Kick – Next Cohort starts on Oct 27th 2015

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The Program

Influenced by the Lean Startup Movement, Kick is designed to foster your ability to think differently in your startup journey towards developing innovative products and disrupting marketplaces. Taught by Vancouver’s  best instructors, this program delivers the knowledge you need to build a lean startup. You’ll also hone your ideas  generating and implementing skills. Whether you are a student, recent graduate or a career-changer, you will gain valuable hands-on experience. You will learn everything- from validating an idea, to acquiring your first customer, to designing beautiful landing pages.


Over the last  years, Kick has incubated over 50 companies,  and created 55 jobs for our local economy. Twenty-one of which got accepted into premier accelerator programs such as Entrepreneurs Round Table, Futupreneur and Fledge. Are you our next success story?

The Kick Program received 100% referenceability over seven cohorts of students (80 Kicksters in total). It has proven itself to be the best of its kind in Western Canada.”


 – Keith Ippel,CEO, Spring


Our Instructors- Learn from the best

Learn from seasoned entrepreneurs, investors, designers and developers. They’ve built successful companies, raised money, exited companies, and iterated on products. With a combined experience of 30 years in entrepreneurship, lean methodologies and growth hacking strategies, the Spring team has proven itself over and over again to deliver the highest quality of startup education.


Our Head Instructor


Ilya Brotzky


Ilya Brotzky is a serial entrepreneur with 5+ years of startup experience in strategy, branding, marketing, and growth. Ilya started 6 successful companies, worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies and World’s Top 100 Brands, and was featured in Fast Company, Reuters, and VanCityBuzz.

Currently Ilya is the Director of Strategy and Marketing at Spring, Hussein is also the Founder of VanHack at an online community that connects top Brazilian tech talent to Vancouver startup.

Ilya lives to inspire possibility, to enable people, to achieve the remarkable.


Kick provides first-time entrepreneurs and career-changers with the best practices for building a lean startup. This program focuses on what’s essential to you in your first six months of your startup journey, covering topics from validating an to acquiring your first customer.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understanding and implementing the fundamentals of lean methodology
  • Understanding and implementing customer development processes
  • Learning the step-by-step guide of operating a small tech-based business
  • Implementing tips and tricks of multi-channel distribution with minimal resources
  • Building relationships with potential advisors, co-founders and investors
  • Building a real and viable startup business
  • Preparing your startup for top accelerators like 500 startups, TechStars, Highline, and FounderFuel

Program Offering: Fundamentals

4 weeks
$995 (Regular)
8 lectures on customer development, customer discovery, customer validation
Required Reading Materials:

Running Lean by Ash Maurya

Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank

Great links to articles, blogs, guides

Access to our partners’ events for free or at a discounted price


Access to Spring’s monthly social and networking events






  • Fundamental lectures run from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays evenings
  • Lectures will be held at The Cave Spring Activator, 211 Georgia, Vancouver & Online
  • Capacity is limited to 20 students.

The Syllabus

Fundamentals (4 weeks)

# Lesson Title Lesson Topics
1 Orientation + What We Know Now ●      History of The Corporation

●      Definition of startups and companies

●      Comparisons of strategy, process, organization, and education of startups and corporations

●      Secret team building activity

2 Introduction to the Lean Canvas and Customer Development ●      Search vs Execution

●      Business Model vs Business Plan

●      What is the Lean Canvas?

●      The 9 components of the Lean Canvas

●      What is customer development?

●      What are the key tenets of customer development?

3 Designing and Running Startup Experiments ●      Description of experiments

●      Designing experiments

●      Definition of hypothesis

●      Testing hypothesis

●      Definition of MVP

●      MVP Strategy and case studies

●      Running experiments: Surveys, interviews, focus groups

●      What to measure?

●      What constitutes as validation?

4 Customer Segment and Value Proposition


●      Difference between a customer and an user

●      What is your customer archetype

●      Describe a day in the life of a customer

●      Definition of a value proposition

●      Key questions for value proposition

●      Market Insight VS Technical Insight

●      Crafting your value proposition

●      Pain killers VS Gain creators

5 Lean Market Research ●      Why does market research matter?

●      Primary VS Secondary Research

●      Market Sizing: Calculating TAM, SAM, SOM

●      Competitive Analysis

●      What’s your unfair advantage?

●      Using Google for Market  Research

6 Distribution and Growth Hacking ●      Viral Marketing & Growth Hacking

●      Conversion rate optimization

●      Using Facebook ads to understand your audience

●      Customer feedback loops

●      The diffusion of innovation & targeting early adopters

●      Fine tuning your messaging

●      Differentiation

●      21 Actionable Growth Hacking Tactics

7 Key Metrics


●      Lean Analytics

●      One Metric that Matters

●      Startup Metrics for Pirates: AARRR

●      Key metrics: ecommerce, SaaS, 2-sided market, consumer mobile, user-generated content

8 Final Presentation ●      Individuals to present their lean canvas and receive valuable feedback from instructor and judges

Questions? Please e-mail Ilya, Kick Director at Spring at




Who is the program for?

The program is for anyone who is interested in learning more about build a startup. It is perfect for career-changers who are thinking about starting their tech startups but cannot quit their full-time job just yet. It is also great for recent grads and students who are looking at inventing their own career after school. It’s also great for aspiring and first-time entrepreneurs who are looking to gain a solid understanding of how to execute their startups.

Do I need to have a startup idea to join the program?

It would be best if you have a startup idea for this program. You will be able to work through the lean canvas and iterate on your idea as you go. If you don’t have an idea, you would be working on a case study that focuses on the business model that you’re interested in. For example, if you are interested in learning more about 2-sided marketplace, you would be working on the lean canvas for AirBnb.

Is the program workshop-based?

Kick is a full curriculum designed to help you understand the fundamental of lean methodologies. It includes 8 lectures, in-class exercises, case studies, homework assignments, discussions and office hours. We find that the best way for our students to learn is to learn the theories first and then apply it immediately after. By the end of the program, you should have a solid understanding of how to turn an idea into a startup experiment that you can test and execute.

How much time commitment do I need to put into this program?

Lectures are 6 hours a week so 24 hours in 4 weeks. You are expected to spend at least 5-10 hours a week on homework assignments, discussions, office hours. The program is intense and there is a lot to learn, but you should still be able to manage a full-time job or school.

I have a non-profit. Will I benefit from this program?

The lean methodology does apply to all startups, for and non-profit. You are still going through the build, measure and learn cycle as you iterate and improve your product based on customer feedback. As long as you have a product or a product idea, you will benefit from this program.


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