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Build your Startup Growth Machine


(23 ratings)


2 Weeks


Cohort-based Course

Find your big growth levers and pull them. Adopt the framework we've used to help over 200 seed-stage startups grow 10X - 100X in 3 years.

Hosted by

Matt Lerner, Nopadon Wongpakdee, and Lisa Kennelly

Startup growth leaders at PayPal, Klarna, Citi Ventures & 500 Startups

Course overview

Great startups don't waste time on small stuff.

If you study history’s great startups, you’ll see a pattern: 90% of their growth came from 10% of the stuff they tried.

Every great startup finds a “big growth lever.” They must. They can’t out-work established brands or out-spend them. They out-think them. But very few people can do this well.

99% of startup growth people can run playbooks, but only 1% can write them.

Generic tactics like paid ads, SEO and referral programs will only get you so far. Big levers are seldom obvious, they come from specific unexpected customer insights, and cut across organizational functions.

In this course, you’ll get a proven process to find your company's big levers:

1. Map your growth model to help everyone prioritize the most impactful work.

2. Find language/market fit to explain your value more clearly to customers.

3. Run experiments and use data to find things that really make an impact.

4. Lead growth sprints to push the pace and quality of learning and execution.

5. Shift everyone's mindset from slow perfectionism to fast and bold.

Who is this course for


Impatient Seed & Series A Founders who see their teams wasting time on small projects rather than looking for big ones.


Frustrated Growth Leads who struggle to convince their founders that growth is more than just marketing tactics and "turning dials."


Growth leaders in larger companies who need to build out a new product or business, but are held back by big company thinking and process.

What you’ll get out of this course

Find your North Star and rate-limiting step to focus everyone on the most impactful work.

Build a growth model to map your business as a system, identify your North Star Metric, loops and the main constraints that limit your growth. See example growth models for SaaS, Marketplaces and Ecommerce.

Use neuroscience to find language/market fit and explain your value more clearly to customers.

After a quick primer on the neuroscience of human perception, you'll learn to uncover your customers' unconscious biases and triggers and find the language that picks the lock. Then you'll learn to turn those insights into high-converting copy and validate it quickly.

Run growth sprints and experiment to find things that really make an impact.

See how to run growth sprints, how they're different from product sprints, and how to prioritise ideas (hint: not using I.C.E.)

Learn to design and run weekly growth experiments that go far beyond simple A/B tests. Master the Minimum Viable Testing: Small tests of big ideas.

How great leaders unstick people's thinking

Finding the right answer is the easy part; the real challenge is getting the team onboard. You'll get specific tools to help people to drop old ideas that aren't working, abandon perfectionism to move startup-fast, and de-prioritize "sevens" to focus on "tens."


(23 ratings)

What people are saying

        We worried it’d be generic like other programs and we wouldn’t learn anything new. But the principles were directly applicable to our business. It transformed our failing methods into systems that converted prospects into customers.”
Darina Garland

Darina Garland

Co-Founder, Ooni Pizza Ovens
        They helped us create rigour around growth. We grew 22X in 18 months, and it would've taken us 3x longer to build our growth engine without their help."
Juan Andrade

Juan Andrade

Co-Founder & CEO, Rebank (YC-W19)
        SCS made my job so much easier! Now I can get engineering resources and the founder actually listens to me."
Ivo Kostadinov

Ivo Kostadinov

VP Growth, Love Electric
        "Theory means nothing unless it's put in the practice. This course pushes execution and holds you and your team accountable so you understand the reasons and learn at a much faster pace.
Alex Depledge, MBE

Alex Depledge, MBE

Founder of Resi, prev. founder Hassle.com

Meet your instructors

Matt Lerner

Matt Lerner

Co-Founder, Startup Core Strengths, Ex. PayPal, 500 Startups

Matt Lerner started his career as a growth marketer, and general manager in Silicon Valley, and had his first exit in 1998. He joined the early growth team at PayPal in 2004, where he rose to GM of an $800M B2B business. He left PayPal to become Partner with the VC 500 Startups. He founded Startup Core Strengths, where he has helped over 200 early stage startups "find their big growth levers." Matt has been invited to lecture at Stanford University, Berkeley and Imperial College.

Nopadon Wongpakdee

Nopadon Wongpakdee

Co-Founder, Startup Core Strengths, ex. Citi Ventures, 500 Startups

A digital marketer with 20+ years of experience, Nopadon has worked with 100+ start-ups as a consultant, Citi Ventures EIR and in-house growth hacker for 500 startups. As co-founder of Startup Core Strengths, Nopadon helps teams apply the Jobs To Be Done methodology to set up the foundations of a growth machine.

Lisa Kennelly

Lisa Kennelly

Product Marketing Strategy @ Klarna

2X startup CMO with 15+ years experience. Lisa leads product marketing strategy @ Klarna, previously CMO @ Fishbrain, and Director of Marketing @ Clue. She mentors with First Round Capital, Techstars, Antler, and of course Startup Core Strengths. Little-known fact: After earning a BA from Harvard, she started her career as a sports journalist covering the New York Yankees.

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Course syllabus


Map your startup's growth model

Map your growth model to focus everyone on the most impactful work.

  • How to find your North Star Metric
  • Feedback loops & constraints
  • Example growth models (SaaS, Marketplaces, Ecommerce)
  • Finding your key drivers
  • Your rate-limiting step where you can focus for maximum impact


Finding Language/Market Fit

How to explain your value more clearly to customers

  • Why this matters more than anything else
  • The neuroscience of human perception
  • How to find the language that picks the lock
  • Jobs-to-be-done and the 4 Forces
  • Headlines, landing pages & ads
  • How to validate language quickly (even with no traffic)


Growth sprints, experimentation & Minimum Viable Tests

  • How to run a growth sprint
  • Growth sprints vs. product sprints
  • How to prioritise experiments (hint: not using I.C.E.)
  • Designing & running growth experiments
  • Minimum Viable Test: Small tests of big ideas


Leadership & mindset shift

How great leaders unstick people's thinking:

  • Overcoming sunk-cost bias
  • Speed vs. perfectionism
  • Deprioritizing "sevens" to focus on "tens."
  • When leaders refuse to listen…
  • When nothing’s working…

Course schedule

4-6 hours per week
  • Friday, September 15

    4:00pm - 5:30pm BST


    Mapping your growth model

  • Monday, September 18

    4:00pm - 5:30pm BST

    Finding language/market fit

  • Wednesday, September 20

    4:00pm - 5:30pm BST

    Growth sprints & experimentation

  • Friday, September 22

    4:00pm - 5:30pm BST

    Leadership & Mindset Shift

Learning is better with cohorts

Learning is better with cohorts

Active hands-on learning

This course builds on live workshops and hands-on projects

Interactive and project-based

You’ll be interacting with other learners through breakout rooms and project teams

Learn with a cohort of peers

Join a community of like-minded people who want to learn and grow alongside you

Frequently Asked Questions

I work full-time, what is the expected time commitment?
Can I get reimbursed by my company?
Does the price include VAT?
Are the lessons recorded, can we access the videos?
How advanced is the material? (Do I need to be a marketing expert?)
What stage startups is this appropriate for?
What business models is this appropriate for? (SaaS? Ecommerce? Marketplaces?)
I'd like my team to attend, do you offer volume discounts?
I can’t attend, where else can I learn about this approach?
What if I have additional questions about the course?
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