We teamed up with some of New York City’s finest innovators for the first-ever Next Top Makers Workshop Series.

The free five-part series, made possible by NYCEDC, helped product entrepreneurs elevate their startups with insight into the pillars of creating great products and building sustainable businesses around them.

Each workshop was devoted to a different area of focus: Business Basics, Understanding Users, Legal, Designing for Manufacturing, and Marketing & Storytelling.

If you are building your business right now, we invite you to learn from the content created by incredible NYC-based experts through a set of videos, work plans and guides to orient you and help you build your business in each area. A great first step is to fill out the Product Startup Plan, the correlated checklist for each topic that can help you set priorities, and then work your way through the resources available on the pages below. Or, focus on just the areas you’re looking to master and fill out the individual Product Startup Plan sections related to each workshop (linked on the Workshop pages below).


Crafting a vision statement, positioning your product and raising funds. Led by Adrea Simmons, Nico Vansnick and John Tarantino.

Adrea is head of marketing for Electric Objects and a former product and marketing manager at Google, Amazon and Microsoft. Nico is CEO of Botfactory, a former Next Top Makers Fellow and raised more than $450,000 in funding. John is CEO of Martenero and successfully launched his company through friends and family.

Business Basics Product Startup Plan

Business Basics video

Business Basics presentation

Business Basics checklist


And if that isn’t enough, here is more:

Business Model Generation guide

Business Basics additional resources


Creating products that matter in people’s lives, and doing all the right tests first! Led by Camille Hearst and Marco Perry.

Camille is CEO of Expa’s Kit.com and a former product and marketing manager at Apple, YouTube, Google and Hailo. Marco is founder of the award-winning design firm Pensa.

Understanding Users Product Startup Plan

Understanding Users video

Understanding Users presentation

Understanding Users checklist


And if that isn’t enough, here is more:

Understanding Users guide to Web usability

Understanding Users guide to building product

Understanding Users additional resources



Creating company structure and equity plans, developing trademarks and patents. Led by Daniel Gross, Peyton Worley and Marjorie White.

Daniel is an intellectual property attorney at Myers Wolin. Peyton is a partner in emerging companies and capital markets at Cooley. Marjorie is an associate professor of clinical law and director of transactional practice for the Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy Clinic.

Legal Product Startup Plan

Legal checklist

Legal introduction to patents and trademarks for startups

Legal guide to patents


And if that isn’t enough, here is more:

Legal guide to founder shareholder agreements

Legal additional resources


Understanding the production process from bill of materials to negotiating with manufacturers. Led by Jori Borràs and Spencer Wright.

Jordi is head of industrial design at NYC’s very own littleBits. Spencer is VP of product at nTopology and former head of strategy at Undercurrent.

Designing for Manufacturing Product Startup Plan

Designing for Manufacturing video

Designing for Manufacturing presentation

Designing for Manufacturing checklist


And if that isn’t enough, here is more:

Designing for Manufacturing additional resources



A deep dive into the world’s most successful brand stories and the roadmap for you to get there. Led by John Vaskis, Sarah Meister and Chris Gorges.

John is senior head of hardware, tech and design at Indiegogo. Sarah is PR manager at Food52 and former head of product at Vann Alexandra. Chris is a partner at Rocketure and former senior strategist at Havas Worldwide.

Marketing and Storytelling Product Startup Plan

Marketing and Storytelling video

Marketing and Storytelling presentation

Marketing and Storytelling checklist


And if that isn’t enough, here is more:

Marketing and Storytelling additional resources

Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose (Voices that Matter) guide

Everybody Writes: Your Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content guide

Special thanks to Impact Hub for hosting the series and Bronx Beer Hall for wonderful food and drink throughout it!

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