In our December batch we'll be releasing this many more seats. Hang tight!

high potential entrepreneurs

corporate innovators and leaders

student innovators and entrepreneurs

You’ve landed on a pre-release version of this page. Hang tight while we get ready to release the final version.


The best innovators should get the most support …

And their best ideas should survive and thrive.


But it doesn’t always work that way. Far too many barriers in society, in our corporations, in our nonprofits, and in our schools prevent the best people from competing and keep the strongest concepts from bubbling to the top of the heap and finding support.
We’re looking to help change the game for 1000 of the highest potential entrepreneurs and 1000 of the strongest mid to senior level innovation leaders out there. Through our courses and World Embedded Education, we’re going to remove as many barriers to entry as possible to boost and accelerate the work of these Innovation Ninjas whose ideas might otherwise not flourish.
Do you know one of them? Are you one of them?

How does 1000 Innovation Ninjas work?


We release a new batch of Innovation Ninja seats

Starting with our Idea Maker course, we’re going to open up batches of seats in our online and blended learning experiences, and make them available to top entrepreneurs, to corporate innovation leaders, and to promising students.

Can you tell me more about the Idea Maker?


You pay whatever you can to secure one

You pay any amount over $1 that you can afford to pay to secure your seat in the current batch.

Then within minutes you’ll receive an email from us with all the details you need to get started right away.

The normal price of tuition for the Idea Maker course is $999.  Why are you letting me pay what I can?

Then go through the basic training modules …

As part of the Idea Maker basic training you’ll jump right into using a practical set of tools for getting your ideas down, and developing personal / team and concept pitches to help communicate them. You’ll develop your very own Idea Page – like a Facebook page but for your idea (which can be kept public, made private, or password protected). And you’ll begin learning to assess your own concepts and how to build a portfolio of high potential ideas.


… to unlock the full Idea Maker course

As soon as you finish the basic training, we’ll open up the whole Idea Maker course to you – giving you access to the rest of the 5-day self-paced world-embedded learning experience.

There’s no additional cost for this – if you finish the basic training and prove you’re committed, then we’ll give you access to the whole thing. Merit based. As simple as that.

What is the Idea Maker?

The Idea Maker course / WEE Degree is an online learning experience that is to ideation what Udacity’s Nanodegrees are to web technology. The normal price of tuition for the course is $999.

But describing it that way doesn’t do it justice so take a few minutes to watch this video.

This signature course is the first in a series of such learning experiences that together help people go from Napkin to Revenues. Its focus is on the design of really big value ideas – ideas that are at the same time highly impactful and imminently feasible for you (and the team you attract) to carry out.

Want to know more? Want to preview the experience? Learn more and explore it here »

Pay what I can?

Hi! Alex here, co-founder of the Straight Up Business Institute.

And yes, for a limited time (or until we reach 1000 Innovation Ninjas in each category) we want people to name their price for our Idea Maker course. Any price over a dollar, as long as they’re going to put the course to really good use.

Here’s why:



We’ve spent two years building the tools, processes, and courses we wish we’d had when we started leading innovation in companies and then becoming entrepreneurs ourselves. And doing so in a straight up way so you can benefit from them right now, embedded wherever you are, to accelerate something important to you or your organization.

And our mission now is to find 1000 high potential entrepreneurs and 1000 mid to senior level corporate innovation leaders and work with them to accelerate their work. To bring them to the next level. To help them drive innovation and open big new doors.

We’ve realized that in order to do this right it needs to be based on merit. In other words, it has to be based on getting the best people in the door.

So get in on the 1000 Innovation Ninjas opportunity, name your price – anything over a dollar that you think’s fair value, challenge yourself, and see if you’re one of them.


Alex and Mike.

Frequently asked questions

What’s the catch?

There’s no catch. We’re a social business and we’ve built and fully road-tested both our super online learning experience and the Idea Maker – the first of our signature courses (including all the tools and processes that make it unique).

And now our mission is to get the best possible learning experiences into the hands of people with the highest potential to innovate.

If you want to be one of them then we want you to choose your price based on what you can afford. No barriers to entry.

May the best ideas live!

Will I lose access once you reach 1000 Ninjas?

Nope. We’re after enabling and accelerating the work of 1000 high potential entrepreneurs, 1000 corporate innovation leaders, and 1000 students. And every one of those Ninjas will be treated just like anyone we work with in the future. The only difference is that you’ll be first among them.

We might ask you to help us celebrate a little when we reach our goal – a virtual high five of sorts. And you can be sure you’ll be the first to hear about our next stages and future releases. But that’s it.

I lead a team. A team that’s always busy trying to get things done. Is this for us too?

Yup. We’ve been on teams, we’ve led our own teams, and we’ve worked with teams all over the world. In high tech and low tech contexts. In for profit and non profit environments. Online and in person. In educational settings and in the workplace. And we know how hard it can be to shift a culture or build a common language across a group, let alone build competencies that boost your performance while not disrupting what you already do well.

We know how many employees don’t want another expensive consultant-led workshop or airport bookshelf self-help business book to read before the offsite. And we know you want PD dollars to be spent wisely.

Which is why Idea Maker’s delivered in a straight up way from start to finish. It’s designed to help your organization get better at what we call Strategic Ideation – coming up with a portfolio of really big value ideas so you can spend your time and resources in the right places. And it’s deliberate in making it happen when and where you need it.

Check out our team and corporate innovation offerings »

I run an incubator, accelerator, or school. How do we get involved?

We want to help make your shop more efficient. To help make sure you have the best concepts coming into and out of your process possible. To help make sure you’re known in your community for concepts and innovators that lead the pack.

We can sign you up with your own batch of seats: Check it out and tell us a little more about yourself.

And if you find that works well for you, we’re also looking for colleges and universities that want to become 1000 Innovation Ninja Campuses, and incubators and accelerators that want to become 1000 Innovation Ninja incbuators and accelerators. Ask about this.

I teach this stuff to a class or cohort. How can the Idea Maker boost the learning experiences I’m designing?

Through this initiative we’re opening up 1000 seats in the Idea Maker course for students and we’d be thrilled if they were yours. We have teachers using the course as a sort of ‘super textbook’ allowing them to flip the classroom and spend their time in the room very differently.

Be sure to check out our support for educators using the Idea Maker and our Educator’s Hub too.

As you’ll see, educators and students are asked to pay what they can too – any price over a dollar.