Hustle University Wants to Stop Would-Be Entrepreneurs From Blowing It

One of the scariest things about becoming an entrepreneur is the very real threat of failure. And most seasoned entrepreneur will tell you, if they’re being honest, that their early years started with a lot of starts and stops and epic failures. Sounds exhilarating, no?

That’s why those same seasoned entrepreneurs would tell you to not enter your entrepreneurial journey blind. And these days, you really don’t need to (that’s actually one of our goals at Startup Southerner—to inform, inspire and connect you with other like-minded startup folks across the region.)

And in line with that goal, we’d like to tell you about Hustle University, a new program from Birmingham, Alabama-based Redhawk Consulting.

“Most entrepreneurs are experts in something that isn’t business,” says Redhawk founder Matt Hottle. “They start businesses based on a piece of technology or a new product to address a market need that might be really strong but they don’t know how to create a strategic plan, build a sales team or introduce performance management into their organization. Hustle U is designed to provide online classes that teach fundamental business practices startups and entrepreneurs can use to grow their businesses at a fraction of the cost of traditional consulting or course work at a local college or university.”

The first three courses in the Hustle U course catalog, in fact, cover the fundamentals startups and entrepreneurs are most likely to misunderstand, based on the work Hottle and his team do at Redhawk, which provides consulting, training and coaching to entrepreneurs and startups.

“Many of our clients are engaging with us during a pivot—they are making major changes to their market approach or structure because their original efforts are failing to deliver the results they need; something that could have been avoided if they had completed an actionable strategic plan,” he says. “We also see a tightening of the workforce in technical positions. It’s hard to find enough qualified developers, yet turnover is increasing as companies fail to employ performance measurement and development mechanisms. Our current millennial workforce has, very loudly, told employers they want feedback and a lot of it. All three of the beta courses provide learning that directly impact these opportunities when, if done poorly or not at all, can burn a lot of capital and waste opportunities.”

The cost to entry is pretty low—some are free, some are $200, while most will range between $19 and $49 a course, says Hottle—so there’s definitely not much to lose by taking one.

“We want both new startups and experienced entrepreneurs to have access to high-quality, low-cost resources,” Hottle says. “By offering these course online, we can drive most of the cost out and maintain a credible product. You won’t get the level of engagement from the online courses you would receive from us on a consulting engagement but will gain skills that can be applied immediately and have a substantial impact on your business.”

All of the courses are designed to be actionable, says Hottle.

“We provide templates, workbooks and other resources to make sure students can actually implement what they’ve just learned.”