“6 Month Startup – Ideation to Revenue and Fundraising” is an upcoming book and monthly Meetup program designed for Founder Development. It’s a program designed to support startups and their communities. The orignal sub-title of the book was “how not to waste three years of your life on a dumbass idea”. I know that in six months you will have either validated your ideas or killed it and will be working on a better idea!

About Dave

Dave Parker is the former Senior VP of Global Programs for UP Global (the merger of Startup Weekend and Startup America). UP Global was sold to Techstars in June 2015 and became Techstars community programs. The programs included Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Next (since sunsetted) and Startup Week. In 2014, the programs delivered over 1,200 events worldwide with over 74,000 attendees in 120 countries.

Dave is a five-time founder, beginning in 1998, having sold three and closed two of his own startups. He’s been involved with five sell-side transactions and three buy-side transactions as a founder or Board Member. His experience in startups has covered North America, South America, and Asia. In that time he’s survived a tech bubble and a great recession (timing matters, but you don’t get to choose it!).

He’s been involved with early-stage accelerators and programs, having run Founder’s Institute in Seattle and been a global mentor for that program. For Techstars Seattle he’s been mentor since 2012 and a small investor in the local fund.

Today, Dave is a Venture Capitalist with Seven Peaks Venture, a NW focused early stage venture fund. He serves on the Board of portfolio companies as well as a number of mid-market companies.

His full LinkedIn profile is here.

About the Program

While at UP Global, he worked with a great team to rebuild Startup Next. Next was originally designed as what to do “after a Startup Weekend”. However, the range of experience of Founders didn’t accommodate a single program. The market need was to become a pre-accelerator program. A program that prepared teams for programs like Techstars and other Global Accelerator Program (GAN.co). That program became a mentor based six-week pre-accelerator program. The result was a program that took only teams and preferably teams with a product.

What we learned was that mentor feedback help the teams prioritize their deliverables.

That still left a gap in the market between Startup Weekend and Startup Next. That’s where 6 Month Startup fits into the market. More program details here.

Community Based

Community-based means it’s a program that is accessible to the entire community – not just those with cash to pay! Some programs are expensive (over $1,000) and early stage founders don’t need to spend that kind of cash on a program. They need to spend it validating their ideas! If you have a team and product, that kind of program can be very valuable. But talk to people who have been through the program before you commit significant cash – especially if you’re likely to pivot ideas early on.

Founders and Teams

We accept both Founders and teams into the program. We’ll always have a few teams with products that are getting ready to launch. Because the program is a Meetup you can come for the sessions you need and you can start at any time. We believe there is a benefit to the program sequence, but come for what you need.

Deliverables not Homework

You are pursuing your idea. This isn’t a class, you won’t get grades or have a TA check your work. This is going to be your company! Consequently, we have deliverables, not homework. Homework is designed to be graded. The market will grade your deliverables. Do the work, don’t take shortcuts. If you’re going to build a company, you’ll have to do the work. Get out of your head and go get it done.

We won’t do the work for you. You can ask questions about the deliverable on the site. We won’t be able to respond to your specific email as an attendee.

Mentor Supported

Each session has an opening hour of Mentor Q&A. For the founders that did the deliverables, they get to pitch the mentors, provide their research and talk about “what they thought, what they learned and what they are going to do about it”. If you don’t do the work, you don’t get to talk, you get to listen to the Founders that did the work. This ensures that you take the feedback seriously and it also shows the mentors you are serious. Mentors are happy to support a program where people are actually doing the work.

Occasionally there is a Founder that isn’t self-aware. They want to talk about their idea but never actually do the work to get going. Don’t be that guy (gal)! If you don’t do the work, you can still attend, you just don’t get to talk to the mentors.


One of the things I liked about Techstars is their motto of #GiveFirst! How can you help the people around you? Before you ask for something, give first. If you serve the Startup Community and ecosystem, it will give back many times.


The best time to build your network is before you need it. Use the time prior, at breaks and after the program to meet new people. We have a SLACK channel set up for each city. Ask questions in between the Meetups and connect with other Founders. It’s a small world and a long life! Invest early and often.

No Rambling

For all of us as founders, we tend to be clear in our heads and not clear when we ramble on. For my program and for all the local organizers, we’ll interrupt. We want you to get your pitch/story down in such a way that people will find it memorable and repeatable. If you’re not being concise or delivering what we’re asking for, we’ll interrupt (or take away the Mic).