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Thursday, October 22, 2020

Ureeka taps Kevin O’Leary (AKA Mr. Wonderful) to launch SMB curriculum

Ureeka, a SMB mentorship platform for next-wave entrepreneurs, has today announced the Kevin O’Leary Bootcamp, which will offer members access to an exclusive curriculum of his knowledge and advice.

The startup, which raised $8.6 million in April, looks to offer a full-scale mentorship platform for underrepresented founders across all industries. Alongside offering a community of other entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off of, Ureeka also gives members free access to mentors (experts who are still active in their industry) and paid access to coaches (who continue with the member to tackle specific issues over the course of six months or more).

With the introduction of the Kevin O’Leary Bootcamp, Ureeka is shining a light on coaching circles. Circles place members into a group of five, plus a coach. That coach leads a group conversation each week that focuses on a different pillar of building a business, with concrete tasks given to members to complete.

In the case of the Kevin O’Leary Bootcamp, Ureeka coaches have been trained in his specific curriculum and framework to lead these weekly meetings and pass along his unique flavor of advice.

“He resonates with our audience because he is an entrepreneur,” said Ureeka cofounder Melissa Bradley . “He’s been there, and he’s done that. Second of all, there are a lot of programs out there that are not driven towards outputs or outcomes. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious business model to get stuck in ongoing consulting and that is not his process. He’s going to tell you what you need to do, tell you how to get it done, and get it done, and you see those results.”

Bradley added that several of O’Leary’s portfolio companies were involved with Ureeka early on in the company, which was the original connective tissue between the startup and Mr. Wonderful.

Here’s what O’Leary had to say in a prepared statement:

Underrepresented entrepreneurs, women, people of color are time and time again barred from the type of access so many take for granted, whether it be financial, educational or otherwise. We have to do better. Ureeka is doing incredible work to make tools and connections that are usually reserved for the big fish, actually accessible and all in one place. I’m thrilled to be working with them and to be able to provide small businesses access to my all-star team and resources.

The Kevin O’Leary Bootcamp is 12 months long and costs a total of $3750 across the year, which works out to $312.50/month.

One of the most unique things about Ureeka is that it gives members a series of levers to pull when they run into a problem. They can go directly to their coach to ask a question, and then to a mentor, and then to the peers in their coaching circle, and finally to the broader community.

Cofounder David Jakubowski and Bradley see the greatest challenges to Ureeka as a matter of building trust with users and managing scale.

“With everything going on in the world right now, there are so many people who need help,” said Jakubowski. “It’s not one quick fix. I can’t jump on the phone with anybody in 30 minutes and fix their business. It’s about systemic focus on doing the right things on a repeated basis that will put your business into the best position. There are just so many people who have such dire need right now, whether it’s getting the funding, or getting advice. There are just so many of them that it’s a bit overwhelming.”

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