Tag Archives: Opportunities

Workshop on Opportunity Recognition & Being an Entrepreneur: A Conversation with Professor Z

19 Mar

How many ideas do you think of each day?

idea overload

One student attending this workshop said he’s continually thinking of ideas, sometimes adding up to over 20 ideas per day!

But what makes one of those many ideas, the one idea that becomes an opportunity for an entrepreneurial venture? In order to answer this last question, Professor Laura Zavelson created a list of questions to ask yourself about your idea:

  • What problem am I solving
  • How much do I like this – am I passionate about this
  • Do people want or need this
  • Am I the right person to pursue this idea or do I know someone with the domain knowledge who can help
  • Is there any competition
  • Which idea has the biggest financial up-side
Professor Laura Zavelson

Professor Laura Zavelson

“As an entrepreneur, time is your most valuable asset” ~ Laura Zavelson

Another thing to consider is whether this idea is an “on-the-couch” or “off-the-couch” idea. If you think about what technology enables us to do, we can accomplish a lot from our couches at home; we can do market research, create spreadsheets, forecast financials, create our business model, develop our business plan, research our competition, and find possible customers (to name a few). However, the one thing you cannot do, is start a business from your couch.

In order to successfully start a business from an idea,  you need to:

  • Talk to people, any kind of people, about your idea and get their feedback
  • Talk to potential customers
  • Talk to experts in the field/industry and hear what they have to say
  • Get yourself out there!

If you have an idea and have been able to determine that it is in fact an opportunity, ask yourself this:

  • What is my idea exactly (in 3 sentences or less)? Note: your first answer may not be the best one but a good rule of thumb is to ask yourself “WHY” 3 times. When you define your idea, or the problem you’re solving, or what you think makes it a good idea, make sure you can ask yourself “why” three times and have an answer
  • Who will benefit from this idea (i.e. your customers, etc.)?
  • Where do I want to start this business?
  • What problems am I solving? (list these)
  • Why is this a winning idea?
  • How will I make money through this?

So, are you ready to start a business yet?!?

If you have any questions OR if you want your business idea to be the focus of our next workshop and have SEED go through this process and help you answer these questions, please contact Atticus Grinder at agrinder@elon.edu

Advertisements