Figure Your Sh*t Out

(That's right. I said it.)

It's time to

Learn the process for building a thriving mission-driven business.
Work "on" your business, not just "in" your business.
Find "your people": other entrepreneurs ready to do the work.

You can build a business that supports the life you want, gives you purpose, & makes a sustainable profit.

Big news: We're fully virtual!

Read below to learn about the plan for the next FYSO cohort,

which will be kicking off on January 31st, 2021.

The support & accountability you've been waiting for

Figure Your Sh*t Out (FYSO) is the first accelerator program for mission-driven founders that focuses on creating a safe space to test their big ideas, hone their business models, and figure their sh*t out, in community.

Group of women entrepreneurs being goofy and happy, along with a handful of male advisors that are allies

What to expect

Strategy & Support

Giving you a safe space to get strategic advice and support is of the utmost importance to us.

We designed the 6-month FYSO accelerator to give you the support to:

  • Build & grow a business that will align with your life goals
  • Give you the accountability you need to gain traction
  • Take time to deeply understand the customers you serve (or want to serve)
  • Explore what makes your company unique
  • Develop a marketing strategy with clear messaging
  • Discover how to use purpose as a strategic advantage
  • Connect with a cohort of entrepreneurs at a similar stage

We will assign you to a learning circle of 4-6 non-competing businesses and all participants will be required to sign an NDA. You'll also get to know the cohort of all of the businesses participating during the 6 months we'll be spending together. 

Curious about the content we teach?

Click here to sign-up to receive our free 101-page FYSO founders guide, which gives you a detailed breakdown of how to build & grow a kicka** purpose-driven business. Even if FYSO isn't the right fit for you right now, this guide was created to be a standalone valuable tool for founders.

Headshot of blonde woman, Erin Perkins, in a leather jacket and white t-shirt with a blue wall in the background

"In FYSO I felt safe to put ideas out there and have people be honest with their feedback in a way that wouldn't hurt my feelings. FYSO goes beyond other entrepreneurial support programs by helping you get to the root of asking whether or not you have an absolute business idea that is going to work and how to actually make it happen."

Erin Perkins

Founder, Mabely Q and Read My Lips

Actual Results

  • 📈

    A plan

    A clear, strategic plan on how to connect with your customers and build a thriving organization

  • 🙌

    A network

    New entrepreneurial besties you can lean on

  • 🎉

    A win

    Feeling like a bada** because you're one step closer to having your sh*t figured out!

How it Works

We'll be kicking-off the accelerator program with a 1-month virtual Bootcamp. During this month you'll do a deep dive into making sure you're asking the right questions while also getting to know your cohort and the FYSO community in a meaningful way. Throughout the next 5-months, we'll have virtual check-ins for accountability and support.

Since the beginning, the FYSO accelerator has primarily been virtual to make it accessible for participants with full-time jobs, as well as to make the program available for people around the world.

Bootcamp

Over the course of one month you will:

  • Explore your life goals and how your business may align with them
  • Understand how having a clear purpose can give your business a competitive edge
  • Investigate whether the business you're building will yield the profit and growth you need to thrive
  • Learn a simple framework to position your company in a way that stands out
  • Learn how to gain customer insights in a way that's truly effective
  • Leave with a strategic plan detailing what you need to accomplish in the next 90-days for your business to thrive
  • Meet lifelong friends you can lean on throughout the ups and downs of your entrepreneurial journey!

The next 5-months

After the Bootcamp, every Monday evening you'll meet either with your learning circle or as a cohort for group coaching with Christina and/or other business or marketing strategists at 7:30 pm EST.

We'll continue to teach you strategies and share insights that will empower you to build a thriving organization. This includes having access to short, 20-30 minute trainings on branding, storytelling, e-mail marketing, social media marketing, prototyping, and negotiations.

These virtual gatherings will give you the opportunity to learn and grow together. The group coaching sessions will be recorded, so you can watch them later if you aren't able to attend.

Throughout the program you'll have access to your cohort's slack channel along with a virtual library of helpful resources gathered throughout previous cohorts of FYSO.

ipad on desk with image that says 'put in the work' along with a coffee mug and pad with pen
Ivana photo copy

"FYSO was definitely preferable to any other program that I was pitched, and I was pitched a lot of other programs (and accelerators). I feel like there is a lot of bullsh*t that goes with that. It's a lot of 'You can do anything if you buy this simple 15-step program...' and it's just not worth it. I have been through a couple of other programs that I walk out and feel inspired, but I didn't gain anything. I didn't actually accomplish anything. Whereas with FYSO, not only are you given all of these tools to help your company grow, but you are also given a cohort of people you can stay in contact with and continue to update each other on your growth... you have this lifelong network that you can lean on each other as you grow"

Click here to see Ivana share more about her FYSO experience.

Ivana Vasquez

Founder, Ghost Flowers Art Promotion

The Nitty Gritty Details

We have some fantastic speakers for you to learn from over the course of the program. Here are the speakers from our latest cohort:

Brandy Amidon headshot

Brandy Amidon

Co-President & CFO, Brains on Fire Inc.

Brandy Amidon is Co-President and CFO of Brains on Fire Inc., a Certified B Corporation and creative marketing agency in South Carolina and California. Brandy's passion and experience stems from leading teams towards individual and collective growth goals. All the while, leveraging her expertise in the financial sector to create stability and confidence for collective success. She manages human resources, while also overseeing the agency’s financial reporting, risk assessment, budgeting and implementation of company-wide goals. Beyond Brains, Brandy currently serves as the elected Mayor of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, her hometown. 

Brains on Fire Inc., is a full-service creative agency that helps community-driven brands launch, grow and meaningfully impact the human experience. They have also written two books, Brains on Fire: Igniting Powerful, Sustainable, Word of Mouth Movements and The Passion Conversation: Understanding, Sparking and Sustaining Word of Mouth Marketing.

Johnny Hackett, Jr. headshot

Johnny Hackett, Jr.

CEO & Founder, Black Friday Market

Johnny Hackett is the co-founder of the Black Friday Market, a new retail department store in Downtown Raleigh that allows business owners to sell their products commission free, which has already brought in tens of thousands of dollars in revenue to 60 small-business owners in the first two weeks since it opened.  Johnny also operates a Black-Owned Business directory for the state of North Carolina titled #BlackDollarNC and is an alliance member for businesses with the City of Raleigh’s Office of Economic Development and Innovation, helping to take care of the needs of small business owners in the area.

Brendan Andrade, a white man with a beard smiling

Brendan Andrade

Product Development Expert

Brendan is an expert in launching new SaaS (software as a service) products. He has led the creation of numerous banking applications and led multiple product teams. He is an expert in customer interviews as well as the entrepreneurial process.

It's also worth noting that he's a former Startup Weekend: Makers Edition Winner where in one weekend he led a team of entrepreneurs in the creation of a functioning wireless leash for children.

We’re excited to have him return to teach the next FYSO cohort about how to effectively interview customers for better market search!

Alisa Herr headshot

Alisa Herr

Founder & CEO, Unity Web Agency

Alisa Herr is the founder and CEO of Unity Web Agency. She is passionate about lifting up those who use their talents as a force for good, and she established Unity Web Agency in 2016 to create sustainable and accessible websites for nonprofits and socially-responsible businesses. Alisa was previously the founding chief technology officer of a media nonprofit and an award-winning web developer at a design agency.

She has a MS in Library Science from UNC-Chapel Hill and a BS in Psychology from Appalachian State University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Alisa lives on the Raleigh-Durham line with her husband, 2 sons, and cat.

Alisa was most recently recognized by the North Carolina Business Council by receiving a 2020 Leadership in Business Sustainability Award.

Margaret McNab headshot
Aly Khalifa headshot
Kenya Oduor headshot
Kevin Christopher headshot

Margaret McNab

Director, MCNAB LLC

Margaret McNab is a seasoned PR & marketing strategist who got her non-traditional career started in music, segued into tourism, and dipped a toe in advertising before becoming vice president of a fast-growing tech agency. Margaret is a longtime freelancer who has helped 100+ startups, nonprofits and agencies launch new projects, expand into new markets and recruit top talent.

These days Margaret focuses her energies on projects that contribute to the economic prosperity of North Carolina. Her recent clients include LaunchBio, BioLabs, NC IDEA, Nugget, Momentum, WarpWire, and UNC’s Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise. Margaret is a frequent speaker on the future of work. She is an advocate for independent workers and founder of the Freelance League of NC.

To learn more about Margaret, visit ww.linkedin.com/in/margaretmcnab.

Aly Khalifa

Co-founder & CIO, Designbox LLC

Aly is an innovation entrepreneur focused on positive impact. His training as a product designer and mechanical engineer is coupled with 27 years of inventive global manufacturing experience. This has enabled him and his team at Designbox to launch impactful projects for major brands while partnering with distinguished talent and garnering dozens of patents and design distinctions. As an entrepreneur, Aly has cofounded and exited several efforts. Entities include: SPARKcon, one of the nation's largest open source creative festivals; Gamila, a line of sustainable gourmet beverage makers that was sold to Seventh Generation/Unilever; and Oceanworks, a marketplace that repurposes ocean plastic for the circular economy.  Currently Aly is on assignment in Australia serving as the Project Director of a major federal grant awarded to Plastic Collective. This work involves a comprehensive community approach to launching micro-enterprise recycling units that help remote and vulnerable communities  across Asia reverse the tide of ocean plastic.

Kenya Oduor, Ph.D

Managing Director, Lean Geeks

Kenya partners with organizations by helping them improve their strategic outcomes.
Organizations look for her assistance in the definition of the set of Design Thinking practices that make sense for their organization, including user/market research and collaborative problem/opportunity definition and design. Her career as a user experience practitioner and leader in the software solution space spans over 19 years.

Kenya has a doctorate in Human Factors. Her training in Human Factors, included coursework in cognitive and applied experimental psychology and industrial engineering. Her training coupled with her experience give her the ability to help teams define the set of activities and processes necessary to create solutions that are at the intersection of meeting business expectations and user needs.

Kevin Christopher

Founder, Rockridge Venture Law

Kevin Christopher is founder and principal of Rockridge Venture Law, a B Corp Best For The World and Real Leaders Top 150 law firm. Kevin is a registered patent attorney and founder of active companies in biotech, consumer products, and renewables industries. He is a Berkeley Form + Fund Fellow, Yale Business Leader, and mentor for startups at Bethesda Green Hub, First Flight Venture Center, Sente Accelerator, and Singularity University Ventures. His cease and desist letters to Poo-Pourri and Financial Moxie are considered works of "breathtaking legal beauty" by Above the Law.

Program details

To help you know what to expect, here was how we structured the program during our latest cohort:

Program Kickoff

On Sunday, January 31st, we'll kick-off the 1-month Bootcamp with a virtual workshop in the afternoon that will introduce the program and give you the opportunity to meet your cohort. 

Here is the high-level workshop agenda: 

  • 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm - Introduction to the program
  • 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm - Setting intentions 
  • 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm - Teambuilding with your learning circle
  • 3:30 pm - 4:00 pm - Discuss next steps 

Our goal is to keep this session fun and engaging. It'll be a great chance for us to build community, together.

Bootcamp

For the first month of the six-month program we'll be meeting on Monday & Thursday evenings from 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm EST.

Here are the topics we'll be covering: 

  • An introduction to the entrepreneurial process
  • Exploring your Personal Goals 
  • Determining your purpose 
  • Creating a sustainable profit 
  • Positioning your organization
  • Understanding Perception & how to do customer discovery
  • Using the Business Model Canvas and Lean Canvas as tools
  • Goal Setting Strategies
  • Reviewing lessons learned & Group coaching

This content will give you the foundational information you need to build a thriving organization.

picture of a hand writing in a notebook
The next 5 months

Moving forward, every Monday evening you'll kick the week off right.

Every other week, you'll have a 1.5 hour virtual check-in call with your learning circle to keep you on track. During these calls you'll check-in on your progress, get advice, and hold you accountable to getting to the next level.

On alternating Mondays, you'll receive ongoing training and coaching. Then, we'll host the group coaching call from 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm EST with the following agenda: 

  • We'll use the first 15-20 minutes of the call to answer any questions about the short topic-based training you took that week.
  • Then, one member of the cohort can volunteer to be on the "hot seat" during the call where they can ask any question they'd like about business and marketing strategy and receive direct coaching from Christina or another one of our FYSO coaches.

We'll be recording these sessions, so you can watch them later if you aren't able to attend.

Halfway through the program, we will have a half-day "pitch day" where you will get to share what you've been working on and share with the FYSO community support you may need.

At the end of the program, we'll celebrate by hosting an event that gives you the opportunity to talk about your company, discuss next steps, and share the top lesson you've learned with the broader community. 

You'll also have access to support any time on the FYSO slack channel, which is a channel we've created specifically for current and former participants in the accelerator program. You can use this platform as a resource to share marketing campaigns you're working on, ask questions, and discover new resources.

If you are an NC-based small business, you are eligible to receive help with for-profit formation and 3 months of general counsel support courtesy our sponsor, Law Plus Plus.

Jalen, a black, college-aged young man in bow tie & suit smiling on campus

"The FYSO accelerator will inspire and change both you and your business.  The group coaching setting gave me the opportunity to hear and learn from other business owners who are experiencing the same struggles that I am facing.  The benefits of being held accountable to achieve my goals is one of my biggest takeaways from the program."

Jalen McGee

Founder, YouEmbark

Our Process

  • 1
    Fill out an application
  • 2
    We'll review your application
  • 3
    We'll have a short call to discuss your goals & answer any questions
  • 4
    You'll hear back within 2 weeks
  • 5
    Meet your cohort online on Sunday, January 31st!
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"One of my biggest challenges as a small business owner is perspective. I spend every day in the trenches - analyzing market trends, agonizing over revenue and cash flow, trying to connect with my customers - all while trying to stay authentic and relevant. FYSO took me out of the daily grind and elevated me to a place where I could see the big picture. That perspective has proven invaluable to my business and my own health and well-being."

Jenny Cohan

Owner, The Mercantile

Get Started Today

If you think the FYSO Accelerator sounds like it's the right fit for you, go ahead and apply & we'll set up a time to connect!

 

👉The final deadline to apply for our next cohort is January 22, 2021. 👈

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As part of our mission to make a positive impact, 5% of profits from the FYSO Accelerator will be going to support The Helius Foundation, which provides free business coaching for necessity-driven entrepreneurs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our Sponsors

We are so grateful to our sponsors for helping to make this work possible - from providing free legal support to FYSO participants to giving us a space to meet & collaborate - thank you! If you're interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to hello@christinamarienoel.com.

Not sure if you're ready for an accelerator yet?

We still have a resource for you! Sign-up here to receive a free copy of the 101-page Figure Your Sh*t Out Founders guide e-book created to help set mission-driven founders up for success. If e-newsletters aren't your thing then we just recommend you stay subscribed for 5-days because we highlight the top 5 key points made in the e-book.