Night 9 – Business Case Document and Team Makeup

In 2017, I attended Phase 1 of the New Frontiers Programme which is run by Enterprise Ireland. The programme ran two nights a week over six weeks. There was no fee to attend. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone starting a new enterprise, whether your idea is just an idea or is a semi-developed product. What follows is a post which gives an outline of night 9 of the course. When fully published, there will be 11 posts documenting all nights of Phase 1. To see a list of published posts, click here.

Tonight’s talk was split into two sections. The first part was once again led by Alan Costello. Alan spoke in general terms about The Lean Canvas that each member of the group had now submitted to him. He spoke about general improvements and things to be aware of and focus on when doing our second and third etc iterations of it. He then talked about a Customer Value Proposition (seen on slide 7 of this slideshow) and how different customer segments can be targeted with different versions of The Lean Canvas.

Alan then spoke about the different types of growth that startups can experience and referenced the hockey stick graph versus a straight line growth graph. After a further group exercise around The Lean Canvas, some useful and informative interaction occurred between Alan and the group. Some takeaways from this were:

  • A business should have as many streams of revenue as possible but it is only ever realistic and productive to focus on one or two revenue streams at a time.
  • As a team grows and scales, it is important to hire people better than you at the job you are hiring them for. So in my case, it would not be difficult to hire a better salesperson. However, it would make no sense to hire a developer that is not as experienced or skilled as I am.

Some other useful action items came out of tonight as a result of conversations with other participants.

Completing Phase 1 Of The New Frontiers Programme

The second part of tonight’s talk was led by Claire MacNamee and focused on what was required from us to formally complete Phase 1 of the New Frontiers programme. Namely, a 4-minute pitch followed by a 1 minute Q&A as well as the submission of a Business Case Document. Claire explained that the completion of Phase 1 is separate to the application for Phase 2 and answered some general questions around the presentation and Business Case Document.

Overall, another worthwhile night of a programme that is flying by.

Read Night 1 – Introduction

Read Night 2 – Idea Exploration and Creative Thinking

Read Night 3 – Market Opportunity Problem / Pain ID

Read Night 4 – Market Analysis / Customer Identification

Read Night 5 – Route To Market

Read Night 6 – Lean Business Model Canvas

Read Night 7 – Marketing Communications

Read Night 8 – Legal Issues

Read Night 10 – Financial Planning

Read Nights 11 & 12 – Presenting The Case is an ideal diary and booking system for small businesses. If you know someone that would benefit from an online booking system,  please let me know about them. I will send you a two paragraph email for you to forward to your friend so it couldn’t be less hassle for you to help a couple of Irish businesses to grow!

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