Essentials is the first step that our community members take toward launching new education ventures.
We host Essentials about once a month in either New Orleans or New York City. Our next Essentials is December 13-14 in NYC. We accept 15-20 applicants from around the country for each session.
Essentials Participant profile
The potential to create innovative new solutions is directly correlated to the diversity of thought, experience, expertise and passion in our community. Members of our Essentials community describe themselves as veteran public school teachers, engineers, architects, charter school leaders, non-profit directors, techies, and entrepreneurs.
Essentials participants are committed to taking action but they join us at different levels of progress:
- Some are interested in innovating around a general area and need help defining their focus
- Some are focused on a specific innovation and want to move toward building a prototype
- Some have a prototype and are beginning to gather user feedback
We often describe Essentials as an opportunity to de-accelerate and push pause on specific ideas. This de-acceleration allows our community to unbundle the problem they’re focusing on to ensure it addresses a true pain point, collect user feedback, and iterate on their idea -- all things we believe are required to build a disruptive solution!
The Essentials Experience
We embrace the concept that creativity loves constraints and pack a lot of fast-paced, hands-on experiences into our day together.
Over a day and a half, participants practice three skills used over and over by 4.0 entrepreneurs: Empathy (designing solutions for actual users), Unbundling (taking apart problems to attack them at their root cause) and Prototyping (giving users a chance to interact with features of your solution as you design so you can iterate based on feedback). Agendas vary as we continually test new concepts, but almost always include improv, design thinking, rapid iteration and physical prototyping. A $100 fee covers meals, lots of materials, and an Innovator's DNA assessment.
When participants leave Essentials they enter a community of people committed to action and eager to begin building solutions. 4.0 connects Essentials graduates to resources and opportunities to facilitate their progression towards Launch.
Resources and opportunities available to Essentials alums:
- one on one or group coaching with members of the 4.0 team
- joining bi-weekly dinners with other community members at similar stages of progress
- sponsorship to events that encourage prototype development, such as Start Up Weekend