By The People Business Incubator
"Unemployment is a worldwide problem - Entreprneurship should be encouraged in order to make people financially independent" (Ben Horowitz, Andreessen Horowitz VC, 2015)
While we strongly believe that with the right support anyone can be an entrepreneur, for many of us this is a road never taken before, and often not the natural career choice. In our experience, success in doing so requires not only a model for identifying the right idea and building a business around it, but also the openness to embrace the change, to view it as an opportunity rather than a burden and to exercise complete dedication to the buildup process.
By The People unique RealSTART model was built in a holistic approach, covering both the “hard”, professional, framework for quickly moving from finding the right idea into building a business and getting it out to the market; and the “soft” factors, of learning to think and work as business owners.
The goal of RealSTART is to help each person develop a business that is based on the its own accumulated experience, expertise and passion, as well as on a viable market opportunity that is both immediate as well as long term. That way, the newly created business has a solid foundation both from the personal perspective as well as from the market one.
The business itself is not limited to a specific type and can be service or technology based; one-man-show or a team work; employee or subcontractor based; for profit or an NGO or any other type.
Going through the RealSTART program include the following steps:
Step 1 - Harvest Personal Assets
Every person has unique and different skills, expertise, accumulated set of experiences and a passion for meaningful doing.
The purpose of this step is to extract these assets from the entrepreneur, and if working in a team, then from all the team members. Once these assets have been identified, we can use them as building blocks for the new business.
The process is conducted as an interactive session between the entrepreneur and a professional guide, answering several questionnaires, going over the resume, telling the stories of the most successful activities done, looking into various perspectives of successful and failed experience, eventually creating a long list of assets.
Step 2 - Identify Business Opportunities (aka "finding an idea for a startup")
In this step, by utilizing our proprietary innovative "Career Migration" innovation process, each entrepreneur goes on a journey from its current career into the future. While doing so, he learns how to identify opportunities that can become the core of the new business. Additional outcome is the general excitement of participants that suddenly realize how many relevant opportunities exist, making their main challenge be to choose the right one.
Of these opportunities, we jointly choose the business opportunity that is (intuitively) the most promising one and with the best fit to the assets mapped in Step 1.
Next we assess the opportunity viability by using the RealSTART 7 Statements™ model. This model helps identify the main assumptions behind the chosen new business and assess how strong are the evidence for them. Each statement covers a different pillar of the business model.
Step 3 - 7 Statements Validation by Pretotyping™
While we may feel confident that our chosen business opportunity is good, life experience shows that before moving forward and investing time and resources in building the new business, we must first validate the model.
Validation is done using the Pretotyping™ technique. Pretotyping was defined by Alberto Savoia, a Google executive, as a way to evaluate new product ideas, or as Alberto puts it - “Make sure you build the right it, before you build it right”.
Using the 7 Statements assessment results from the previous step, we choose the most uncertain statement and define a set of research questions that need to be studied in order to move forward.
The study is done by running a series of experiments on the target market. The experiments are set up by the entrepreneurs using, a set of free or low-cost products, usually available over the web. Insights from these experiments are collected and evaluated.
Validation is done in a series of iterations, each starts with an assessment of the 7 Statements and then running Pretotyping experiments and changing the business model according to the findings until the business model statements are all validated based on real market generated information and the entrepreneur is well acquainted with all the business aspects.
Step 4 - Build & Launch
Once a stable (enough) business model is reached, the next step is all about creating the solution needed for the business to run.
Being focused on launching the business as soon as possible is critical as building can take any amount of work that is allocated for it, and although we believe the model is stable, we should maintain the flexibility to change it as we move along (and actually anytime, even after the launch).
BTP Incubator programs cover the complete range of entrepreneurship, from finding the right idea to launching and running the newly created business.
While going through the above steps, entrepreneurs participate in theoretical sessions that cover the relevant knowledge needed for professional entrepreneurship and in soft skills workshops such as effective presentation, negotiation skills, tasks management, etc.
The programs duration range from few weeks to 9 months long. Depending on the specific needs of each participant.