Entrepreneurs: Do Yourself a Favor & Learn the Startup Methodology

Are you an entrepreneur or interested in starting a business?  Do you have a business idea, but don’t know where to begin or how to ask for help? Do yourself a favor and learn the Lean Startup methodology.

Why? Because rapidly testing and validating your ideas before you spend (or raise) a lot of money can spare you a great deal of pain. Consider this: Pets.com burned through roughly $300 million in less than two years and became one of the biggest startup flops on record. However, some simple experiments that tested: pet owners willingness to by online (in 1998), pet owners willingness to wait several days for products to be shipped, and pet owners willingness to pay prices sufficient enough to make up for the high costs of shipping heavy items (like dog food), could have prevented a lot of heartache for the Pets.com founders and the hundreds of people who lost their jobs when the company folded.

As was the case with Pets.com, the ‘build it and they will come’ mentality is most often a recipe for disaster. Utilizing the Lean Startup methodology will help avoid this type of disaster through experimentation. Dropbox, for example, released a video outlining their high level concept to gauge consumer interest before they wrote a single line of code. This experiment resulted in approximately 75,000 waiting list sign ups and provided significant validation for their idea. While not every experiment will produce such clear results, they will help you better understand the viability of your idea. And what would you rather bet your company on: a set of guesses or a set of validated assumptions?

There are a number of ways to learn more about the Lean Startup methodology. The preeminent Lean Startup texts include The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and The Startup Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank. Another option for New Mexicans includes attending an ABQid and/or SFid Entrepreneurial Bootcamp.

The staff and mentors of SFid and ABQid, investor-funded accelerator programs located in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, offer an introduction to the Lean Startup methodology through their interactive Entrepreneurial Bootcamps. During these 2-hr Bootcamps, they teach entrepreneurs how to summarize their ideas in a framework that makes it simple to test and validate them. Each Bootcamp is hosted by accomplished/serial entrepreneurs and more information can be found at www.ABQid.com.

Bonus: The next free bootcamp/workshop is next Thursday, December 1oth at the Violet Crown in Santa Fe from 3 to 5pm. To RSVP or learn more visit: http://conta.cc/1LJ9Avc

ABQid Announces Accelerator Teams for 2014

ABQid 2014 Accelerator Teams
ABQid, Inc., is proud to announce the 2014 ABQid Accelerator Class of 2014. The teams selected to the program are guided by outstanding entrepreneurs, ready to take on the rigorous challenge of searching for a scalable business model. The concepts represented below are a starting point for what will undoubtedly shift during the course of the accelerator program as teams discover the path to highly and rapidly scalable markets.
o AttachedApps delivers cloud-based contact and sales management software designed especially for the millions of small and medium-sized businesses that want a simple and efficient way to manage, retain and grow their customers. Our apps are easy to install, use and own — and they work from your mobile, tablet or desktop computer. If your organization needs a better way to work, find us at www.attachedapps.com.
o Blackfish, Inc., has created an innovative app distribution platform which addresses the primary issue with apps – discoverability. Our patent pending technology lets mobile apps be found among the millions of apps out there, and therefore makes apps more profitable, which is the bottom line in this multi-billion dollar, fastest-growing sector of software.
o InnoBright presents a disruptive, animation rendering accelerator plug-in that improves rendering speed and removes the noise from existing, commercial Monte Carlo method based rendering software packages to produce photorealistic images in a short time. InnoBright’s plug-in improves rendering time by more than 90%, a huge cost reduction and efficiency improvement for animation studios. Customer benefits include faster rendering, higher availability of rendering farm resources, CPU & GPU support, seamless integration into existing workflow.
o itsums collects images for your latest project and organizes them into a simple sum to save you time and money. Americans spend over a trillion dollars annually on parties, weddings, holiday shopping, travel and home projects and they use pictures and images for inspiration and ideas. itsums brings that special event or home project to life while organizing your budget into one sum.
o NuAira is a ultra-pneumatics company concentrating on mobility solutions for personal, public and military transportation. We are dedicated to bringing low cost renewable energy based mobility to developing countries.
o Nuvos is a universal software development kit (SDK) that allows developers to avoid the pain of having to re-write their applications to support different types of devices. Nuvos will be working with ABQid to open-source key parts of this technology, enabling the exact same code to work seamlessly on billions of smart phones, tablets, laptops, and embedded devices.
o Peptineo offers a fully-enabled nano-based therapeutic delivery platform, with key opportunities in antibiotics and vaccines, that is backed by over $US 10 million in R & D. We will make and we will sell re-formulated therapeutics that take advantage of our delivery platform, which unlike many of our competitors, is based on a material that is generally regarded as safe (GRAS).
o PiFi is a hardware and software cloud platform that makes it easy for parents to manage when, and for how long, their children use the Internet. Children receive academic reinforcement, and parents get the peace of mind that their children are not spending too much time on the Internet. We believe in simplicity.
o Plug.Solar designs, manufactures and distributes the SunPort plug and play solar access point, which delivers solar energy to any electrical outlet, allowing anyone to get solar as a service. The SunPort is a portable, fun, and easy to use smart grid device which affordably provides solar energy through the power grid, simply by plugging in. It uses patent-pending MatchBox technology, which tracks energy consumption and automatically matches it to third party certified solar energy from remotely located grid-tied panels.
o SportXast is a smartphone app that makes it easy to capture goals and touchdowns, to find the best plays of the game and to share amazing plays with friends and family. Its instant replay button helps fans catch incredible highlights. @SportXast, www.facebook.com/SportXast
o ToroFish attracts more students to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by using rewards as incentives. The Company is launching a rewards program that provides points to students in grades Kindergarten through 12 for their involvement in STEM activities both in and out of school. The points may be converted into gift cards that students can use to buy food, clothes, music, or other things.
o Undisclosed Company. A company that has chosen to remain unnamed.

Photos “borrowed” optimistically and with fondness from the Albuquerque Business First.

CNM collaborates with ABQid to teach students how to Kick-start their Business Idea!

by Tom Darling, CNM

On April 22nd, on the main campus of Central New Mexico Community College, a new step was taken in the development of the economic development of Albuquerque. Over 70 people attended a two hour boot camp titled “Kick-start your Start Up” to learn a new way of getting their business idea on to one page, in a way to validate their product, idea, and concept with the customer in mind. Students and community members were paired with local entrepreneurs, business owners and venture capitalists to work through their innovative business ideas in order to get them one step closer to reality. Earlier this Spring Central New Mexico Community College announced to the Albuquerque Economic Development community that we were opening the STEMulus Center in downtown Albuquerque within the new Innovation District to help stimulate and grow the local business community. This center will provide students and community members the opportunity to develop businesses, learn much needed skills for the ever growing workforce needs of the city, develop product prototypes, and grow their businesses. CNM partnered this Spring with ABQid to develop the Kick-Start your Start Up boot camp to introduce budding entrepreneurs to the concept of the Business Model Canvas method of business development with the intent to spread the concept throughout the city. As a result of the event on April 22nd, many of the attendees also participated in the 2014 Start-up weekend event hosted at the CNM main campus. CNM has committed to working with the ever growing economic development community of Albuquerque to help foster innovation and new business development in a way that brings together the community to grow new businesses in the city. We look forward to working with ABQid and the City of Albuquerque to make great strides in strengthening the economy of central New Mexico and securing our economic future!