Stanford University: Next Generation Startup Platform Team, Final Report
Stanford UniversityEntrepreneurial Technology Course FINAL REPORTNext Generation Startup Platform Team
Next Generation Startup Platform Team MISSION STATEMENT To design, build and deploy a business and social network for startup founders that ismore advanced, in terms of functionality, than anything currently on the market.
An International Team (1 of 2)John Sechrest. Team Mentor and Advisor. Global organizer for StartupWeekend. Founder of Seattle Angel Conference, and other angel networks.Seattle, Washington.Rob Gordon. Team Leader. Freelance Project Manager and ApplicationDeveloper specializing in business and community networks. San Diego,CaliforniaSander Johansen. Linux System Engineer and Software developer.Organizer for Oslo Startup Weekend. Currently working for one of EuropesLeading Business to business software companies. Oslo, Norway.Garret Hornby. Software developer with knowledge of a half dozen differentprogramming languages. Has worked for several startup companies whilepursuing a degree in computer science and mathematics. New Orleans,Louisiana.Ahsaan Rizvi. Electrical Engineer currently working for China Mobile.Business development expertise, with interest in forming a startup in thetelecommunications industry. Islamabad, Pakistan.
Jack Crawford. Executive in the pharmaceutical industry responsible forplanning and strategy. He has an M.S. in Information Science, is fluent inSpanish, and has founded and sold his own startup company. San JuanCapistrano, California.Chris Yin. Cofounder and COO of Bespoke Partners, an executive search andconsulting firm and works extensively with private equity firms. Currentlyworking on two different startups. San Diego, California.Peter Koryaka. Works international business in the commodities tradingarena. Has worked with small business start up companies. Ukraine.Temelko Dechev. Currently working as a Marketing Manager for a UKcompany that is providing services in the scope of: Software development, Webdevelopment, SEO, SMM, SEM, UX, E-Marketing, CRM, and Businessconsultancy. Bulgaria.
Effectuation Our Teams Business Model ApproachEffectuation is a set of decision-making principles expert entrepreneurs areobserved to employ in situations of uncertainty. Effectuation is an idea with asense of purpose - a desire to improve the state of the world and the lives ofindividuals by enabling the creation of firms, products, markets, services, and ideas.Bird in Hand Principle – Start with your means. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Start takingaction, based on what you have readily available: who you are, what you know, and who you know.Affordable Loss Principle – Set affordable loss Evaluate opportunities based on whether thedownside is acceptable, rather than on the attractiveness of the predicted upside.Lemonade Principle – Leverage contingencies Embrace surprises that arise from uncertainsituations, remaining flexible rather than tethered to existing goals.Crazy-Quilt Principle – Form partnerships with people and organizations willing to make a realcommitment to jointly creating the future—product, firm, market—with you. Don’t worry so much aboutcompetitive analyses and strategic planning.
Team Project Management A Google Intensive Approach● All plans were produced using shared Google documents.● Many team discussions were conducted on Google+● Regular team meetings were conducted using the Google+ hangout (videoconferencing) technology.● Most meetings recorded on Youtube for later viewing by team members.
Opportunity Analysis Project: A Look at Startup Weekend● Startup weekend is a weekend long entrepreneurial event that has been conducted in 300 cities all around the globe● People with different skillsets meet physically, mingle, and form teams around ideas, then work on those ideas from Friday to Sunday.of this intense 54 hours work session.● At the end of the event, they pitch the results of this intense 54 hours work session to people who are investors or serial entrepreneurs.● The event is open for everyone, and it costs about $50-$100 which includes food for the entire weekend.● There is a growing community of entrepreneurs in most major cities of the world who have participated in a Startup Weekend event.
The Startup Weekend Organization● No current business or community platform.● No good method of tracking team progress after the event.● Event management could be improved.● No current "virtual" events that could leverage their branding and global organization.
Startup Weekend Participants● No easy way to connect with other Startup Weekend participants, in spite of this shared experience.● No easy method to have team members in other cities and countries.● Some liked the idea of a "Virtual Startup Weekend".
Opportunity Analysis Project ReportA proposal for a Global Community Platform forStartup Weekend that would allow for thishosting of virtual events and would facilitate theformation of international teams.
Opportunity Execution Project● Simulate the concept of a "virtual startup weekend" by conducting an actual virtual business event for startups.● Move forward on the concept of a community platform for Startup Weekend.● Move forward on the concept of a "Next Generation Startup Platform". Keep our eyes on the prize.
Startup Chautauqua● An attempt to simulate one element of a "virtual startup weekend" by conducting an event with multiple videoconferences being conducted simultaneously.● The first time this has ever been done on Google+. We were pioneers in attempting this. This was also the first real event that used the new Google+ events scheduling system.● Our vision for this event was different than the reality of what happened, however the event itself was successful.● Event had approximately 40 participants and about a half dozen independent hangouts were launched.
Multi-Conference ApplicationPurpose is to allow an administrator to managemultiple, separate videoconferences as the firststep in simulating a "Virtual Startup Weekend".● Uses Google+ API● Allows users to launch and join hangouts.● Lists the hangouts, and the number of participants.
Virtual Startup Events What Next?1. Another Startup Chautauqua. Why not?There is very little downside. It would bedifficult, but not impossible, to "monetize" thistype of event.2. An Actual Startup Weekend Type Event.Lots more work, but also a potentially greaterpayoff. It would not be too difficult to monetizethis type of event, as it would have immediatevalue.
Virtual Startup Event: A Proposed Approach● CMO Team: This team would be required to prepare the market research, competitive analysis, marketing strategy, and a short commercial advertisement (video/slide) for the best pitch.● CFO Team: This team would be responsible to generate the revenue model, cost structure, product/service risks and their mitigation.● COO: This team would be responsible for the product/service design and development, if the development is not possible, a small website would be the deliverable of this team for the best pitch.
World Startups A pivot back to where we startedCloned from American Startups through a process ofeffectualization (we used what we had).Reasons:● The international nature of our Stanford Team● The "international teams" conclusion of our OAP.● The possibility of working with a global organization like Startup Weekend● The Virtual Startup events we are proposing make borders less relevant.● Personal events and values of the Team Leader.
World-Startups.com Features and Functionality● Registration & Application System● Customized Business Profiles● Communication & Collaboration● Partner & Interest Matching● Teams and Interest Groups.● Events Promotion & Management● Membership Levels● Advertising & Sponsorships● Google Technology Integration● Modified open source PHP/mySQL script
Business & Revenue Model● Charge for Events & Training● Charge for Professional Accounts● Charge for Advanced Services● Advertising & Sponsorship● Crowdfunding● Investors and Sponsors● Others TBD
Marketing & Strategy Whats next?● Continue Effectuation Process - a half dozen possible revenue sources could be subject to experimentation.● Continue Planning for a Virtual Startup Process using Google+ hangout technology.● Softlaunch World-Startups.com - learn what we can from a slow rampup of users- build out the site and community at the same time.● Use Startup Weekend events as a lean startup approach for continual improvement of the platform
Summary of accomplishments● Identified a real opportunity for a community for Startup Weekend participants.● Identified an important service area that seems to be mostly untapped - that of virtual startup events that facilitate the startup process.● Conducted an actual virtual startup event and hosted the first ever multi-conference event on Google+● Built the prototype for an application to manage multi- conference events on Google+● Actually produced and built a full featured general purpose platform for startup company founders. This platform is fully operational and accepting applications at World-Startups.com
Thank You!Stanford UniversityProfessor Chuck EeesleyTeam Advisor John SechrestMy Team