Start Station

A free, 5-week program for scalable, non-VC backed ventures

start station accelerator home image

What's in the 5 weeks:

start station experiments

1. Experiments

How to design and execute experiments to consistently test assumptions in your business

customer discovery start station

2. Customer Discovery

How to figure out and define who might be a customer or user of your products or services

sustainable traction start station

3. Sustainable Traction

How to create the most meaningful traction for your venture: traction that continues with time

financials start station

4. Financial Modeling

How to determine what are the most important levers and numbers in your business

goals start station

5. Goals and Strategy

How to set near term goals for your business while taking an infinite game strategy


Is this program fully virtual?

Yes! At the moment, we are currently only through Zoom.

Does this prevent me from raising money in the future?

No. Not at all. We just won't be talking about investors.

What stage should my venture be in?

Idea to just starting to get early traction. Feel free to apply if you're later stage, but the focus will be on earlier stages.

Do you hate VCs and investors?

Absolutely not. For some ventures, they make total sense (ex. bio tech) to be involved. For most ventures though, investors don't make sense.

Why focus on scalable, non-VC backed ventures?

Scalable, non-VC backed ventures have a tremendous value in the communities they impact, yet, we rarely ever talk about them. Entrepreneurship programs are consistently teaching people how to raise funding and that’s just wrong. Venture capital funding is not a foundational piece to entrepreneurship.

What is the time commitment for this?

You should be working on your venture for at least 10 hours per week.

We'll meet virtually for 60 minutes and there will be prep work that takes no more than 60 minutes. Additionally, there will be time to chat with others in your cohort outside of sessions.

Can I just listen in the Zoom sessions?

No. These sessions are active and engagement is required. Camera on is HIGHLY encouraged.

Matthew Gira start station

Meet the instructor

I’m Matthew Gira. I'm an entrepreneur, creator, and currently the Director of Student Programming at the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale. Previously, I was one of the co-founders of Fathom, an underwater drone company. We raised over $190,000 on Kickstarter, participated in Techstars, and even pitched to Daymond John from Shark Tank.

While that was going on, I helped build entrepreneurship programs at Hope College and Grand Valley State University as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. I’m passionate about being an entrepreneur and building entrepreneurial ecosystems. At the moment, I'm focused on helping others create scalable, non-VC backed startups.