Startup First Steps

A practical live course for founders or prospective founders in the early stages of their startup journey, looking to get a first version of their product into the market.

What is Techscaler Startup First Steps?

Startup First Steps is a practical course, designed for current or prospective startup founders in Scotland who are in the early stages of their startup journey with the goal of getting a first version of their product into the market.

It’s designed for individuals committed to exploring the viability and opportunity of a startup idea in a specific sector/market/problem area. You may still be at the idea stage, or further along and have some sort of product that you’re testing the viability of. Startup First Steps is designed to support founders in the ideation to MVP stage of startup development.

Course delivery and format

Startup First Steps sessions is highly collaborative, balancing lectures from industry experts, founders at different stages of the startup journey, and practical and group activities and discussions to apply session teachings. No cost or equity stake involved , funded by the Scottish Government.

  • Hybrid format, with in-person and online participation options, more info
  • Community events and meetups with your fellow founders, attendance optional
  • Pre-reading material provided to support participant learning
  • No grading or assessments, practical lessons that you can implement directly into your startup
  • Working on your startup or idea alongside the course is strongly encouraged

Not sure if this is for you?

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Join at Techscaler hub locations across Scotland

  • In-person workshops, at our hubs

    Sessions will be hosted at alternate Techscaler hubs, with speakers delivering workshops across seven hubs in Scotland

  • Hybrid group sessions, at our hubs

    Hubs will take turns in hosting the live stream of each session, and spaces will be available at each hub, every week, for local participants to come together and dial in on the session, as a group

  • Online sessions, from anywhere

    For those who are not able to engage with the in-person options, or would simply prefer to tune in from the comfort of their home, the course will also be accessible online, remotely

Participant eligibility & expectations

Startup First Steps is designed for individuals committed to exploring the viability and opportunity of a startup idea in a specific sector/market/problem area.

Apply now
  • Future founders ready to test the viability of a tech startup idea
  • Startup founders who have launched an early product and are starting to onboard customers and grow
  • Pre-revenue founders looking to commercialise a product
  • Startup founders seeking pre-seed or seed investment
  • A second (or more) time founder or startup operator at any of the above stages who wants to progress quicker and more efficiently this time round, with support

Techscaler education is tailored to each startup growth stage

See all courses

Syllabus topics and outcomes

Startup First Steps

  • Week 1: Getting Started

    Setting the startup scene, find out more about startup playbooks and start thinking about your idea from a business model perspective.

  • Week 2: Understanding Problems

    Creating a vision for your startup and breaking down your idea into a problem statement, 
with an introduction to Jobs To Be Done (JTBD) theory and the founder bias problem.

  • Week 3: Understanding Customers

    Find out why customer-led design is the key to building successful startups, and use this approach to create a customer research plan for your startup.

  • Week 4: Understanding Markets

    Quickly learn the size and nature of the market you're entering and how you could position your product to have a big impact.

  • Week 5: Experimentation

    Learn how you can experiment and iterate to develop your product and business by engaging directly with users. Shift your thinking from 'building my idea' to 'learning what works'.

  • Week 6: Product Discovery

    Understand what it takes to move beyond early experiments and on to ‘discovering’ and developing a product that users will love and that customers will pay for.

  • Week 7: Product (to) Market Strategy

    Learn about early customer acquisition tactics and how you can approach proof point planning to validate problem-solution fit and the opportunity to turn your idea into a business.

  • Week 8: Funding, Futureproofing & Operational Fundamentals

    This week, learn how to ensure your startup has the right financial and operational underpinning to be set up for success. Find out how to avoid common pitfalls in financial management, investor relations and hiring. This week you’ll also learn more about investment and funding, and consider what approach might be best for you.

  • Week 9: Pitching

    Building on Week 8, we will hear from more founders on their experience with pitching for investment. Learn about the importance of pitching and next steps on how to start perfecting your pitch with confidence.

  • Week 10: Showcase and Next Steps

    In the final week, you will pitch and receive feedback from your peers and members from the wider community. We will reflect on the past 10 weeks, look ahead with energy and excitement for what’s to come in your startup journey, and find out about other opportunities available within Techscaler and beyond which can help support you in your next steps, including mentorship, events and other courses.

Please note the course syllabus, format and duration is subject to change for each cohort based on participant feedback.

Join Techscaler

If our education courses are of interest to you, apply for Techscaler membership. Membership is for people working in startups who are at all stages of the startup journey, from ideation through to scaling phase, based in Scotland, and with ambitions to grow their business. Fill in the application form and Team Techscaler will get back to you as soon as possible to let you know your suitability for Techscaler membership and benefits available to you.

You can also keep up to date with our tech events and sign up to receive the latest news from Techscaler and the Scottish tech ecosystem.