Top Gun Prep is an eight-week online class with open enrollment for up to 100 participants. The course is delivered weekly through interactive online webinars via Adobe Connect’s e-learning platform. Each session is recorded for later viewing by busy entrepreneurs unable to make all the live sessions. Look for a new Top Gun Prep class in fall of 2016.
Based on the programming used for the first three years of Top Gun, the course covers such topics as business models, Innovation Engineering, customer development (insights from Silicon Valley), entrepreneurial marketing, financials and financing. Don Gooding, the Director of MCED and vice chair of the Maine Angels (one of the top ten most active angel investment groups in the nation) leads the classes.
Outside the “classroom,” a LinkedIn group and Google Docs are used to enable participants to interact with each other and with mentors regarding homework and their own entrepreneurial issues. The course culminates with an optional Top Gun Prep Pitch Night for our entrepreneurs who want to practice their pitch in front of a panel of judges and a supportive audience.
Top Gun Prep will be offered again in 2015. Most of the companies selected for the Top Gun program are graduates of Top Gun Prep. The fee is $300 per person, just 50% of actual costs, due to the generous support of our sponsors. In addition there is one required textbook for the course which is available new for about $30.
Is Top Gun Prep right for you?
Previous participants have included college students exploring entrepreneurship, people with raw ideas that might become businesses, teams developing products, entrepreneurs with early market success, even businesses that have been around for years but who want to grow through innovation.
App developers, vegetable farmers, online education developers, consultants, medical device companies, niche fashion designers, artisanal chocolate makers, rural small businesses, artists, and even a few government officials trying to understand entrepreneurship have all benefited from the class.
Top Gun Prep will entail two hours of class and another hour of homework a week (or more if you want) - remember, this is time invested in your entrepreneurial future.
Each Top Gun Prep class is recorded for later viewing by participants.
Here are some comments about Top Gun Prep from previous participants:
Rocco Sbardella, Mobile Magic
“Thanks for an amazing class! This idea of mine has progressed so much in the last two months and I don't think it would be as far along without your insights.”
Steve Shaffer, Black Dinah Chocolatiers
“Thanks for giving me a better language to talk about business.”
Terry Cross, Armaid
“Thank you for helping me to see business life differently.”
Charley Earley, EKLIPSE
“I learned a lot about valuable entrepreneurial prerequisites and parameters that I need to figure out and implement. p.s. Remind me to tell you about the new product idea I came up with while attending TGP!”
Pam Saunders, PJ Coeur
“What I learned in Top Gun Prep absolutely aided my ability to submit a successful [MTI TechStart] application - THANK YOU!!
Alexander Sargent, Roadcollect.com
“I just wanted to write and personally thank you for your level of professionalism and attention to detail in your Top Gun Prep course. I've just finished my first few classes for my MBA through WPI's cohort program and I have to say, you are both operating out of the same playbook!”
Meryem Rogan, Promise Pretzels of Maine
“You have actually made learning about business very interesting!”
Robert Keteyian, Interpersonal Communication Consulting
“The class, among other things, has helped me look more broadly and think about opportunities formerly off my radar. I’m frequently asking myself, how I can make contact with people in various places…”