thoughtbot incubator announces selection for second session

Lindsey Christensen

In case you missed it, thoughtbot launched a startup incubator this year! The incubator team was happy to conclude a successful first session in May with Agnes Malatinszky and her company, Senga. (You can watch our final livestream with Agnes to hear all about how it went on our LinkedIN page.)

And after a fruitful and competitive second round of applications, we are excited to be able to share the details of our second session incubator participant with you.

Meet Ashley Sheble and AvidFirst

Ashley Sheble is the winning applicant to the incubator

Ashley Sheble is currently a solo founder with 15+ years of professional sales, marketing, and strategy experience. She is completing her master’s degree in management at Harvard University and has been working on her business concept through the Harvard i-lab.

Like most great founders, Ashley is working to solve a problem she has personally experienced. And if you’re in the US, chances are you have experienced this pain too: paying for college.

Ashley sees a gap in personal finance solutions that could help families plan for and pay college tuition. Her research has surfaced examples and technical foundations in other industries that could be applied to this major problem area.

Why Ashley and AvidFirst are a good fit for the incubator

Ashley has been conducting research for several years and actively working on the AvidFirst concept for the past year. She has a business plan, pitch deck, and even a provisional patent and investor interest. As a non-technical founder, the piece of the puzzle missing is expert product guidance.

Enter thoughtbot! The thoughtbot incubator specializes in pre-product founders who have solid research and hypotheses under their belt, but need guidance honing in on the specific audience and the value to provide that audience through technology.

Ashley and the incubator team will continue the user research Ashley has been conducting with an eye towards validating or invalidating her assumptions about the market and develop a focus for her initial product offering.

What happens next

The other reason Ashley is a good fit for the incubator is her openness to learning in the open. We will be sharing updates from Ashley and the thoughtbot incubator team every week, alternating between blog posts here and livestream discussions about the project progress, challenges, and more. We’ll take you behind the scenes and show you the entire process so you can learn as well.

We hope you’ll follow along!