Introductory online workshops to generate real ideas and evolve them into early-stage startups

Register for free below
Proto takes you from discovering startups all the way to building real prototypes and pitching your ideas.

Workshops are open to all, and FREE for University of Sydney Students, Staff and Alumni. You don’t have to take the workshops in sequence, but if you’re new to startups, Discover Startups is a great intro.

Proto is currently operating online via Zoom due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

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1. Discover Startups

An introduction to startup concepts and what we do at INCUBATE, with a chance to ask questions and meet like-minded people.

2. Find Your Market

Identify who your first customers will be, and discover the channels you can use to reach them.

3. Understand your Customers

Practise the most important conversations to have with your potential customers, so you build a product that they want to buy.

4. Communicate your Ideas

Practise sharing your ideas by using pitching frameworks to communicate with customers, potential cofounders, mentors, and investors.

5. Design a Business

Learn how to use the Lean Canvas framework to map all the elements of an early-stage startup onto one page.

6. Create a Product

Practise the creativity techniques that founders use to design startling solutions to difficult problems.

7.Prototype your Ideas

Learn how to make quick prototypes to help you refine and communicate your ideas.

8.Build your Product

Design a landing page to test demand for your product, and learn how founders build the first version of their product.

More information

1. Discover Startups

About this workshop

In one hour, you’ll get a rapid introduction to startup concepts, discover how to become a startup ideas machine, and find out about the INCUBATE programs and resources that are open to you.

2. Find Your Market

About this workshop
To build a great product or service, startups need to know exactly who their customers are, and whether they’re targeting a market that can support their desired scale. In this 90min online workshop, you’ll practise identifying potential customers, learn techniques for sizing a market opportunity, and find out how you can reach your first customers.

3. Understand Your Customers

About this workshop
Startups that succeed make sure they’re building something that people really want. The best way to do this is to talk to customers! In this 90min online workshop, you’ll practise conversations that help you learn about what your customers need, and learn how to spot the trends that tell you when you’re onto something.

4.Communicate Your Ideas

About this workshop

Founders spend a lot of time communicating their ideas and traction. Whether you’re looking for a co-founder who shares your vision, making a sale, or pitching to a potential investor, sharing a clear and compelling message is key to your success.

In this 90min online workshop, you’ll practise communicating your ideas with others in an elevator pitch, develop a compelling origin story, and begin structuring your first pitch deck.

5. Design a Business

About this workshop

There are a lot of moving parts in a startup, and it’s easy to feel like you’re missing something. The Lean Canvas is a framework to flesh out your ideas and define your business model. This helps you build a great foundation for your startup to thrive.

In 90mins, you’ll learn about the nine key aspects of the Lean Canvas, practise adapting existing business models, and experience what it means to pivot and change a startup idea.

6.Create a Product

About this workshop

The best startups solve a customer problem with a solution that surprises and delights. Startup founders “ideate” to develop tens or hundreds of ideas, then they test the most promising ideas with their potential customers.

In this 90min online workshop, you’ll learn the techniques founders use to boost their creativity, borrow great ideas from successful startups, come up with your own product or feature ideas, and translate a sketch into a startup concept.

7.Prototype Your Ideas

About this workshop
A low-fidelity prototype is a quick way of getting ideas out of your head and onto the page. Startup founders use these to understand how a new product or service will function, and to get quick feedback from their potential customers. In this 90min online workshop, you’ll build low-fidelity prototypes and learn about the tools startups use to build quick and easy wireframes.

8.Build Your Product

About this workshop
Startup founders need to get feedback from their potential customers as early as possible, to test whether they’re building something people want. They do this by quickly building a stripped-down first version of their product, or “Minimum Viable Product”, to test with their customers. In this 90min online workshop, you’ll design a landing page to test demand for your product, and learn some of the techniques founders use for developing MVPs. You don’t need software development or design skills to attend this workshop.


Proto is a series of eight online workshops designed to help students learn about startups and pursue their ideas.
  • Protons can apply for extra mentoring and support
  • Proto also enables single founder students to potentially meet their future cofounder through networking opportunities

Who can join Proto?

  • Proto is free for University of Sydney students, staff or alumni, and open to everyone
  • You don’t need to have an idea (but we welcome you if you do!)
  • You don’t need to have any experience with startups
  • You can come as an individual or a team