We’ve created multiple startups from scratch and have experienced success and failure. This contrast allowed us to see patterns in why startups succeed and why they don’t. We took these insights and created a startup school because we want others to experience startup success too.

Learn How To Build A Successful Startup

Learn How To…

  • Develop great ideas

  • Assemble a team of co-founders

  • Develop and test prototypes or MVPs (Minimum Viable Products)

  • Get traction with customers

  • Design a winning business model

  • Cultivate a resilient mindset

  • Attract the resources you need to change the world

Masters Of Business Creation

Our founders are real-world practitioners and some have MBAs from the best business schools. Most MBAs don’t teach you how to build a startup. In fact, an MBA or Masters of Business Administration assumes there is a business to administer. What if the business doesn’t exist yet? We created a proven program to fill this gap. When you graduate from the Insight Academy, you have an MBC: A Masters Of Business Creation.

The Secret To Startup Success

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Proven Mentorship

All of our mentors have created startups from scratch. We believe that’s the only way to learn how to build a startup. Our mentors are highly-trained Senseis, persons born before another.

REsilience Psychology

A startup is a creative pursuit and a personal expression. If you want to experience startup success, you must cultivate a resilient mindset. No one succeeds without one.

Business Model Design

We've created a proven process for designing a winning business model. We call our method Insight-Driven Iteration. We apply this approach ourselves and our startup success rate is 100 times higher than the leading startup accelerator.

How It Works

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1. Learn the Method

2. Apply the method

3. Attract Resources

Learn a proven method of getting traction with customers, finding product-market fit and a scalable, repeatable business model.

Apply the method to your startup idea and learn how to make your business work in the real world. You will apply the method under the guidance of an experienced entrepreneur who is a practitioner of the method.

Using the evidence you’ve generated from your experiments with customers, you are ready to tell a compelling story to attract all of the cooperative components to create the startup of your dreams.

The method is a proven, seven-step process for creating a successful startup business called Insight-Driven Iteration. This method is a RESONATOR as it measures customer resonance for any new business idea.

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  • A proven methodology for designing a winning business model

  • Systematically tests each element of the business model hypothesis in a pre-defined sequence that minimizes waste

  • Insights are based on well-crafted experiments with customers in the real world

  • Each step reveals key behavioral data that helps you decide whether you should pivot, proceed or kill the current idea

  • Increases startup success rate by 100x and capital efficiency by 584x versus traditional means

Once sufficient evidence has been generated using our method, entrepreneurs can apply to join our startup studio to help them with Founder Coaching and Fundraising.


Insight Academy Delivers Positive Impact

The biggest difference between our programs and traditional education is that we focus on outcomes. Investing in an Insight Academy course is the best investment you can make in yourself. Based on historical performance, taking an Insight Academy course creates over $2 million in value for each student or startup team.

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* Based on historical experience mentoring newbie entrepreneurs and comparing with other entrepreneurs that did not take an Insight Academy course.

** This is the expected value of the startup valuation based on the probability of revenue and a typical $4,000,000 pre-money valuation for a startup with traction. Expected value = % probability * $4,000,000. 

*** Assumes full-time employment making $100,000 per year. Opportunity cost is equal to time spent on startup times employment salary or $100,000 * 36 months on average = $300,000.

Students’ level of success in our program depends mostly on their attitude and effort. Obviously, we cannot guarantee startup success. However, we’ve shown your probability of success is higher when you take an Insight Academy course versus building a startup on your own.  

What Founders Say

 
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The material in the Insight Academy program is EXCELLENT.  Honestly, this is what startup Accelerators should be. I feel so lucky to have found this program. It is exactly what I need to improve my odds of success.
— Suja Vaidyanathan, Founder & CEO, HelloFabulo.us
 
I owe 100% of my success to the Insight Academy program (formerly FounderSensei). I came to the class with nothing more than an app. Now, I have over 50 paying small business customers. Whatever else you are thinking about doing, like raising money or building a product, stop what you’re doing and take an Insight Academy course. It will save you six years of your life.
— Jamie Johnson, Founder & CEO, Verde
 
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Insight Academy helps you block out the noise. It helps you focus on what really matters to make your startup successful. I think at the end of the day, what you are teaching people through the program is a discipline. It’s not something you are born with. It’s not something you can learn in school. It’s something you have to practice. It’s a step forward in learning the discipline of being an entrepreneur.
— Valentin Saportas, Co-Founder & CEO, MortgageHippo
 
I can’t speak highly enough of Dave and the Insight Academy program. Before meeting Dave, it felt like my co-founders and I were meandering around the business model canvas, basically guessing about what we should be focused on each week. I didn’t really get how to actually apply any of the concepts or methodologies I was reading about in all of the startup books. Working with Dave, learning his ‘insight-driven iteration’ approach, and having the opportunity to apply it with guidance in the context of actual problems we were currently facing really helped me connect the dots and had a huge impact on the development of our team as entrepreneurs. We went from being Techstars Rejects to YCombinator Fellows in 6 weeks, thanks to Dave’s mentorship!

It’s hard to find good ‘coaches’ in the startup world, and Dave definitely helped me realize how important they can be. I would highly recommend Insight Academy to anyone who wants to be more effective at building things people love.
— Brian Dentino, Founder, finbox.io
I learned more from 12 weeks in the Insight Academy program than from two years at business school.
— Founder who asked to remain anonymous because she didn't want to upset her Big Ten business school
 
Before meeting Dave and the Insight Academy program, we were struggling to define a problem, interpret customer feedback and lacked focus at finbox.io. Within weeks, Dave’s ‘Insight Driven Iteration’ process completely transformed our approach. Dave gave us a lot of great advice each week, and the methodology he taught for validating problems and solutions brought us a long way towards understanding our users and product better. By the end of the program, we received backing from the YCombinator fellowship program, and Dave was critical to helping us get there.
— Andy Pai, Founder @ finbox.io
 
Dave and the Insight Academy program provided us the guidance we needed at finbox.io. We not only learned lean startup principles but also how to apply them, gain insight, and move forward.

Dave was instrumental in helping us validate our business model and helping get us in a position where we ultimately received funding from YCombinator at the end of the program. We’ll continue to apply the insight-driven iterations Dave taught as we progress through the YC Fellowship.
— Matt Hogan, Founder, Finance, Ops, M&A @finbox.io
 
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Before I took the class, I used to think about what I wanted our product to be. Now, I listen to customers more. Insight Academy taught me how to get insight out of my customers.
— Sheila Guo, Founder & CEO, Peckish
 
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Insight Academy gave me a different way to approach this whole startup thing. It taught me what to do so I can be ready to accelerate without wasting time and money.
— Rill Hodari, Founder & CEO, A Little Bit Of Happiness
 
 
After 30 years of entrepreneurial experience, I still got a tremendous amount of value from the program.
— Ron Niemaszyk, Serial Entrepreneur
Insight Academy changed my mindset. I started with a little idea and Insight Academy helped me turn it into a huge idea.

— Ronny Sage, Founder & CEO, ShoppingGives
 
Insight Academy helped me be more aggressive in selling and talking to customers.

— Joseph Sheahan, Founder & CEO, Savvo Digital Sommelier Solutions
 
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Insight Academy helped me see the parts of my business model that didn’t really fit. I learned my business wasn’t as flawless as I thought it was. 
— Muhammed Fazeel, Founder & CEO, Benecure
 
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I was very impressed and engaged with Insight Academy from the beginning. Dave immediately challenges your thinking versus knowing while practicing insight-driven iteration which is key for any successful startup. Astutely recognizing that startups are not all about the startups themselves, the personal side of startups is covered as well in a way that positively encourages an entrepreneur to survive the struggles along the way. This program is a must-attend as there is nothing else like this available today!
— Thomas McGrath, Founder, Spotter
 
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The Insight Academy program added a lot of value to MortgageHippo and to us as entrepreneurs. I can truly say that our company grew leaps and bounds during the 12 week program. Dave’s passion for helping startups and the lean startup methodology is really contagious. It is very hard to find people who want to give disinterested help to entrepreneurs and Dave is one of those guys. I recommend Dave and the Insight Academy program to any entrepreneur.
— Michael Salichs, Founder, President & COO of MortgageHippo
 
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The InsightAcademy program really helped us focus on the key components critical to our business model. One-on-One sessions with Dave were one of the most valuable aspects of that program. He and his background as a successful entrepreneur with a highly diverse set of experiences has been a very valuable sounding board to us. Dave combines strategic vision with an operational, hands-on mindset and can therefore provide practical feedback on what truly matters in the critical stages of building a company.
— Dominic Blank, Founder & CEO, POSpulse

Join Insight Academy & Increase Your Odds Of Success

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Everything You Need To Start Building A Successful Startup

The best way to test your startup idea, get customer traction and find a winning business model

Insight Academy is new kind of startup incubator designed to teach entrepreneurs how to test their ideas, get traction with customers, and design a winning business model. The course is provided on a private Basecamp group and includes all the necessary videos, worksheets, homework assignments and online mentor support to learn our proven method for building a successful startup.

Course Content

I. HOW TO VALIDATE A PROBLEM WITH CUSTOMERS

  • Why Problem Validation Matters

  • The Most Common Mistake Entrepreneurs Make In This Stage

  • How To Run A Problem Validation Experiment

  • How To Interpret Customer Reaction & Resonance

  • How To Choose The Right Customer - Problem Combination For Your Startup

IV. HOW TO VALIDATE A WORKING PROTOTYPE OR MVP 2.0

  • Why Pre-Orders Are A Great Measure Of Customer Resonance

  • The Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make When Building Product

  • How To Run A Solution Validation Experiment With A Working Prototype

  • How To Interpret Data From An MVP 2.0 Experiment

  • How To Decide Whether To Pivot Or Proceed After An MVP 2.0 Experiment

II. HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO PIVOT, PROCEED OR KILL

  • Interpreting customer behavior and recognizing resonance

  • Using your personal preferences to find short cuts

  • Connecting with your inner feelings and combining them with hard and soft data

VI. HOW TO ATTRACT THE RESOURCES YOU NEED

  • Why Switching From Invent To Improve Changes Everything

  • The Most Common Mistake When Scaling Your Startup

  • How To Organize Your Company For Innovation & Scale

  • How To Decide If You Want Outside Funding Or Not

  • How To Determine What Your New Role Should Be

III. HOW TO VALIDATE A SOLUTION WITH CUSTOMERS - MVP 1.0 

  • Why Solution Validation Matters

  • The Most Common Product Development Mistake

  • How To Define MVP 1.0

  • How To Run A Solution Validation Experiment With MVP 1.0

  • How To Interpret Data From Your Solution Validation Experiment

  • How To Decide Whether To Pivot Or Proceed After An MVP 1.0 Experiment

V. HOW TO VALIDATE A SCALABLE PATH TO CUSTOMERS

  •  Why Your Path-To-Customers Model Matters

  • The Most Common PTC Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

  • How To Match LTV With Channel Type

  • How To Run A PTC Experiment

  • How To Interpret PTC Data From A PTC Experiment

  • How To Decide Whether To Pivot Or Proceed On Your PTC Model

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Experienced Mentorship

Insight Academy online platform includes live mentor support within the application. You can ask questions directly and get a thoughtful response from an experienced entrepreneur who is also a startup practitioner.

For additional hands-on mentorship, apply to for Founder Coaching services.

$299 per team per month

Up to five team members. Cancel anytime.