Tim currently works as product designer at Done Not Done.

Jessica Karle Heltzel - Co-founder, Designer, Kern and Burn, General Assembly

Jessica Karle Heltzel is a designer and writer living and working in New York. She is the cofounder of Kern and Burn, and The People’s Pennant. She received her MFA in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art ( MICA ). Jessica currently works as a designer for General Assembly.

Joshua Neckes - VP of Marketing, Group Commerce

Joshua Neckes currently runs the Meta Effect, a startup-oriented consultancy focused on strategic planning, marketing, and business development. Previously, he was VP of Marketing for Group Commerce, a venture-backed e-commerce startup with over $40m in funding. Prior to his time at GC, he co-founded and ran a startup-oriented marketing/PR firm with annual revenues over $1m. An Oberlin College graduate, Josh is a part-time guitarist and mediocre ultimate frisbee player with a penchant for social entrepreneurship.


Plans change. We get it. But if you can't make it to a class/workshop, please email us at least 7 days before the scheduled event date. No refunds will be given after this timeframe.

Learn More: Business Hacking Bootcamp Take Your Idea to Market

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