How to start a startup as a non-technical founder

Description: Tech Startup from the Ground Up: Advice from a non-Technical Founder. This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Day Job to Dream Job: Quit and Commit
  • Execute! Learn from the Honey Badger
  • Structuring & Hiring: Startup Oxygen
  • Fundraising: Kickstart, Crowd-source, Accelerate, and Call in the Angels
  • Growing Your Business: If Plan A Fails, there are 25 more Letters
  • Recommended Resources, Questions from Viewers

Topics covered:

  • The many dimensions of creating and building a startup: from taking the corporate jump, to fundraising, hiring, and growth strategies
  • The dimensions of meaning that create stronger customer loyalty and deliver more profitable value
  • Using core meanings to create strategic alignment between company, brand, and customers

Target Audience: Nascent and future entrepreneurs, marketing and product development strategists and managers, service, UI, ID, and other designers and developers

Duration: Six sessions of 30 minutes each, which will cover presentation, discussion, and Q&A.

Cost : Free

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Melissa Thompson


Melissa Thompson left a burgeoning Wall Street career as a trader with Goldman Sachs to become a female pioneer in the world of technology. She is currently the CEO and co-founder of TalkSession, Inc., an online counseling platform in beta mode, that will connect users with highly credible professionals for on-demand, mobile therapy and counseling sessions using proprietary algorithm matching and artificial intelligence. With this cutting-edge technology, TalkSession, Inc. will not only fix inefficiencies in the healthcare system and help de-stigmatize therapy, but help people and inspire them to take risks.

Melissa’s yen for entrepreneurship and social impact was hard felt after exiting the largely male dominated world of finance, where she traded emerging market and commodity derivatives for Goldman Sachs for nearly four years. Her technology career began when Melissa assumed the position of director of business development for Intercast Network, a rich-media interactive platform with a patent-pending technology that allows brands to deliver live content and utilize real-time analytics to increase brand and consumer engagement. She was then named Technology Editor of SCENE magazine, the recently announced publication of The New York Observer. Melissa has helped numerous companies in their digital media and technology innovation campaigns including the United Nations, Chanel, Forbes Magazine, Jetsetter, Publicis, the American Chamber of Commerce in Beijing, and the New York Stock Exchange.

For TalkSession, Melissa has cultivated a highly impressive Advisory Board, including top mental health physicians at Columbia University and Harvard Medical School, and an award-winning epidemiologist and design expert.

Melissa holds a BA from Barnard College in Economics and studied Chinese and global business strategy at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. She earned her MBA from Columbia Business School, with a focus on new media, management, and social entrepreneurship.