Give or Get a Scholarship to Learn Lean Startup

Written by Melissa Moore, co-founder of Lean Startup Co.

First, thank you for being part of the Lean Startup community. I’m truly grateful that you’ve joined this movement and are investing your time and energy to put the methodology into practice.

I’m the co-founder of Lean Startup Co., along with Eric Ries and Heather McGough, and I run our events business. I like to think of our conferences and gatherings as the fuel behind the movement, ensuring that all the readers of The Lean Startup can find a community of Lean practitioners, experts, and peers from whom they can learn from.

Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about why we do what we do here at Lean Startup Co. In Simon Sinek’s famous TEDx talk, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” he says that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

At our quarterly all-hands meetings, Heather and I often talk about our mission with our team, reflecting on how we have great responsibility in the world. We’re clear about our “why,” but we haven’t been great about communicating this externally. It’s simple: we believe you should build products that matter. We’re here to teach you how to do that using the Lean Startup methodology — regardless of your company size, industry, location, and financial ability. We do this by offering live events and community meetups, online media, and an education program.

I’m running an experiment this week to back up our company’s statement that we’re here to support community members from all backgrounds, regardless of financial ability. Similar to the TOMS model, we’re going to run a “Buy 1, Give 1” campaign for the upcoming Lean Startup Conference New York on May 10 & 11. This means that for every standard priced ticket purchased from May 1 to May 8, we’ll award a scholarship to a deserving student or bootstrapped founder based in NYC. Just type in “scholarship” in the promo code or use this link, so we know you’ve read this post and want to support this initiative.

When I was a young college student in the Philippines 15 years ago, I didn’t have the means to attend business conferences, nor did I have the opportunity to meet senior business leaders who could one day become my mentor. I look back and wonder how much more I could have achieved if I was lucky enough to have had those opportunities. I’m sure you’ve felt this too at one point in your life.

As an innovation leader, are you also now inspired to give back?

Calling All Students and Bootstrappers

If you’re a full-time student or a bootstrapped founder, we’re seeking scholarship applicants to attend the Lean Startup Conference New York (May 10 & 11) until May 5th. Check out the entire New York conference program here to see all the good stuff you’ll be learning. Once you’re done, come back and fill out this simple application form, and let us know why you’re excited to attend the conference.

If we see enough enthusiasm from the community, we’ll commit to offering these scholarships to our London Summit in June and our flagship Lean Startup Week in the fall.

Thanks again, and I hope you’ll continue to support the Lean Startup movement.