Well first thing, you get funded. PAX wires the money before the program starts, not at the end. This means that from the very beginning, PAX becomes your partner as we are literally invested in your success.
Next step? Paxapalooza! While PAX is a virtual program, we start each program with an in-person event where you’ll meet the other founders in your cohort, get the first taste of founder Matt Hanson’s wisdom, and do speed meets with investors. You’ll also get to meet alumni from former programs.
Then, the real work begins. Most of the PAX programming follows a regular schedule of virtual meetings from 5-7 pm EST Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. These interactive, hands-on sessions accelerate the challenging but necessary work to deeply understand your target customer. Early in the program, the PAX team will thoughtfully match you with PAX Angels for office hours and mentoring.
The first half of the program is built around something we at PAX call “the sales talk”. It’s basically the movie version of the sales process you have with prospects. This document helps you to craft and communicate your value proposition – to customers, to channel partners, and to investors. The sales talk highlights key elements of influencing a prospect’s buying journey, including building rapport, closing, and creating urgency. Other topics we cover in these first few weeks are pricing strategy, SaaS metrics, and building personas.
The fourth week is the first summit! While still virtual, the summit has a different schedule and is built more around distinguished guest speakers – experienced entrepreneurs and investors. The most exciting part of the summit is the Sales Talk Competition! The PAX Angels judge the founders on how well you can sell to customers. And there’s more than bragging rights at stake…
After the first summit, we take a week-long break from regular work. During the break, we do have Pax Plexus – virtual speed meets with investors! Founders participate in a flurry of 15 minute meetings with VCs from the PAX network.
The second half of the program builds on the foundation we worked so hard to build in the first four weeks. The three weeks after the break go back to the standard 3x a week evening schedule. These sessions will be dedicated to using the strategy and messaging you’ve put together to build a wider go-to-market strategy. This includes how to hire and manage salespeople, creating channel partnerships, digital marketing, and PR tactics.
Experts come in on various topics, and we make sure to include plenty of hands-on and small-group work so you’re continuing to create valuable materials and get feedback from your fellow founders. You’ll start to form a library of the key elements of your value proposition to help you onboard new employees, improve your website, and prepare to handle objections from potential customers.
The final week is the second and final summit, crowned by Demo Day. There will be panels from more illustrious founders and investors, with one crowd favorite being a discussion on an exit strategy. While this is the final week of the formal program, it won’t be the end of your involvement with PAX: once you come through the program, you’re a part of the community forever.
As Pax Angel Bob Struble always says, “CEO’s have to be ready to sell three things: your stock, your product, and your vision.” By the end of the PAX program, you will be eminently well prepared to sell all three.