“Massively eye-opening ... Everything was completely actionable and the right steps were demystified.” Dominic Traynor, Startup MBA Alum
The Startup MBA is a hands-on, tailored workshop with loads of discussion and group work. We cover real-life case studies along with practical exercises.

Delivered by startup experts

The course is taught by serial entrepreneurs with demonstrated experience and expertise in the relevant start-up area. It's designed to tell you exactly what you need to know to start your business and help you avoid making costly mistakes.

Each intake is restricted to 25 or fewer students. You will have the chance to work closely with a group of like-minded people. There will be homework, joint working sessions, and lots of recommended resources to support you after the course.


About the teacher

Lead instructor Rob Fitzpatrick is a tech entrepreneur, author, and partner at FounderCentric, where he helps European accelerators and universities design and deliver better startup education programs. He has successfully bankrupted 3 companies, is a YCombinator alum, and has built products used globally by brands like MTV & Sony. He has raised funding in the US & UK and recently crowd-funded a card game. He writes about early stage strategy at The Startup Toolkit and is the author of The Mom Test book about the practicalities of customer development and sales.
“I loved the content and the energy with which it was delivered. The course was hugely productive, inspiring, and incredibly enjoyable.” Symon Vegro, Startup MBA Alum
“The course completely changed my mindset about where to start and what's possible. It also broke down a lot of myths and misconceptions. I recommend to anyone interested in changing careers!” Michael Lally, Startup MBA Alum

Startup MBA covers

Idea Generation

Understand how to generate viable business ideas. Know how to de-risk your ideas before committing.

Finance & Funding

Understand your start-up’s different financing options. Know the basics of pitching for investment.

Strategy & Metrics

Know how to develop a viable business strategy. Understand how metrics influence your strategic direction.

Targeting & Marketing

Understand how to pick customers, and spread the word. Know how marketing isn’t just advertising - it’s your entire product.


Understand the art and science of sales. Know how to manage your client base & deliver great customer service.

Business Model Design

Throw away your business plan and use this more flexible 1-page format instead to identify risks and design a better business.

You Will Understand

  • How startups grow quickly
  • When failure is okay
  • What's most actionable
  • The important aspects of your business model
  • What tools and platforms are useful to save time and create options
  • What really matters and what doesn't

You Will Know How To

  • Think your way through permutations
  • Have objective customer conversations
  • Spot your biggest hurdles in advance
  • Avoid unknown unknowns
  • Choose a starting point
“Two days after finishing I’ve already started acting on my plans.” Kirstine Belt, Startup MBA Alum


This course is intense and practical. It's the same material we teach to funded companies at startup accelerators. There's no fluff; just solid tools and approaches to get a new businesses up and running.

Friday (6-8pm)

  1. Introductions & hellos
  2. Lean Startup
  3. Types of startup ideas
  4. Tech businesses vs. real-world businesses
  5. Starting a business that makes you happy

Saturday (10am-6pm)

  1. Overview of the startup landscape and entrepreneurial career path
  2. Generating stronger startup ideas
  3. Business model design
  4. Product strategy, MVPs, iteration speed and reducing risk
  5. Customer Development & early stage sales

Sunday (10am-6pm)

  1. Growth, traffic, inbound marketing and traction verticals
  2. Funding, valuations, equity and the legals that matter
  3. Using an advisory board
  4. Hiring & working with a tech team
  5. Finding your first customer
  6. Next steps
“I loved this class, period. It was well worth the money spent for the education & confidence.” Shawn O’Rourke, Startup MBA Alum

The Venue

Who is this course for?

Escape Members

You are keen to build a career on your own terms and you are looking for targeted start-up guidance.

Aspiring entrepreneurs

You are already starting or keen to start a business and you want to gain an overview of what it entails.

General employees

You are currently employed at a big company and you want breathing space to explore the start-up route.


You are looking to expand your skillset and keep up to date with entrepreneurial business techniques

Apply for the course

Questions? Check out frequently asked questions or email Adele to talk it through.

“The startup MBA took away the fear of quitting my job and of starting up. The best things were to get to know and socialise with like-minded people, to find out (first-hand) that there is a supportive start-up community out there, and to be given a great toolkit to apply immediately and with confidence.” Vivian, Startup MBA Alum
“A brilliant course- very thought provoking and interesting. I came away with so much more knowledge and understanding of start ups- I highly recommend it!” Emily Bruce-Watt, Startup MBA Alum
“The startup MBA was a fantastic opportunity to be around inspiring, like-minded people. Rob's tutoring really made sense of the process of starting a business and inspired the reality that it really is do-able!” Dave, Startup MBA Alum
“I’m still in touch with a lot of my fellow course mates and am often tapping them up for advice and a sounding board for ideas.” Timothy Jewitt, Startup MBA Alum