Our First Tropical MBA Class – Let’s Launch a New Business (or Product) Together

Our First Tropical MBA Class – Let’s Launch a New Business (or Product) Together post image

A few weeks ago Ian and I recorded a podcast where we asked the question– what if we invited a small group of entrepreneurs to a tropical island this summer and help them launch their startups?

The response was great– 50 people contacted us regarding the program in one way or another. One of the biggest pieces of feedback we heard was why wait?

Fair enough! Let’s get started!

What will the first Tropical MBA be?

You can hear more of the thinking, attitude, and approach in our podcast. But here’s the broad strokes:

  • An intensive 8-week program with your peers, my team, and expert mentors from our network. Great for new start-ups or existant businesses looking to get to the next level.
  • 2-4 weeks in person instruction in the Philippines (2 weeks required, you can stay at the resort for a total of 4 weeks rent free, we’ll include that in the price).
  • 1 on 1 coaching with Ian and myself. We’ll help you determine your minimum viable products or next level business strategy. We’ll be comprehensive and pry for all the details of your particular situation. We’ll be 100% honest with you and demand that the whole group operate the same. No ego padding allowed– successful businesses depend on great information, not flattery.
  • 2 weeks of detailed instruction, masterminds, and planning before you venture to our quiet resort in the Philippines.
  • 4 weeks of post-trip follow-up sessions, including a private sub-forum in the Dynamite Circle (including 6 months of free membership).
  • 100% support and guidance from our technical and design team (some of whom will be on location). Nobody is going to get snagged up with basic technology issues.
  • Ballpark price for this event will be 2K. We’ll be including 4 weeks of lodging and 2 weeks of healthy food.
  • Not only tons of fun, but my personal goal is that attendees would feel that their time spent with us this summer was some of the most productive of their life.

Why is the price so low?

View from resort balcony.

I know it probably sounds like I’m full of crap, but the biggest piece of feedback I received from people is “raise the price!” A lot of people have asked us how we can make money at this price point.

The truth is, we won’t make money on this project. We are truly lucky to have a growing business on our hands (our Q1 annualized run rate is 1.5+ mil), so we don’t have build a ton of margin in to our fun projects.

This is what I’d want to do with my time anyway! I just want to make sure we cover our costs and have a little left over to make it worth our energy and team’s time.

I want to keep this fun, inexpensive, and effective. We hope that your 2 or 4 weeks spent in the Philippines will be cheaper than what you’d spend back home. The price of the event will include coffee, tea, snacks, and 3 awesome meals a day. You don’t need to spend a dime beyond that if you don’t want to.

I need your help now if you’d are thinking of attending (You’ll get an email notification with the detailed offer before the offer goes public):

Based on the feedback I’ve received so far, we are making arrangements for 10 start-ups to join us in the Philippines this summer. If you have any real interest in being one of those 10 start-ups (and paying 2K for 8 weeks of instruction, guidance, and room / board in the Philippines) I’d like you to send me an email within 48 hours. I need you your advice on the following:

*  *  *

Fill out my online form.

If the form above doesn’t load in your browser, you can follow this link.

*  *  *

We’ll email anyone who filled out the form this weekend and give them a chance to reserve a spot before we publish the offer publicly next week.

On Friday night I’ll send an email out to members of our Dynamite Circle. They’ll have first dibs to reserve spots. On Saturday or Sunday I’ll emailing the readers who filled out the form.

Cheers and thanks for reading!


PS, if you want to price check flights, you’ll be flying to Manila, Philippines. (MNL)

The view you'll see right before we'll start our evening brainstorming sessions...

Published on 04.11.12
  • Why not follow the YCombinator incubator model? Offer all of what you’re offering for free, in exchange for an equity stake in the company. The startup gets guidance, mentorship, and a place to crash while they’re building their MVP, and you guys have the motivation to do everything you can to bring the company to an exit. Granted this brings a legal headache to the whole process, and instead of small web projects you’d be looking for companies with agressive business models.

  • Dan

    I don’t think equity stake model makes sense unless businesses have large multiple potential and that’s not my wheelhouse. I’m just an average hustler ! I’m no good at tech / cutting edge startup stuff, so I’ll leave that to the dudes for now. More thoughts on it here: http://www.tropicalmba.com/lifestyle-business-incubator/

  • Dan

    Also, just thinking… probably a more honest answer is that I don’t want 10 new business partners, having 1 is enough of a commitment! It’s more than I can take on…. I’d prefer to just offer a great price for the event and make some lifelong friends and let them go off and run their empire. Ya know, partnership is a sinking ship ! :P

  • SteveWyman

    Hi Dan

    Only 2 weeks of food.. That would help my weight loss for the other two :-)

    Whats the best place to fly into from UK? (costing of flights is relevant)

    And how much is  beer and entertainment likely to run to !!!

    Intreresting op this may well be.

  • SteveWyman

    Hi Dan

    Ignore me having a brain fart and thought the event was in Bali! the phillipines are ok thats cool.


  • Dan

    Cheers Steve. Yes only two weeks of food, after that every man for himself. I forgot to mention there will be a film crew on hand and no way off the island!!!! SURVIVOR TMBA. :)

    Entertainment costs could in theory be zero, since we’ll throw a few small BBQs, go for hikes, etc. However, if we go out to a few bars, rent a few motorcycles, or go SCUBA diving, shoot guns, etc….I’d budget something like 100 to 300 dollars for entertainment. 

  • Just filled out the form.  Sounds like a blast!

  • Is this more-so for people who already started their business and have an idea? Or is finding an idea and running with it part of the process?

  • Dan

    Cheers Kevin. Fun, it will be. :) We’ll email you this weekend, unless I can’t finish the clear offer letter today, which is a real possibility! Working on it now…

  • Dan

    Dan, will work well for both groups. For folks who are at idea stage, it’ll be a big leg up, but will obviously take a lot longer to get a viable source of cash flow happening in 8 weeks… although, not impossible for sure! 

  • Trevor

    “Film crew..”?? Lol…that could be a good idea ;)…having a sleek mini-doc/ promo video for your next Winter biz startup camp could be cool. Make therse awesome programs TMBA is running more visible online for more people to notice! What do yah think Dan? It’s time for less boring HDR photos on your blog articles and get some Dynamic Video up there, hehe. Let’s work something out:)

  • Dan

    haha, yeah man thats probably a good idea. now getting me to invest in it is a whole other ball of wax!!! :P

  • JustinWCooke

    Hey Dan,

    We’re taking a film crew with us to Cebu for the StartupWeekend thing. They’re quite good (and cheap) and have participated (and won awards?) in the Mindanao film festival down here.  Let me know if you need the contact info. :-)

  • Justin Miramontes

    He must not blog from South East Asia :D Uploading video is a mofo!

  • Dan, an impressive offer and if I had the $2k I’d be on the plane as quick as a flash!  Seriously a great idea and a very affordable package but having just launched a new on-line maternity brand cash is too tight to book in our 1st year!  Would be interested in hearing how it all went though!

  • This frickin rocks, guys!  Unfortunately I won’t be joining you due to commitments I’m following through on, but I look forward to picking up on some things you pass on via the blog and podcast.  The price is… amazing.  I do hope you’ll let the rest of us live vicariously as it goes.  Hint, hint…

    I do think this is a great product idea, if you’re up for taking it on.  If I were a documentarian, I’d be all over this!  They could follow some of the people in the process with you and show before and after statistics.  Instead of weight loss, you’re training them for freedom gain.  The Biggest Loser has nothing on you guys!

  • I guess I missed the early-bird offer this weekend. If there’s still space left when it goes public I’m in. 

  • Dan

    thanks Jim! I really appreciate the kind words. Feels a little weird to go in to full time coach mode, but I really believe it’s going to be tons of fun. 

  • Dan

    I just email ya! this won’t go public but I might have a space for you.

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  • Thad David

    Is this still open or has it filled up? I am just now finding out about it and think it is a great idea. I would love to go if there are still spots available.

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  • b2mfnk

    I just found out about his through adsenseflippers.com…I didn’t make the deadline but would love to participate on the next one!!

  • Dan

    Cheers just hop on the mailing list I’ll send out a note when we open back up!

  • Dan

    sorry missed your comment! we’ll hopefully be doing it again shortly, we’ll blog about it and send a note to our mailing list.

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