HWS DiscoveryLab

The Centennial Center is offering the HWS DiscoveryLab; a workshop designed to empower you with the entrepreneurial Customer Discovery skills and techniques to test your idea within your assumed target market with actual customers interviews. Simply submit a brief proposal that outlines your idea for a product, service or organization (for-profit or non-profit), and what you would like to learn about that idea.

Applicants will be selected to join an intensive three-week accelerator program with expert staff, faculty, alumni, and regional experts with the goal of identifying a customer-focused “product-market fit” for your idea. At the end of the three weeks, interested participants can resubmit their proposals to the DiscoveryLab investment committee to be considered for startup funding to further advance their idea.  All majors are encouraged to apply!

What is it?

DiscoveryLab is a start-up accelerator program focused solely on the customer discovery and the idea validation aspect of the startup process. The workshop provides the skills and techniques to evaluate your idea with real customers to identify customer value and potential business models. If you have an idea that needs validation with customers, this program will take you to the next level. Your own idea is not required … if you do not have an idea, you can be teamed with someone who does!

How does it work?

By incorporating Lean Startup methodologies, the business model canvas, and a hands-on approach to conducting extensive customer interviews, HWS DiscoveryLab enables participants with skills and exercises to quickly reach an understanding of perceived customer value in a 3-session workshop.

What will I learn?

DiscoveryLab has assembled faculty and staff to instruct workshops on topics such as value propositions, customer segment definition, customer interview questions, and identifying customer value propositions. You’ll receive peer feedback, instructor challenge, mentor expertise and potential funding to support the further advancement of your idea.

When will DiscoveryLab run?

DiscoveryLab will be conducted in three 2hrs sessions at the Bozzuto Center for Entrepreneurship at 22 Castle St. on the dates below:

  • March 29th 5:00pm – 7:00pm – Introduction, fundamentals, interview techniques and questions
  • April 5th 5:00pm – 7:00pm – Interview observations, iterating and pivoting, revised questions
  • April 12th 5:00pm – 7:00pm – Interview observations, value props, target segment definition

Who is eligible?

The workshop will admit 12 students max, and any current HWS student can apply. All majors and levels of experience are welcome. If interested, simply fill out the application and describe your idea. Applications will be reviewed by our student committee and selected for innovativeness and viability. If you apply, it is important that you commit for the full three weeks.

How does the funding work?

There is a total pool of $3000 available to advance your idea through the customer discovery phase.  At the end of the three weeks, participants can choose to submit a request for funds. The Centennial Center’s student investment committee will review the proposals and request a Use-of-Funds pitches from the most compelling submissions. Funding may vary from individual to individual.  


HWS DiscoveryLab Application


603 South Main Street
Geneva, NY 14456

Phone: (315) 781-4550

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