LaunchIt: Product Innovation Bootcamp

LaunchIt is the University of Louisville's innovation bootcamp focused on product development and validation ahead of market launch. In just eight weeks, we'll help you test your ideas or products in the real world and see if they have what it takes to stick.

Ready to take your ideas to the next level? 

LaunchIt is an innovation bootcamp focused on product development and validation ahead of market launch. In just eight weeks, we help innovators and entrepreneurs test their ideas or products in the real world and see if they have what it takes to stick.  

In this University of Louisville-backed program, you'll learn from entrepreneurs and innovators with deep real-world experience in product innovation and launch. Our coaches and speakers are all seasoned founders and innovators, ready to help you understand and navigate the complexities of developing the next big thing. Learn more about our coaches, who also serve as UofL's entrepreneurs in residence, here.

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In LaunchIt, an intensive 8-week course with coaching and mentoring, our curriculum includes Steve Blank's lean launchpad methodology, including lessons on customer discovery, product validation, marketing and other considerations when preparing for market launch.

You'll learn how to:

  • Validate your market prior to launch
  • Understand the value of a Minimal Viable Product
  • Prepare your product pitch
  • Prime your product for launch and/or investment

Our coaches include UofL's Entrepreneurs in Residence, who are experienced, knowledgeable entrepreneurs with an in-depth understanding of launching and growing a business. Our guest speakers count among the most prominent names in the city's and state's entrepreneurship ecosystem.

LaunchIt is perfect for:

  • Startups, companies and individuals planning to launch a new product or initiative
  • University researchers that would like to commercialize an innovation
  • University staff and students with an idea for a new business

LaunchIt's programming is:

  • Eight weeks
  • Weekly Thursday classes (4-5:30 p.m.)
  • Weekly office hours via Zoom

Out-of-class Commitments

  • About 30 minutes each week listening to the Steve Blank Udacity course, “How to Build a Startup” 
  • At least five (5) hours each week conducting interviews and updating canvases
  • Preparing to present updated Lean Canvas to the group.

LaunchIt costs $895 per person ($250/person for the second and third person involved in the same startup or business). SCHOLARSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE!

Our scholarship and grant opportunities include:

  • VETSTART GRANT: UofL’s VetStart program will cover LaunchIt tuition costs and startup funds for up to five military veterans through a competitive application process. Applicants must have proof of honorable discharge.
  • ULAUNCH GRANT: Under-Represented, Lower-Income and/or Lower-Wealth Entrepreneurs: UofL’s ULaunch program will cover LaunchIt tuition costs and provide limited startup funding for entrepreneurs selected through a competitive application process. Applicants must submit the application along with their most recent household tax return, most recent three months of pay stubs (if applicable), and a letter of recommendation to be considered. While household income is only one of the criteria evaluated, as a guide this program is focused on supporting entrepreneurs whose household income is not substantially above Area Median Income (AMI).
  • UofL NSF I-CORPS SITE: For UofL faculty, staff, students and alumni. Program offers a competitive opportunity to full-time UofL faculty, staff, and students — as well as alumni — for up to $2,500 to cover the cost of LaunchIt and expenses related to customer discovery efforts. More information on the I-Corps program and application is available here.

All grant applicants will apply using the same LaunchIt application form. Please  to learn more about any of these programs and whether you qualify.