Frequently Asked Questions
We get a lot of questions from folks wanting to know more about Tri-Cities Launch. Here is a quick list we made from the latest we've heard. To ask your own, please e-mail: Info@TcLaunch.Com
What's the difference between University & Weekend?
Launch University: Ideation is for individual entrepreneurs to take an Idea - some product, service, organization, or other concept intended to make the world a better place - and elaborate it into a plan. This primarily helps communicate the idea in detail to potential teammates, customers, and investors. It's a great experience that teaches a process applicable to any idea in the future and takes place one-night a week for 4 weeks, with a culminating pitch dinner.
Launch Weekend is for individuals to form into teams around Ideas. It happens in one weekend, pitching the ideas on Friday and forming teams that night, then working through the weekend to prototype what you can about the business to present on Sunday. You don't need an idea or pre-existing team to attend, you just need a desire to see what entrepreneurship in Tri-Cities is all about.
Do I have to start a business if I go to Weekend?
While there are many very serious folks who launch real businesses - and we know a lot of them did not start out thinking that would be the case - it's primarily a one weekend adventure in asking "what if" you tried entrepreneurship. It's zero obligation to continue and only some of the participants are really ready to start.
If you get to the end of Sunday and night and think "that was fun, but launching a business is way too hard for me!" then you've still learned something very, very valuable and have likely still helped a teammate take their dream to the next level.
Do I have to do these events in a sequence?
No. While the program is designed to connect very well, it's ultimately a long string of opportunities that you can join individually. There are probably three main paths to consider:
"I have an idea and I'm going to make it happen!" - You should just register for University & Weekend, go do everything you have time for, and have fun. If you miss University, just sign up for Weekend, it's all good stuff for helping you with your idea.
"I don't have an idea, but I want to HELP make it happen!" - You should optionally register for University's Pitch Dinner, then come to the Weekend. You'll find a bunch of ideas to pick from and inevitably a place where your unique talent - which maybe you don't think is special - becomes the linchpin to a team of enthusiastic doers who would not have been successful without you.
"I don't have an idea, I don't have time to help, but I'm excited by this notion and want to see" - You should come to both the Pitch Dinners for University & Weekend. You'll get to see the ideas, feel the energy, and support the growth of new ideas in Tri-Cities.
Who is putting this on? Is this an evil plan to take money from me because I have a good idea?
No. Tri-Cities Launch is an event series by local folks, for local folks powered by Fuse and sponsored by organizations from around the region.
The events have evolved over 4 years and is an independent, local event precisely so we can most efficiently allocate local dollars to local benefit. In the past, we did operate under some regional or national models, but ultimately, that caused waste in the events that meant lost opportunity year-over-year.
But what is the implication for this on the individual level, given that the events is peer-to-peer?
If you are bringing in an idea, there is no obligation to share ownership, authorship, or other any other aspect of your idea with other participants of Launch. Keep in mind that pitching an idea during this event may constitute "Public Disclosure". Consider this carefully if you consider your idea's profitability contingent on patents or similar intellectual property instruments (this is not legal advice, this FAQ was not produced by anyone with legal credentials, but I did attend a patent seminar once).
When it comes to Launch Weekend, which does involve mixing team members with differing expectations of commitment, it pays to be honest about a few things, like:
- Do you already have a company or team working on this?
- Did you come looking for co-founders?
Keep in mind that the events are NOT a way for a company to get free work from skilled professionals. While it has never happened in the past, anyone discovered to be exploiting the format of the event for personal gain through dishonesty with their team will be ejected for failing to adhere to the spirit of the event series.