JEAN-LUC SCHERERBusiness and career coaching, startup mentoring

Founding Partner @ Innoopolis. Business and career coaching, startup mentor. Innovation professional, Startup setup, team dynamics, go-to-market, digital marketing, scaling and growth. Doer and provocative thought leader.

Recent Answers

Crowdfunding can work well when there is a real product, as already commented earlier. But whether you have a great idea or not, it is important also to understand that crowdfunding is complex. Successful crowdfunding campaigns are most often run by professionals or marketing agencies. So the odds to succeed on raising funds can are not that high. Also you need to find the right type of crowdfunding. From a learning point of view though trying to do a crowdfunding campaign can be a great experience. If the business is a physical business in fitness, like a gym, there might be other ways to fund it, but being a fresh grad and having zero experience in business will make difficult to raise funds that way...

The benefit of viral marketing is that you increase the share of mind of possible customers and since you typically see what your community shares, you are also likely to be influenced.

Another benefit of viral marketing is that the marketing costs do not increase. People reshare your content. You do not need to pay for additional impressions as you would do with ad campaigns.

It depends on the goal you set up for yourself. Consider that success could be measured in financial terms (profitable business), from a human and learning dimension (did you grow as a person, did you learn), or from a social perspective (did you grow your network, relations that will help you in future ventures). There are probably more ways to define that, but for myself, I certainly consider the human dimension and the quality of the journey you go through as important success criteria.

Your question is quite common and this is something first-time entrepreneurs often struggle with. I would suggest you divide your question into two parts:
- First focus on something you are passionate enough about so that you can really commit and dedicate enough time on the idea. I find that execution is often related to well the idea you are working on is aligned with your passions
- Secondly, try to be systematic about the ideation process. You have already listed a few things in your question, but you need to enrich it with more insights, not only on the pain points but also on trends and evolving consumer behaviors. There are then various tools you can use to take you through ideation.
To sum up, set a strategic focus, and align it with your passions, get as much insights you can on the focus area, generate ideas, refine and develop paper concepts. Go into validation and iterate from there. I hope this helps.

The answer really depends on who you are targeting. I am assuming here that it is primarily SMEs in which case I would probably focus on sales and productivity tools.
There are a number of tools like Pipedrive (Sales CRM) and Trello (List organizer) that I cannot live without. Whatever you develop I think it is key also to focus on plug-ins and integrations with other tools, that can increase stickiness as well as attract users of existing tools.

The fact that your project is patented does not necessarily mean that it is commercially attractive. You have to develop a minimum viable product and get market validation. Once you achieve that and see there is enough demand, you should probably run a few pilots to collect data. Then you can go in two directions, either you build your startup, run through an accelerator to get visibility, or you approach a vendor that is interested in this type of technology. The startup path might give you a better indicator on valuable your patent really is.

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