FounderSensei Lean Startup Challenge

Challenge Yourself


The FounderSensei Lean Startup Challenge is a 12-Week Lean Startup Competition designed to get your startup team on the path to success.

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Crowdfunded Cash Prize

To participate in the Challenge, startup teams signup and pay a $199 participation fee per team. 30% of fee covers the operational costs of executing the contest. 70% of the fee goes into the cash prize that will be awarded to the winning team.

If at least 20 teams register, FounderSensei will guarantee at least a $10,000 cash prize. However, our goal is to get hundreds of startup teams to register so we can grow the prize even more. Not only will this make the contest more fun, it will also provide much needed seed money for the best Lean Startup team!

The cash prize will be awarded to the winning team based on a panel of lean startup practitioners. There are no strings attached to the cash prize. The winning team will receive a check from FounderSensei and there is no equity required to participate in the FounderSensei Lean Startup Challenge.

There is no limit to how many startup teams may register for the Challenge. To make the prize bigger, help us promote the Challenge and watch the money pot grow.

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Startup Anywhere


Startup teams may be located anywhere in the world. You do not have to be physically present at the Bootcamp to participate in the Challenge. 

The One-Day Bootcamp will be held in Palo Alto, CA. The session will be recorded and will be made available to teams who cannot attend in person. All documentation for the Challenge will be provided by the teams using Trello, a collaborative organization tool. To qualify for consideration, teams must assign their Trello board to their designated FounderSensei representative so we may view your progress. 



To qualify, participating teams must have a startup they are actively working on. The startup must have generated less than $250K in lifetime gross revenue. That's it!


What You Get At The Bootcamp

  • An intense, crash course in lean startup methodology including how to develop customers for your business
  • Learn how to validate a problem hypothesis with real customers
  • Learn how to segment customers and find early adopters necessary to get traction
  • Learn how to validate your solution and value proposition for your customers
  • Learn how to develop sales channels and find a profitable path to customers
  • Learn how to iterate your business model if things aren't going according to plan
  • Learn how to know if you should pivot, if you should continue or if you should restart
  • Gain access to experienced, lean entrepreneurs who have created profitable businesses from scratch
  • Network with other startup founders who are trying to figure it out too!

Judges Criteria

The winner will be selected by a panel of legitimate, lean startup practitioners. The judges know what it takes to build a profitable business from scratch because they have all done it!

  1. How well the team was able to capture customer insights and put them back into their business model
  2. The quantity and quality of customer interviews and other well-crafted experiments 
  3. Traction in support of business model hypotheses, as measured by behavioral customer metrics and unit economics

Our Goal Is To Deliver A Great Training Program At A Very Reasonable Cost To Entrepreneurs. We Are Offering This Program To Help These Awesome People Find Startup Success.


  • Participation in the Lean Startup Challenge with Crowdfunded Cash Prize costs $199 per startup team of up to 5 Founders. (Plus Eventbrite transaction fee.) This fee is well-below the market value for the comparable training programs.
  • Participation includes an intense, one-day lean startup bootcamp where startup teams will learn the fundamental principles of how to build a successful startup.
  • Signup below to enter the FounderSensei Lean Startup Challenge. 


Sign Up Now!

Applications Due By April 15th!

Completing the form below will add your email address to the mailing list for the FounderSensei Lean Startup Challenge. We use Mailchimp and you may unsubscribe at any time after confirming your registration. 

Once the form is submitted, you will be provided a link to Eventbrite to pay the registration fee.

Thank you for participating in the Challenge!

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