The LaunchLab Countdown: Business Validation Program

About the Opportuntiy

Countdown: Idea Validation is an interactive, 8-week business building program to test the merits of any early stage business idea. It seeks to answer the important question, “I have an idea but is it a business?” The program is built for anyone that has an idea they wish to test. This includes University students & researchers, serial entrepreneurs, corporate incubators or anyone simply eager to learn more about Design Thinking and business building. You don’t need experience - only passion, commitment & curiosity. We pair each team or entrepreneur with an experienced mentor that is dedicated solely to the success of that idea. Community created within the cohort allows each team to learn from one another and tackle the early stages of the entrepreneurial journey with other passionate, eager individuals. This is all supported by over 6 years of experience from the Stellenbosch University LaunchLab team.

The Countdown Program

Focusing on our users by ‘getting out of the building’ is critical to the success of early stage ventures. Design Thinking is the venture building methodology we use to empower the entrepreneur to test their idea through interactions with potential users. A heavy emphasis on rapid prototyping, testing and iteration allows us to create a product or service that meets our customer needs in a financially viable manner. Countdown starts with Week 0, which offers an opportunity to meet your mentor, engage with your cohort and learn the basics of Design Thinking, Lean Startup Methodology and Growth Mindset

Your Time Commitment

We know that entrepreneurs are busy building their business. Therefore the course is tailored to meet your calendar through a blend of both on-line and in-person training. In order to get the most out of the course teams are asked to make the following time commitment:

● 1 hour of content engagement per week for 8 weeks

● 1-2 hours of work per week on your business from the outcomes of the content

● 1 hour per week going through what you’re doing and learning with your mentor

Who can apply?

All you need in order to apply to Countdown: Idea Validation is an idea, curiosity and a commitment to pursuing greatness. The program is open to University students & researchers, Alumni, corporations seeking internal innovation or entrepreneurs at large from around the world. Countdown runs both on-demand as well as as set times every year. We start a new cohort annually in February, May & October

To apply, please click:

For more information, please click:

Contact Details:


Call: 021 808 9494

Physical Address: Hammanshand Road, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa

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