Good Practice

Bootstrap&Validation programme (B&V)

Supporting KIC's

Domain: Domain 4 – Enhancing the quality of innovation and entrepreneurial education.

Action: A4.3: Develop innovation and entrepreneurial training programs and mentoring scheme

The B&V programme is articulated in two consequential phases:

the Bootstrap phase (4 months), which consists of a series of lectures and a 1 to 1 coaching sessions with a dedicated business coach;

the Validation phase (8 months), which aims to validate solutions and markets from early adoption to first customers.



The teaching methods are mainly based on active learning. Therefore, alongside the traditional presentation of content, real-life experiences and case studies are introduced. Lessons, discussions, practical activities, hands-on, opportunity of peer2peer exchange are all combined.




Fundamental of Innovation and Entrepreneurship •

Description: Introductory session of the program.

  • Presentation of the TSV staff and a brief overview of what awaits us (and you) in the coming months: sessions, training offer, opportunities for the participating teams, ways of communication and sharing of material.
  • Our learning contract: we talk about our expectations and your goals.
  • Whatever the theme of the business idea and the recipients, there are challenges common to all those who want to face an entrepreneurial path: we know these challenges and learn to face them.

Materials used:


  • Expectations/assignments due for next class
  • Ask participants to be able to present their business project in 1-2 minutes.


Communication basics •

: How to transfer one’s ideas to others: effective communication and non-verbal language. In this meeting, Christian Giacom will present the main fundamentals of communication and public speaking through the use of the most well-known techniques. A new point of view will be analyzed to interpret and communicate one’s role in the project, of the project  , for the project.

Materials used:

Ball (to get the participants talking)


Market analysis and target market •


Are we sure that the market we have chosen is really the best? How can I figure it out? Within a specific market, which customers will I approach first? I necessarily have to do a segmentation of the market to understand how big it is, who drives it and how to position myself compared to competitors. This means asking myself: how do I want to characterize myself and on the basis of which characteristics do I want to outperform competitors, so that potential customers choose me?

We will reason together, in the classroom, to answer these questions – each on their own business case, with short exercises and tests.

Materials used:


Lean Startup: value proposition •


How do you include your technology in a solution (product or service) that is truly valuable to a customer? During the lesson, participants will learn how to use tools to design solid product/service value propositions in an agile way, and to validate them in a systematic and iterative way through tests and experiments with users and customers.

Materials used:

Expectations/assignments due for next class

Conclude and/or do a second iteration of the VPC.


Pitch training •

Description: Pitch is an essential tool for startups, as it is the primary means of articulating the value proposition and securing funding and partnerships. The goal is to help you effectively communicate the value of your product/service in a concise and engaging way while targeting investors.

In addition to structuring a pitch and receiving feedback, we’ll look at how to handle the most common questions and objections from investors and customers.

Unlike the previous sessions, the pitch training will be a “flipped classroom”: each team will have the opportunity to present their business idea and then give and receive feedback from peers – with a view to improvement and above all in a protected environment.

For this reason, we kindly ask you to prepare a Powerpoint or pdf presentation of up to 5 minutes in length and upload it to it Drive folder by Tuesday 14 March.

We suggest following this outline and covering the following points in the presentation:

  • Title
  • Problem
  • Solution
  • Market
  • Business Model
  • Competition
  • Team
  • Growth plan and milestones

We are aware that each team is at a different stage of development: it is not a problem that we have not yet identified our market, or our business model. For this reason, feel free to omit those points on which you have not yet worked: the path we are taking serves precisely to fill these gaps.

Materials used:


Marketing strategies and customer acquisition •


Identify the top 10 customers and accompany them through the buying process: the concepts of leads, prospects and customers, the description of the purchasing process and the marketing tools to be put in place at each stage. How to set up a customer acquisition strategy that is economically viable: the concepts of Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).

Materials used:

Resources to learn more:


Expectations/assignments due for next class


Revenue models & Business Model Canvas •

Description:  Revenue models: how many different ways can I profit from my solution and which one is the most effective. Study of the main models. Business Model Canvas: Definition, Function, Building Blocks, and Case Studies.

Materials used:

Resources to learn more:

Micropills on Validation Interviews

Examples of business models broken down by industry


Incorporation and legal procedures + Startup sustainability •

Description: What happens during the life of a startup from a legal point of view? How the incorporation takes place and what are the necessary requirements to be an innovative startup. How a company works and what are the roles of the shareholders and directors and the investor’s entry into the company. Focus on the concept of sustainability and how it has evolved over the years. The benefit corporation as a new entrepreneurial paradigm, where it comes from and what are the requirements and advantages.

Materials used:


IP protection •

Description: Intellectual property as a strategic asset for companies and no longer just as a defensive tool. Regulatory notes and practical aspects with reference to patents for inventions, utility models, registered models and designs, trademarks and copyright. Contractual forms related to intellectual property rights. Software as an object of protection straddling patents and copyrights.

Staff: The session will be held by the consultants of a selected IP protection studio .

Afternoon one-on-one sessions with consultants (for interested teams)

In the afternoon, the teams will have the opportunity to meet in a one-to-one, 30-minute meeting with Bugnion’s consultants.

We are in the process of building the calendar: to give everyone the opportunity to participate despite their respective commitments, we kindly ask you to indicate all the slots in which you are available among the following:

14:00 – 14:30 / 14:30 – 15:00 / 15:00 – 15:30 / 16:00 – 16:30

We will send the consultants the abstracts you have written in the last few days, so that they can arrive at the interview already having an idea of your business project.


Financial Planning •

Building a financial plan is of paramount importance to understand the sustainability of the business, to make sense of the strategies to be implemented, to allow you to describe your vision to partners, employees and lenders and finally to determine the amount of money your company needs. It is the key tool through which an investor evaluates whether and how much to bet on the business idea.  A practical case will help to understand the importance  of assumptions and the creation of the plan through an excel template.

Materials used:


Business Plan • Fundraising.

In the last meeting of the Bootstrap program, we will complete the topic of so-called investor readiness, i.e. the ability to successfully deal with the raising of investment capital. After having studied the importance of the Financial Plan to have numbers in order and in particular those pleasing to investors, now we will understand the different categories of investors, their logics and their processes. Then we will touch on the topic of startup valuation which is one of the key elements when negotiating with the investor. In closing, we will analyze how to write (and when to write) a Business Plan, the tool that accompanies the startup on its investment path.

Materials used:


In the Bootstrap phase the contents are provided on a weekly basis (same day in the week) in a 4-hours slot. The coaching is provided every 14 days.

In the Validation phase the coaching is provided 1 time per month.



Participants are subject to three evaluation process according different criteria grids in three different moments: access to the program evaluation, second phase access (Demo Day) evaluation, access to last public event (Validation Day) evaluation.


Researchers, students, PhDs often have a great technological vision, but no market and business vision. With this programme we want to cover the gap to let people validate and launch their entrepreneurial initiative with basic sustainability support.


Reaserchers, Students, PhDs, Professors from research centres and universities of Trentino developing an entrepreneurial idea from their research activities as well as personal ideas.

People with entrepreneurial ideas who have already attended propedeutical programmes from HIT (Foundation HIT -Hub Innovazione Trentino that is EIT partner) or from HIT shareholders (SUL-StartupLab, BD-Business Design, R2B-Reaserch2Business).

Key outcomes

Bootstrap&Validation is an entrepreneurial training program targeted to innovation and technology driven startup ideas that aims:

  • to train participants with business skills
  • to verify the sustainability of the entrepreneurial idea
  • to guide through mentoring and coaching activities the adoption of key methodologies needed to develop a company
  • to support the preparation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or a prototype
  • to prepare participants to present their business idea to relevant audiences.

The expected impact is to accelerate the creation of innovative and deep-tech startups, both from partner research centres and from the broader local ecosystem.

Over the past 4 years, HIT supported 50+ startups and helped a considerable number of them in finding private investments.

Key success factors / How to replicate / Sustainability mechanism

A key factor is building an internal team with all the competences to develop the training and the coaching. It’s time consuming, but it’s an asset of your organization. This let your organization to be independent by third parties providers of content and trainers and to operate a continuous improvement of the content  and of the methods year after year according feedback received and sometimes even ongoing.

With this asset you are able also to create other different programs targeted to different groups of candidates or for different scopes.


Contact person

Marco Senigalliesi, Head of Startup Area of Fondazione Hub Innovazione Trentino