A Network of Global Communities
Gemini is a global community that has an after hours, 6-month program as a rite of passage. Core to the program are the 16 'episodes' which are conducted online, and discussed offline in your peer groups each week taking lead from your local mentors. Key to the program, though, is the community and the space and deep-tech ecosystems that we are working with you to build.
Some of the main benefits of being a part of the Gemini Incubator include:
We host TED-syle talks about insightful and interesting topics, to give you a breadth of knowledge and exposure to little-known problems with regards to space and our future. We hope that you will become inspired through these talks by expert members of your communities, and will start to explore how to create valuable solutions.
Practicing the Art of Pitching and Negotiation
Whether you’re pitching to an investor for money, your academic department for research program support, or your superior to build a new product/service at your organisation — we get everyone to practice how to persuade others to come on board with your vision so that you can do what you need to do to solve problems.
Lean Canvas and other business/project management tools
We love popular project management tools and philosophies such as Lean and Design Thinking. The great part about these tools is that they aren’t only for building a company — they are fantastic for understanding the problems that people have and being able to quickly and cheaply develop valuable solutions.
You might use a Lean Canvas to help you map out a potential business model, or you can use it to help analyse how to create more engaging newsletters and marketing material for your company.
Most people are taught how to build solutions, but not how to understand the underlying problems. People in general are very quick to apply their existing knowledge and skills and to attempt to solve problems with what is in reality a narrow perspective and mindset — “when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.
We train you to engage with others to first deeply understand their problems, before you devote significant resources into what you believe will be a solution. Don’t make the mistake of the Segway or Google Glass.
Deeply understanding other people’s problems is a key attribute to develop as a leader, whether you are creating an augmented reality headset for firefighters using satellite wildfire analytics, or proposing to your IT manager that a new piece of software will, supposedly, make the jobs of a department’s employees easier.
Accountability and Community
Regardless of your aspirations and which kind of participant you are, Gemini mentors, alumni and your peers all keep you accountable for and contribute to your personal progress. We are careful not to over-quantify and track pointless metrics, but we do keep track and we will coach you as you progress through the Gemini Incubator.
Gemini is about building a community of highly productive individuals. Graduating from the Gemini Incubator is not an event to be taken lightly. It is a signal on your CV that you are and will always be a part of an elite global network of productive individuals and organisations. Your membership is initiated through a 6-month, 16-session program, but the community is the true value in being accepted and participating in Gemini.
Mentorship and Coaching
Being a part of the Gemini family means you have access to many mentors from all over the globe. Even at this early stage of Gemini, we have a great and diverse pool of mentors — and as it expands through graduating alumni who are ready to #giveback and #givefirst, the value of this network that you will have access to will continually increase.
As a new member of the Gemini Incubator, you will be introduced to many mentors from a wide range of different backgrounds. Each week you will meet with mentors, and also your peers, to discuss your progress and to engage with a new, experienced perspective.
Diversity is the fuel for any productive community. Diversity of experience, ideas, academic training, the list is endless. We want to see our communities evolve with a good balance of gender, inclusive of younger students and older academic researchers, and a good range of academic backgrounds. We also strive to make our communities accessible regardless of geographical location and financial capacity. A monocultured community is counterproductive for our aspirations, and we want to actively work with you to ensure we achieve this.
Gemini is the first of a series of programs we are launching. The Gemini community is the foundation upon which we will continue to work with local communities to foster the growth of new deep-tech and space ecosystems in cities.
Once you have graduated from Gemini, you are a part of the Gemini community forever. You have had a taste of what it takes to understand and solve truly valuable problems. Perhaps that will be enough for you, but we hope you will aspire to go further and when you do, we will be there to help you through the Moonshot Accelerator and Moonshot Hyperdrive programs where we take you even further.
For more information, check out our blog.
Term 1: Foundations
In term 1 we have 8 core focus topics that are discussed as the first part of each session, before the breadth talk. These discussions are conducted by experienced MoonshotX mentors and advisers from around the globe - from your cities - and are not conducted like a lecture. They are an engaging discussion between you and the guest who has been though it all before. These talks are complimentary to the theoretical course material we provide.
Episode 1: Contact Light
We will introduce the course structure, reference materials, expectations and program goals. We will cover the vision of MoonshotX and the importance of space startups not only for the space sector, but as a key link in the supply chains of all adjacent economic sectors and corners of society.
Episode 2: To Infinity and Beyond
Starting a business is hard, so it's important you have a global and impactful vision to keep you and your team in alignment and motivated.
Episode 3: One Small Step
How do you turn an idea into a good business model? Where do you begin, and what to do once you think you have a good model? We'll show you how to take the first step and create a business model in 20-minutes - but beware, the journey has just begun.
Episode 4: Reaching Escape Velocity
The life of a startup includes some useful milestones to guide you on your journey. This episode will discuss the stages between having an idea, proposing a business model, proving you have the solution to a critical problem, that there is a sufficient market, and ultimately becoming ready to scale up operations.
Episode 5: It's Not Rocket Science
'Good' ideas are like belly buttons - everyone has got one. We're going to teach you how to use the scientific method to turn your good idea into a business that solves real problems with paying customers.
Episode 6: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
How do you find and talk to potential customers to get to the essence of what their problems are and how you might be able to create something valuable that they would pay you for?
Episode 7: Stable Orbits
Whether your business is purely for social good, purely for profit, or somewhere in between, it needs to be financially sustainable in order to keep operating. Many companies have failed by solving problems that people don't find valuable enough to pay for. How do you make sure that the problem you're solving has a large enough market you can tap into?
Episode 8: Houston, We've Had a Problem Here
As an entrepreneur, you need to wear many hats. Some of those include marketing, storytelling, and negotiation. Whether you're making an investor pitch, advertising your product, or trying to get into the shoes of potential customers as you interview them, one of the most important superpowers you can develop is becoming a master of influence and negotiation.
Term 2: Essentials
In term 2 we focus more on the later stages of turning good ideas into real solutions.
Episode 9: Beam Me Up
More likely than not, a space startup tackling a global problem is eventually going to need some financial help in order to scale up operations. This session will explore the when, the why and the how when it comes to fundraising.
Episode 10: A Giant Leap
Following from Episode 9, we will discuss the art of pitching investors. You will gain insight into what makes a good pitch, when to use a slide deck and how to use them, and tips when pitching with limited time. This session is also preparation for the Gemini pitch competition during week 16.
Episode 11: We Choose to go to the Moon
During the space race, Russia and the US saw great value in putting man on the moon. Both nations spent a lot of money in a fierce competition, driven not by economic outcomes but emotion and national pride.
This session will discuss how to put a price on the valuable product or service your business is offering customers.
Episode 12: Intergalactic Credit
No matter the currency your business operates with, you're going to need to understand some financial basics if you're going to responsibly run a successful business. In this session we will cover some of the fundamental tools you need to keep track of your business finances.
Episode 13: We Have Your Satellite
This session will discuss some of the ways in which you can protect your intellectual property (IP), as well as introduce the topic of different corporate structures which may influence the decisions of investors and events such as a future exit.
Episode 14: RTFM
You've built a startup and you've generated some business. You have a solid product, and you need to secure some investors to help you scale up your operations. You've had a successful pitch and now you need to negotiate the terms of the potential agreement. Enter the 'term sheet'.
Episode 15: No One Can Hear You Scream
Episode 15 is a session of mock term sheet negotiations. This high pressure competition will test your ability to negotiate, both among your fictitious co-founders and fictitious VC firms. You will need to have a good understanding of the impacts of different terms if you want to make a successful deal, but only one team can win!
Episode 16: May the Force Be With You
As the Gemini program comes to an end, we will take a few moments to reflect on the rigorous journey of the past 6 months, the progress achieved, the lessons learned, and the new friends made.
Starting a business is hard. Space is hard. There will be many ups but even more downs. It's important to take the time to reflect on the achievements you make along the way.