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Start Up: Berkeley! - Relay Foundation

Start Up: Berkeley!

From idea to plan, and from plan to pro-community business.

March 5th was one heck of a first step into the startup world! 134 young entrepreneurs, mentors, and startup service providers worked alongside one another to grow their ideas, build their businesses, and start up their startups.

You all have a great program going that’s only going to get better and better! 

Maggie Spicer, Founder of Whisk


We were so lucky to be able to work with organizations like the SEA, NAWBO, Parkour Connections, and the Youth Entrepreneurship Program. Even more, to be able to connect with Elizabeth Echols, Regional Administrator of the SBA, was fantastic! Our Handoff: if you want to help people with business, so many people want to help you!


From left to right, Bruce Wilson (Relay), Arthur Coddington (formerly Craigslist Foundation), Kathleen Thurmond (NAWBO), Alex Kramer (BEC), and Antonio Aguilera (SEA).


For those who weren’t able to make it, we have everything that you need to start developing your own idea today:


Value Proposition

  • What would be your product or service? What would you be selling?
  • Who are some competitors with similar products? How would you be different? Customer Segment
  • Who would you sell to?
  • Where would you sell it?


Customer Relationship

  • What do you want the customer to feel/think when they think of your product or service?
  • How will you interact with your customer? Social media? In-person?

Key Resources

  • What tools must you have in order to provide your product/service?
  • Who do you know that can join your team?
  • What technology or skills do you need to provide this product/service?

Key Activities

  • What must you do in order to offer your product/service as you see it?

What’s Next?

  • What will you do tomorrow? Who can you reach out to for help? (Name, Number, Email Address)
  • Who will you follow up with, and with what? What did you promise to others?)

The Issue at Hand

  • What issue do you want to focus on?
    • In what area specifically?
  • Who/what specifically is negatively affected and in which way?
    • Is this issue the root of the problem or an effect of a deeper cause?

The Intended Outcome

  • What should the situation look like?
  • Be as concrete and descriptive as possible.


  • What skills/tools/contacts/assets do you have at your disposal that can be put to changing the situation?

Getting There

  • How can you apply those assets to build a product/service that addresses the situation?
  • Is your product or service unique? How so? Do you have any competitors?
  • How would your product or service affect the situation?
  • How would you measure your success? How do you know you have reached the intended outcome?

What’s Next?

  • What will you do tomorrow?
  • Who can you reach out to for help? (Name, Number, Email Address)
  • Who will you follow up with, and with what? What did you promise to others?

Check out the OBDC, Nextspace, the YBA, and Working Solutions for help with everything from funding to co-working space!

Step Four was a round-robin game that had each entrepreneur pitch their idea and get feedback on what they could be doing better. This is ideal for a group of six people.

The Rules

  • Each person gets 5 minutes to explain their hurdle and ask for feedback
  • Speakers: State your problem clearly but quickly!
  • Table partners: Provide feedback and advice!
  • A three-minute warning will be given
  • A final warning will be given when you have 30 seconds left
  • You can pass your turn


What’s Next?

Who will you follow up with, and with what? What’d you promise others?