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Defining the opportunity 2013

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Defining the Opportunity 2013

Defining the Opportunity 2013

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  • 1. Defining the Opportunity Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Design Toolbox © Imperial College Business School
  • 2. Broadly, business ideas have two sources: 1. ”Demand-Pull Idea” based on an observed market opportunity 2. ”Knowledge-Push Idea” based on a new technology or capability © Imperial College Business School The origins of a business idea
  • 3. • An entrepreneur spots a problem that is currently unsolved. It could be: • a problem encountered in personal experience • encountered through friends’ or relatives’ experiences • Observed in the news or in current trends ...Often referred to as ‘customer pain’ or an unmet demand • The entrepreneur studies the reasons behind the problem then conceives and develops a product/service to solve it. • The solution might incorporate technology, but the technology solution is created and tailored specifically for the problem. © Imperial College Business School 1. Demand-Pull Idea
  • 4. • A scientist/inventor makes a new discovery or develops a new technical capability, which could have many possible applications  Also known as a ‘platform technology’ • She then needs to identify a suitable commercial application  Find the most compelling industry/market likely to need or adopt the new technology at an early date – find a problem to solve! • And develop the raw technology further so it can deliver the applications envisioned  develop for “Market readiness” © Imperial College Business School 2. Knowledge-Push Idea
  • 5. • Once the technology is sufficiently developed, the inventor/entrepreneur start-up can either: 1. Manufacture its own products using the technology, and sell them to customers 2. License the protected tech to other companies, which will develop and sell their own products using the technology OR 3. Sell the start-up company, with its Intellectual Property and its highly specialised managers and staff (‘human capital’), to another (usually larger) company © Imperial College Business School ...Knowledge-Push, continued
  • 6. Demand-pull ideas usually go into the Market for Products  Make products/services and sell directly to customers Knowledge-push ideas may end up in either  The Market for products (option 1 on previous slide)  Or the Market for Technology (options 2 and 3, previous slide) © Imperial College Business School Looking ahead: Market for Products or Technology
  • 7. Entrepreneur Tom Allason noticed that courier services are tremendously unreliable and inefficient. After studying the problem and its causes, he got the idea to develop a software system that could  track the progress and whereabouts of each courier using GPS, thus assigning delivery jobs to couriers intelligently  Reduce operating overheads by using a web interface with the customer, employing less call centre staff and paying a better wage to bike couriers He found a logistics expert who could plan and supervise the building of this software and founded eCourier.co.uk Further observations about ‘customer pain’ led to a second start-up, Shutl. (full story in Ch. 1 of The Smart Entrepreneur) © Imperial College Business School Demand-pull example: eCourier.com
  • 8. Prof. Colin Caro of Imperial College discovered that blood vessels are helically shaped, helping blood to flow more efficiently by swirling, avoiding stagnation or slowdown This discovery could lead to several ‘Biomimicry’ applications in situations where fluid flow is important, such as • Medical stents • Oil and gas industry, risers, pipelines, etc. Two companies were formed: – Veryan Medical – designs and develops stents – Heliswirl – develops engineering solutions to increase fluid flow efficiency for industrial processes, increase yield and reduce cost. (Full story in Ch. 1 of The Smart Entrepreneur) © Imperial College Business School Knowledge-push example
  • 9. If you have a demand-pull idea Go to ‘Idea generation and evaluation’ exercise in the IE&D Toolbox • benchmark your idea against other solutions • Improve your idea If you have a knowledge-push idea Go to the ‘Technology/Application Matrix’ in the IE&D Toolbox • Compare and evaluate commercial applications Afterwards you can further reality-test your assumptions and conclusions using Entrepreneurial Market Research and Value Chain/Value Network analysis. © Imperial College Business School Suggested next steps...
  • 10. © Imperial College Business School Two possible journeys... Your Idea/Project Did you start with a problem or a technology/capability? Idea Generation and evaluation Technology/Application matrix Entrepreneurial Market Research Value Chain/Network analysis Knowledge push caseDemand-pull case Evaluate, improve Evaluate, choose Reality -test Reconsider? Reconsider?
  • 11. Clarysse, B. and Kiefer, S., 2011. The Smart Entrepreneur. London: Elliot & Thompson, Ch. 1. © Imperial College Business School Further reading

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