Resource Nights: Startup Strategy and Approach

This recap of the Business Plan Practicum (Resource Nights) course at UW features three tips all entrepreneurs need to know from Ambika Singh, CEO of Armoire.Each week you can read a recap of the previous Entrepreneurship Resource Nights (Business Plan Practicum) session. This past week, instructor John Zagula (founder, Ignition Capital) led a class focused on startup strategy with special guest speaker Christy Johnson, founder and CEO at Artemis Connection. Reminder: Lectures are recorded and the links posted to our website weekly.



“In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


Having previously learned how to do background work while studying the three C’s of the playing field, students were prompted to figure out how to get from one end of the field to another. In other words, strategy. We defined strategy as “driving a desired future in conditions of uncertainty.”

We examined several approaches to such strategy including FAKE GRIMLOCK, Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm from initial enthusiasts to the mainstream, and those who invented go to market plays like “Stealth, Best of Both and Drag Race” and Michael Porter’s 5 Forces as a way to bring together a durable advantage.

The class then welcomed Christy Johnson, who brought it all together drawing on her wide and real experience. In particular, she spoke about techniques to draw insight and creativity while using examples from her own constraints to find opportunity and advantage.


Resource Nights (ENTRE 440/540 Business Plan Practicum) are each Tuesday through March 10, 2020 from 6 to 7:50 pm in PACCAR Hall 192 (Shansby Auditorium). Can’t make it in person? Lectures will be recorded and the links posted to our website weekly. View the Resource Night schedule for links and complete listing of topics and guest speakers.


Tuesday, February 11 at 6:00 pm in PACCAR Hall, Shansby Auditorium (room 192)

In this session, we will discuss various business models and how to choose which one is right for your idea. We will also begin to build financial models.

Guest speakers include Steven Hooper, President of Ethan Stowell Restaurants and founder of Kigo Kitchen. Steve is a native of the Pacific Northwest, having grown up in Redmond. He graduated from Colby College and spent his early career in Investment Banking in Seattle and Venture Capital in Boston. After graduating with his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Steve decided to pursue his entrepreneurial passion, founding Kigo Kitchen and leading it as CEO from inception until its merger with ESR in 2019.

The second speaker of the evening will be Cameron Borumond of Ignition Partners. Ignition Partners is a dedicated, early-stage enterprise software venture capital firm with over $1.5B under management. At Ignition, Cameron plays a key role in sourcing, identifying, and supporting new investments.

Prior to Ignition, Cameron was a co-founder of Curious Capital. He raised a small fund of outside capital to invest in innovative seed-stage technology companies based in the Pacific Northwest. The fund currently has seven investments in the enterprise software, fin tech, and consumer internet sectors. Prior to Curious, Cameron was a technology investment banker at Vaquero Capital in San Francisco. At Vaquero, Cameron was critical in leading marketing and diligence efforts, as well as sourcing transactions for two leading software companies. Cameron also worked as a financial analyst intern for Isilon/EMC.

Cameron holds a BS degree in Business Administration-Finance from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

Reminder, you can drop-in or catch the recording of this weekly course.


Apply for the Alaska Airlines Environmental Innovation Challenge by Tuesday, Feb. 18 at

Learn more about the Buerk Center student competitions at

Students can can apply to both the HIC and EIC! We see several student teams from around the region compete in one or both before advancing their idea beyond the prototype stage and setting themselves up for startup success in the Dempsey Startup Competition. Our competitions are open to undergrads and grad students at accredited colleges and universities across the Cascadia Corridor–Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia, as well as Alaska.

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