Last month, we invited Simon Devonshire, Director of Wayra Europe into the office as a guest speaker.
Wayra is a business accelerator and incubator for early stage digital companies, helping around 300 startups around the world. We picked his brains for expertise about becoming an entrepreneur and the most important things to think about when starting your own tech business.
Simon told us that, “In terms of going from an embryonic idea to proof of concept, it’s never been easier than it is now.” Here are his top tips if you’re looking to start a Wayra-ready business:
1. What’s in a name?
Start off by trying to encapsulate your idea in one name. As a next step, use a service like Domainr and see if you chosen name is available as a URL.
Make sure to pick a name that’s really special and right for your idea – then buy it.
2. Build a first version
Having figured out a problem which you think needs to be solved, sketch out an MVP (minimum viable product).
Outline the key problem(s) that you are addressing with your product, then look at current solutions to those problems versus the solution that you offer. You should be offering a significantly improved solution, with a strong USP.
This process will allow for the learning, perfecting and fine tuning and evolution of your product to begin (as in Eric Ries’s famous ‘Lean Startup’ principle) – you need to determine whether your idea is a must-have, would-like-to-have or creates indifference.
3. A problem shared is a problem halved
If you’re not familiar with the term, ‘crowdsourcing’ – a word coined through combining the two words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’ – is a great way of getting work done, validating an idea or finding funding from a large pool of people, usually found online. Use it as a cost effective way of getting invaluable feedback before moving forward, building a prototype or sourcing creatives who can visually bring your idea to life.
You can use crowdsourcing to get a simple visualisation of your concept. Simon recommends one of his own businesses, conceptcupboard.com, where you can upload a brief and people will respond with their visual ideas.Codingcupboard.com works similarly if you need a basic prototype built by coders.
4. Find somewhere to nest
Business incubators like Wayra, are initiatives that provide resources, work space and a nurturing environment for young businesses to grow at low cost and often in prime locations with access to training and high-speed internet.
Some great examples, other than Wayra, include: