Saturday’s Nuts and Bolts, Part II

Throughout the day Saturday you may wear many hats. There are a lot of questions to answer and problems to solve. I covered the first three business facets in this postThe final four business facets are interesting and vital to your business’ success. They are:

  • Product/Service Design
  • Product/Service Development
  • Marketing
  • Business Model

What is Product/Service Design?

A simple way of looking at product and service design is understanding and applying user experience. Eric Eriksson at Instagram wrote a great article that explains the what, who and why of product design. I’ve also included an article about digital product design by Andrew Aquino, a product designer at Facebook. 

What is Product/Service Development?

Product/service development takes the design concepts and creates the product or service. Development is the implementation of design. While there can be some overlap between design and development, they are fundamentally different. Also, the product or service can be physical or digital. This means you could have a factory producing vacuums or a digital team creating games.The following articles will help you better understand product/service development.

Marketing

Marketing is often confused with advertising and sales. Head over and read What is Marketing? A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing and end your confusion. The answers are clear and it covers the four P’s: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place.

I have used MarketingTeacher.com to learn about marketing strategy and consumer behavior.

The Tronvig Group out of Brooklyn, NY has an interesting way of presenting marketing strategy. Their blog has great articles that I hope you find useful.

What is a Business Model?

Investopedia.com defines a business model as “the company’s plan for how it will generate revenues and make a profit. It explains what products or services the business plans to manufacture and market, and how it plans to do so, including what expenses it will incur.”

Whew! Luckily we have great resources to rely on when creating our business models. I’ve included “What is a Business Model?” from the Harvard Business Review. The quality of HBR articles are worth the effort of creating a free account. You will have access to three articles. Choose wisely, you will not be disappointed.

One item I wish to include is the Business Model Canvas. I have worked with this in an online course and I know it will be helpful to you. The Business Model Canvas can be found here. Be sure to watch the 2 minute video that shows its power.

We’ve covered many topics today. You will have all weekend to work on your startup project. I hope the links I’ve included help you and your team create a viable business. Watch this space for an article on creating your presentations.








Saturday’s Nuts and Bolts, Part I

Saturday will be a big day for you and your team. There will be research, product/service design and testing, asking customers for feedback, and meeting with mentors. There will be delicious food and snacks as well.

You will be able to interact with several mentors and ask them questions. Our mentors are experienced entrepreneurs and subject-matter experts. They will answer your questions and help guide you towards building a strong foundation for your startup.

Yesterday I mentioned the following list for identifying the key facets of your business.

  • Market Size
  • Customers (go out and ask people for feedback)
  • Value Proposition
  • Product/Service Design
  • Product/Service Development
  • Marketing
  • Business Model

As you develop your business idea, be sure to ask the mentors questions. The mentors have a wealth of experience and knowledge to offer you and want you to succeed. Also, being able to answer and elaborate on these topics will help you create your 3-minute presentation and prepare for the judges’ Q&A. You want to show the judges the strength and potential of your startup.

Let’s use the list above and dive into the specifics that you will discover about your startup idea. I will cover the first three topics now and address the final four in another blog post.

What is your Market Size?

BusinessDictionary.com defines Market Size as “the number of individuals in a certain market who are potential buyers and/or sellers of a product or service.” It’s important to know your demographics, buying patterns of potential customers, cost margins and more. Check out these great articles from entrepreneur.com:

Who are your Customers?

Your team will want to find your targeted demographics and ask them questions. This is where you get to test your ideas, in the marketplace. These individuals will be spending money and/or time with your product or service so it’s important to collect data on a variety of related topics. The following articles will get you started.

What is a Value Proposition?

A value proposition is a statement of a product or service that solves a customer’s problem, delivers value, and tells the customer why they should buy from your company and not the competition.

For instance, have you ever wondered how Apple™ can transform a phone into something magical? They package the features of the phone into a user experience. An example is cell phone encryption. Apple™ presents the iPhone’s encryption capabilities with its’ easy-to-use Touch ID feature. In this instance, Apple™  simplified a technical topic into a feature that is easy to use and easy to understand and thus is an example of a value proposition. [The Touch ID feature allows the user to unlock their phone with a fingerprint. The key feature is how Apple™ keeps the fingerprint safe since they do not store an image of it. Apple™ converts it into an “intricate piece of math.”]

Visit this link at ConversionXL.com to understand the details of a value proposition and why your business needs one.

I hope you see the value in developing your business ideas. Creating products and services that solve specific problems is a fun and creative exercise. This is the Startup Weekend experience we strive to create. We hope you are looking forward to this weekend. We are!

I cover the final four business facets in the next post.








What to Expect on Friday Evening

Welcome to Startup Weekend Pensacola! This weekend we will be hosting a 54-hour event aimed at creating new business ideas.

There are distinct steps that occur throughout the weekend, so I thought I would start with Day One.

After a quick registration you will be able to interact with fellow attendees that are just as nervous. Be bold and introduce yourself. Ask others what they enjoy doing, why they decided to attend Startup Weekend, or the standard “what do you do?” One of the best things you will experience this weekend are the relationships you form with different people. Take the time to get to know them.

I know many of you are interested in possibly pitching an idea. Perhaps you’re intimidated or scared. That’s okay because pitching only lasts 60 seconds. It’s almost more nerve-wracking standing in line listening to others’ ideas.

This week make a list of all your business ideas. Spend 5-10 minutes using Google and find out if those ideas have competition and, if so, what kind? Look at their ideal customers, their products and prices, and their attempt to connect with customers. Think of how your idea is stronger or unique. Does your idea capture a different audience, a larger audience, produce a better product or service, or provide more value?

The information you glean now will help you identify your strongest ideas. Select the top two or three and craft a 60-second pitch for each using the following outline:

  • What problem do you want to solve?
  • Why do you want to solve the problem?
  • How will you solve the problem?
  • Why is this problem important?

A strong pitch will help attract people to your idea which is important when everyone votes and forms teams. The top 10 or 11 ideas with the most votes move forward. Yes, you can vote for your own idea.

Once the voting is complete, the projects (ideas) will be announced and team building can begin. If your idea didn’t get enough votes to move forward don’t despair. Use the feedback you received to refine your idea. Perhaps you will pitch a stronger idea at the next Startup Weekend. Now look around the room and join a team whose idea intrigues you.

After quick introductions, your team will research the business solutions and decide on what you will do the next two days. Determine what you need to learn about your new business. The following list will allow you to gather the information you need for Sunday’s Pitch Event. These items will help you identify the key facets of your business.

  • Market Size
  • Customers (go out and ask people for feedback)
  • Value Proposition
  • Product/Service Design
  • Product/Service Development
  • Marketing
  • Business Model

Brainstorming and discussing the business will be an exciting and dynamic time for each group. Value the input of others. Collaborate and create a plan of action. Go ahead and get started or call it a night. Saturday will be a big day!








Startup Weekend Pensacola 2015 prizes

COME ON DOWN! The three top teams at Startup Weekend Pensacola will win some fabulous prizes to help get their startup off the ground. What are the prizes? Glad you asked!

Sound pretty good? You can only win if you compete. Startup Weekend kicks off Friday at 6pm. Get your tickets now!








Gulf Power sponsors Startup Weekend Pensacola 2015

Startup Weekend Pensacola is pleased to announce that Gulf Power has joined as a sponsor!

“Gulf Power is deeply committed to building a vibrant community through innovative efforts such as Startup Weekend,” Gulf Power said in a statement to Startup Weekend Pensacola. “We recognize the power in creating an opportunity for people who share the same entrepreneurial spirit to connect their diverse skills and abilities.”

Gulf Power serves more than 447,000 customers in eight counties across Northwest Florida.

“Our hope is that Northwest Florida will continue to embrace and sustain efforts like Startup Weekend so that innovators, thinkers and doers will have a venue to connect and launch successful startups,” the company said.

It is Gulf Power’s mission to safely provide exceptional customer value by delivering reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity while strengthening our communities. For more information about the company, visit their website at MyGulfPower.com or visit their Facebook Page.








Overgroup sponsors Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend Pensacola is pleased to announce that Overgroup has joined as a sponsor!

Overgroup is a web-based customer billing and management company. They have helped clients be successful by offering software that can track and manage clients in real-time. For over a decade, Overgroup has been working with clients in the telecom and cloud services industries.

When asked about the source of his interest in Startup Weekend, Ross Overstreet, CTO and founder of Overgroup, said, “I participated in a Startup Atlanta a few years ago. Our group made an application that helped people conduct over-the-phone surveys and capture the answers. It was a great experience; intense, but met a lot of amazing people by participating.

You can find out more about Overgroup at there website here: http://www.overgroup.com/








60 Second Pitches

idea

Startup Weekend Pensacola
Fall 2014

1. Ryan Lynn – reminder app that helps you get off social media and ignore distractions so you can get back to work, studying, etc.
2. Christian Garabedian – ‘MeriCAN – redesigning gas cans!
3. Elliot Dean – Yikes Security – advertising on lock screens
4. Jasmine Lee – The Whole iShebang! A multi-floor entertainment venue
5. Olivia Puckett – Portable Candle to wipe out smells
6. Manuela – Kid’s Fun Zone – indoor play area for kids
7. Josue Rosalez – Fashion app with a Facebook integration where friends can give you advice on what to wear
8. Joseph – Arterex – an app that helps people find what arts and culture events to do in their local communities
9. Tom Moore – Genscope V – test your DNA from your fingerprint
10. Tim Jones – Colorful Voices – an app that helps veterans and employers communicate
11. Jon Cody – Your 2 Cents – Collaborative problem solving
12. Peter Paulding & Trevor – Cop App – suite of apps for law enforcement to help with in car video and other expensive in-car technologies
13. Peter – Survival Institute – a one-stop program for survival training
14. Shashan – AID Production – produce videos incorporating people from around the world
15. Phat Lee – LyfeBoat – Uber for Roadside Assistance
16. Christopher Barge – SAME – Self Assembly Made Easy
17. Robert Moreland – Smart Solar Controller for water heaters
18. Dr. Greg Lilly – Move Right – technology to help people manage back pain
19. Trish Taylor – Shift Happens – an app helps people implement their plans after business and life coaching
20. Jake O’Neill – Smart Text – a translation app for urban slang used in text messages
21. Amanda Kondrayev – Dinosaur Adventure Land – a park for people to learn about dinosaurs and science
22. Andre Kondrayev – anti-microbial substance to create sterile environments. Solve ebola!
23. Tyler Tiwari – Ben Franklin – task/goal management app.
24. Darryl Lindie – $ Cloud – helping continue learning where the Massive Open Online Courses stop
25. Database of Things – user algorithms and data science to predict all sorts of trends.
26. Derek Dwyer – eTernity – app to house memories of people who have passed away
27. Rebecca Payne – increase use of ECAT by making it easy to find route information and purchase passes.
28. Brent Scott – Homes Find Me / Cars Find Me – help buyers market themselves to those who can help them solve their problem (buy a home, buy a car, etc).
29. Robocrates – Robot + Socrates – have a conversation with a robot!
30. Dominic Grasso – Simply Science – a STEM education Q&A site.
31. Solar Media Com – smart solar panels








Prizes

The following prizes will be awarded to the top 3 teams.

1st Place

  • Gulf Coast Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship- 3 months free office space (up to 2 people)
  • 4 hours of marketing and social media consulting provided by Social ICON
  • 2 hours of product and user experience consulting provided by Kyle Schmitz, Product Designer at Accountingfly
  • Free 1 year of Less Accounting software
  • 2 hours financial consulting from Saltmarsh, Cleavland and Gunn
  • 4 hours of Startup Business Modeling from Pat Rooney of Coastal CxO Services, Inc.

2nd Place

  • Gulf Coast Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship- 3 months free office space (up to 2 people)
  • 4 hours of marketing and social media consulting provided by Social ICON
  • 2 hours of product and user experience consulting provided by Kyle Schmitz, Product Designer at Accountingfly
  • Free 1 year of Less Accounting software
  • 2 hours financial consulting from Saltmarsh, Cleavland and Gunn
  • 4 hours of Startup Business Modeling from Pat Rooney of Coastal CxO Services, Inc.

3rd Place

  • Gulf Coast Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship- 3 months free office space (up to 2 people)
  • 4 hours of marketing and social media consulting provided by Social ICON
  • 2 hours of product and user experience consulting provided by Kyle Schmitz, Product Designer at Accountingfly
  • Free 1 year of Less Accounting software
  • 2 hours financial consulting from Saltmarsh, Cleavland and Gunn
  • 4 hours of Startup Business Modeling from Pat Rooney of Coastal CxO Services, Inc.







Event Updates & News

Hey everyone!

We’re closing in on the event and wanted to give some updates. We expect this to be our biggest event yet and we only have a certain number of tickets so grab yours now.

Curent ticket prices:
$40 for professionals
$20 for students*

*UWF and PSC both have $10 ticket prices with codes UWFSW10 and PSCSW10, respectively.

Register now!

Judges
Quint Studer, Vernon Niven, Mike Hicks and Dean Parker are all returning as judges! We’ve also added Mona Amodeo from idgroup. We’re happy to have them back and to be adding a new judge to the panel. Be sure to view the SWPNS website to read up on the bios of all our judges.

Coaches
Right now we are up to 8 coaches. They are a great mix of creative, technical and business. I wanted to bring in as many as I could to make sure all the teams get multiple opinions and make sure most of your questions or concerns are addressed. Again, you can find their bios on the SWPNS website.

Sponsors
We have a lot of returning sponsors like UWF, PSC and Silver Bullet Technologies. Also some new faces including App River and WUWF.

Register today and I’ll see all of you at the UWF College of Business, October 17th-19th!

-Kyle Schmitz, Lead Organizer








Startup Weekend Pensacola is Back! Oct. 17-19, @ UWF College of Business!

Startup Weekend Pensacola is back and this time we’ll be at a new venue provided by the generous Univeristy of West Florida College of Business.

Registration is open and signing up right now can get students admission at the unbelievably low price of $10 (student super early bird special). Non-students can take advantage of the non-student super early bird special and register for only $20! It only lasts this week, so sign up now and save your place.

REGISTER HERE

If you’re interested in getting your technology idea off the ground or seeing if your tech business concept has legs, Startup Weekend Pensacola is the place for you! Attendees get an unparalleled chance to work with leaders from our local technology field and have their ideas vetted by business veterans.

This will be the third Startup Weekend Pensacola and we are looking forward to new ideas from our local startup community!

Take advantage of the Super Early Bird Discount!

While you’re here check out some of the scenes from this Spring’s #SWPNS.