Cilex’s Bootcamp was created to help start-up entrepreneurs figure out where they’re actually standing when it comes to idea concretization. Who better than a total stranger with a wealth of business experience to tell it like it is? As Cilex coach and innovation catalyst Charles Lapointe says, truth can hurt, but growing pains are necessary to cultivate long-term success.
It’s always a pleasure to chat with Charles, a true enthusiast of all things business and entrepreneurial growth. Co-owner of fitness training centre Optimum Performance Athlétique for nearly six years now, he wishes he could have taken part in something like the Bootcamp when he first started out.
“Your mother is lying to you!”
“Your mother is lying to you! That should be the title of the article,” he insisted, punctuating it with a burst of infectious laughter. “Our friends and our mother always want to see us happy. They’ll tell us we’ve got the idea of a lifetime. It’s easy for novice entrepreneurs to get carried away by these claims. The Bootcamp allows them to see things as they are and figure out which path they should take. Obviously, we do it constructively. The program really helps you see your project from a new angle. I know that for me, it would have helped me figure out that my product isn’t for everyone six years ago.”
The Bootcamp is a customer discovery and feedback process that lets entrepreneurs receive constructive comments and interact with the “real world.” As opposed to the Sprint, which helps them validate their innovative idea, the Bootcamp allows them to validate customer needs, target demographics and the potential scope of their project.
“Someone telling you your project is amazing is not the same thing as someone getting out their credit card to buy your innovative product. The Bootcamp offers start-up entrepreneurs an opportunity to be challenged by a neutral third party. It lets them see the cracks in their understanding of reality and grasp the challenges they’ll be facing daily. They’ll also figure out how their product will truly fit in the lives of their customers,” added Charles.
“Someone telling you your project is amazing is not the same thing as someone getting out their credit card to buy your innovative product.”
According to him, this second phase of coaching is often neglected by entrepreneurs who complete the Sprint: “Entrepreneurs often come out of the Sprint self-assured, but actually they might not have pushed the validation process far enough. You can’t neglect the Bootcamp. When do we know enough to forge ahead? We never know enough. We should always let our product keep evolving. Otherwise, someone else will catch on to our idea and push it further, creating an even bigger market for themselves.”
As an innovation catalyst, Charles Lapointe remarks on the importance of fully understanding a start-up’s situation in order to properly follow its progress. As the coach says, every story is different; that’s why his job is first and foremost to listen to entrepreneurs. He can then offer them the tools they really need to bring their innovative idea to life and make it successful.
“The Bootcamp offers start-up entrepreneurs an opportunity to be challenged by a neutral third party.”
In short, the Bootcamp is a sixteen-week coaching program divided into nine steps that allow entrepreneurs to progress at their own pace. By taking part in the Bootcamp, they get sixteen hours of coaching to be used according to their needs, as well as access to Cilex’s extensive network.
The team of innovation catalysts at Cilex consists of coaches Charles Lapointe and Farid Dagher, backed by our Director of Operations and Development, Chloé Martinetti. On top of designing our coaching programs, the trio also developed a methodological tool unique to the Bootcamp. After the program, entrepreneurs can take it home and keep using it to validate each step of their business venture.
The incubation process at Cilex is divided into three phases : Sprint, Bootcamp and Aventure. To get more details on the length of the Bootcamp, its various phases, or to register, visit our website. Got any questions? Get in touch with our team of innovation catalysts today.