Most startups and businesses that come to TechFire are looking for more than good advice. They are usually looking for three things: (1) help with their technology or prototypes (ETC’s specialty), (2) back- office business support (TechFire network’s specialty), and (3) standardized mentoring that results in value added in less time (TechFire mentors specialty). I’d like to take this moment to tell you more about the Lean Startup method; one of the key methods that our serial entrepreneurs use to mentor and educate our young companies about value creation and their nascent markets.
When the National Science Foundation (NSF)seriously explored why so many of their investments in startup and business commercialization resulted in so little return on investments (ROI), it led directly to the investigation into the premises that young companies use to startup. By searching for mentorship that worked, they discovered that no real “process” yet existed by which to standardize and teach value creation and market demand discovery. In the process of linking up with Stanford professor and serial entrepreneur Steve Blank, the Lean Startup method was born. The method itself teaches that if value is to be created and a business model is to launch on solid footing, then targeted market research, customer discovery and value propositions have to be advanced, challenged and reconciled. The Lean Startup method offers quite a bit more than just that, however once NSF realized these notions and built the curriculum, they watched their commercialization rates soar.
TechFire, through our partnerships with MTech (a University of Maryland Incubator and Value propagation source), has fully embraced the Lean Startup method. TechFire is one of the only incubators in the country to use this cutting-edge new foundation to guide our clients! In fact, TechFire not only administers the process to our clients, our serial entrepreneurs are industry mentors in the DC I-Corps process (the Lean Startup 8 week course in DC). TechFire has also engaged in partnership with the College of Southern MD to offer TechFire services and Lean Startup education on campus! You can find TechFire mentors at CSM on the first Friday of each month, so please reach out to us if you are interested in learning more, or just stop by for a visit! Let TechFire introduce you to what will greatly increase your chances at real business success!