Startup Saturday Navi Mumbai: Idea Validation

What better way to start the New Year?

Blog by Aishwarya Meenakshi

The January edition marks the first in a series of 6 months of synchronized nationwide themes.

The upcoming 6 months shall be based on ‘How to start-up‘ series. The coming themes shall be based around team building, product development, legal essentials, fundraising and startup sales.

The idea is to engage the early stage startups and budding entrepreneurs. The above series shall be focused on being informative including hands-on experience gaining workshops.

We look forward to handhold, mentor and guide at least 10 budding entrepreneurs to successfully startup in Navi Mumbai by the end of 2017. (*insert inspirational orchestral montage*)

We are determined to help every budding entrepreneur and startup enthusiasts to further deepen their knowledge, turning their entrepreneurial dreams into reality. Here’s to a successful year ahead 🙂

Coming back to January, we were joined by:

Prof. Manmeet hosted a workshop that explored the core concepts of a business model canvas. He questioned the fear of validating our ideas – recognizing fear of rejection & not knowing how to validate ideas as plausible reasons.

SS_jan (8)

Prof. Manmeet hosting the workshop.

A few salient points:

  • Best validation approach is to brainstorm about the idea, so as to generate critical questions about the model & make one think.

If someone –anyone– implements your idea, it implies that even if said idea had been implemented earlier, pretty soon there would’ve have been similar implementations all over the place. (My mind just came up with an absurd whack-a-mole imagery. Seems accurate.)

  • At some point, external validation might not matter, self-satisfaction is the most important to you. Best condition to be in is when nobody cares about your situation, thus putting you under minimum pressure.(Instant flashback to Class 8, where my parents declared that they didn’t care about my Sports achievements – or utter lack thereof. #byeByeStress)
  • The session concluded with a business model canvas created by every single start-up in attendance. Everything from a block chain model to an education portal model was jotted down. Here’s a business model canvas template for reference :
    Business Model Canvas TemplateSource [x]

A business model canvas is popular with entrepreneurs for business model innovation as it delivers Focus, Flexibility and Transparency. There are nine elements involved that together provide a pretty coherent view of a business’ key drivers:

  1. Customer Segments: Who are the customers? What are their opinions?
  2. Value Propositions: What’s the selling point of the proposition from a customer’s point of view?
  3. Channels: How are these propositions marketed & sold? Is it efficient? How can you improve on them?
  4. Customer Relationships: What is the nature of customer interactions? How can it be changed positively?
  5. Revenue Streams: How is revenue earned via the value propositions?
  6. Key Activities: What is uniquely strategic about the business proposition delivery?
  7. Key Resources: State the unique strategic assets in possession.
  8. Key Partnerships: What to avoid to maintain focus on Key Activities?
  9. Cost Structure: List the major cost drivers and their link to revenue.


{Here’s a Facebook live video of Prof. Manmeet’s session. Send us chocolates 😉 }

Shibham then took the dais, and hosted his session with a healthy dose of personal experience.

SS_jan (7)

Shibham presenting the case-study.

A few pointers from his session:

  • Define a purpose before starting.

This was a repeatedly emphasized point, upon which the remaining session hinged. The strength of clarity in the purpose also drives forward the associated activities.

  • Primary research includes the stakeholders: influencers, channel partners, end clients & competition.
    • Use the obtained insight on the market and modify any approach accordingly.
    • Assumptions need to be continuously challenged & eventually corrected.
    • Any Product should solve a problem. (Echoing Anil Amesur, way back in July!)
  • Define market segment in the following steps :
    • Identify your niche.
    • Prepare for scaling
    • Make the product scalable
  • Resource planning
    • Finance – assume no funding and plan for the first 6 months
    • Use stage I for the next 12 months plan
    • Plan further ahead, say 3-5 years.
  • Competitive Analysis ( easier when the purpose is clear. That rhymed. )
    • It is assumed that the product is what must be the deciding factor against competition. Apart from the product itself, the business model, resource planning, market research might also give you an edge.

{ Here’s a Facebook Live Video of Shibham’s session! I feel so powerful. }

Here’s a lovely set of photos that show us felicitating our speakers 🙂

SS_jan (10)

Prof. Manmeet being felicitated by Amit from Zoomstart.

SS_jan (12)

Shibham being felicitated by Bikash from Headstart.

Additional reading for Business Model Canvas.

[Come say hi on Facebook!]