Even though many corporates such as Vodafone feel the pain to evolve, most of them are still exceeding current business models. On the other hand, one can see startups such as Whatsapp which are still on the search for profitable business model or product.
Steve Blank and Eric Ries exactly address this issue of startups. They define a startup as “a temporary organization whose only task is the search for a scalable and repeatable business model”. To guide this process, they developed a methodology called the ‘Customer Development’. Core to this methodology is testing assumptions directly with your prospective customers, in order to learn as quickly as possible which problem they have and how to solve it. The goal is to reach product-market fit as quickly as possible, before the money runs out. Product-Market fit is defined in two ways: The point in time at which your product almost perfectly fits market demand and when the focus of the company shifts from the search for a business model, to optimizing and scaling the business model. This is the moment a startup is going to operate more like a corporation.
Startupbootcamp has a lot of mentors coming from a corporate or former entrepreneurial background. As building a startup today requires a different mindset than working in a corporation or building a firm 15 years ago, we sometimes find some cultural clashes. Nevertheless, our mentors experience is one of our core assets to leverage the startups’ experience in the most effective way. Hence, Startupbootcamp is organizing mentor masterclasses to bring together the best out of two worlds.
SBC Amsterdam will hold two – invitation only – mentorclasses in the first quarter of 2013. During these masterclasses, mentors will get an introduction to the Lean Startup methodology. Also, Vodafone and Startupbootcamp alumni will discuss how they use the methodology on a daily basis within their prospective organizations. Mentors will also get hands-on experience with designing an experiment for one of the Startupbootcamp alumni to test a hypothesis within their business model and see if its proper applicable to corporate life. With the future in mind, Marcus Breekweg will present a case study about Philips and how they evolved into new business fields. The essence of the mentor classes is the alignment between mentorship and startups. All to provide the most valuable and acquainted advice.