Welcome to "Startup Secrets"*
The idea behind this series is to create a framework for entrepreneurs and innovators to think through some of the key steps that could accelerate their success in starting a business. The frameworks are brought to life with real world entrepreneurs and their case studies.
I recommend you review the frameworks in the following order, though you can pick and chose whatever suits you from any section and explore a growing number of Videos, Slideshows, Articles and Case examples in each area. We've also created a new workshop for the Roadmap to Success that can help orient you to the journey you might expect and also to lead you into a number of the other workshops linked below:-
The logic behind this order is that you probably don't have a company to start without an idea and how to turn it into a Compelling Value Proposition. Then, as you get going, defining your Vision, Mission and Culture become critical to Hiring an A+ team. Next, thinking about your Business Model and go-to-market Strategy and Tactics become key to figuring out a business that can be differentiated and sustainable. And then, being able to put it all together in a Investor Pitch that you can use to raise money rounds and understanding your Funding Strategy can be key next steps.
Turning Products into Companies came out of working with iLab teams who often started with product ideas and product based teams that constantly asked me how as engineers or designers they should think about product development as part of architecting an overall business. And finally, the last workshop in the series is a chance to think about whether you've got what It takes to be an entrepreneur and how to get the mentorship and that is so often critial to a rewarding experience.
In all these workshops I'm endeavoring to bring in both seasoned and up and coming entrepreneurs to share their stories in class and develop our library of case studies. If you'd like to participate and share your story, please follow @mjskok and send a direct message to me.
To give you a sense of what you can get out of the Startup Secrets workshops at Harvard innovation lab, perhaps take a look at the following video from our May 8, 2013 wrap up session that provides a good summary of the types of topics and case studies covered in the sessions:
On this site in particular, we will be adding more case examples to the sessions to bring the frameworks to life with the experience, knowledge and skills shared by other successful entrepreneurs. Check the growing list of case examples out here.
*On a personal note of humility, this is all shared in an open spirit so that ultimately this is all far from a "startup secret"! In fact it's all really just common sense, but having not had the formal education to start a company when I first did as a teenager, it is done in the spirit of "stuff I wish I'd known then that could have helped me avoid all the mistakes I've made for the last 30+ years!". I'm still enjoying learning and hope you will share your learning here too.