Novem ber 19 th , 2013 9-10AM, Atrium , Virginia Com m onwealth University in Qatar (Education City

)

Burn Your Business Plan: How To Successfully Start Your Business
Target audience
Entrepreneurs interested in start up a business

Program Brief
Instead of documenting the future unknowns (writing a business plan) or executing a predefined plan, startups should focus on uncovering the unknowns by conducting customer validation and developing a minimum viable product.

More detailed briefing

Traditional approach in early stage entrepreneurship
Most business schools and textbooks continue to follow the traditional approach to startups. This method entails spending an average of three to six months to develop a business plan that details operations and financial projections without incorporating significant customer validation. After the business plan has been completed prototypes are developed and lastly a final product is launched in order to get significant customer validation. This old-fashion methodology, which focuses on product development rather than customer development, has led to an overwhelming amount of startup failures. Statistics show that 90% of all startups fail, mainly due to the lack of customers and not products. In addition, only 1% of business plans that are sent to venture capitalists receive funding.

QBIC’s approach in early stage entrepreneurship
Unlike traditional business schools and textbooks, it’s not about writing and also not about executing of a predefined business plan. We do it the other way around: instead of concentrating and documenting the future unknowns, we ask our entrepreneurs to go outside the building (and therefore outside their comfort zone) and talk to customers, partners, etc. We start with obtaining significant customer validation before product development. The teams will use the Business Model Canvas and Customer Development Model in order to turn their great business idea into a great scalable startup company. By releasing a minimum viable product (website, mockup, simulation etc.), the startup can then make use of significant customer feedback to help further tailor their product to the specific needs of its target market. This is not another or new approach in entrepreneurship, but rather a fundamental different approach in how to successfully start a business. The objective of this fundamentally different approach in entrepreneurship is to reduce time and money spent on development costs, shorten time to market, and create products that are more likely to succeed providing greater returns to investors.