Entrepreneurship and New Venture Strategies

Many of us aspire to creating something new; doing original work; making an impact and helping people solve their pressing needs.  We have all heard of the entrepreneurial heroes like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zukerberg and Elon Musk and their achievements.  We use the tools, products and services that they created. If you harbor hopes of doing something similar, making your own dent in the universe, here is were you can get a quick handle on the latest thinking and processes for turning your dreams into reality.




A start up is not a mini version of an existing company. It is a completely different animal.

Over the past decade a new way process for thinking about and developing start ups has evolved. It is called the Lean Start Up methodology and it is a radical departure from previous thinking and has been a huge part of Silicon Valley enterprise creation and has now spread to large enterprises like GE, government agencies like DOD and NIH, as well as being implemented in incubators and accelerators world wide.


A startup is a temporary enterprise in search of a sustainable and repeatable business model. Before you think about writing a lengthy business plan and creating financial projections, you need to go through the iterative process of finding product/market fit.


Lean startup is a proven and tested methodology that employs the scientific method of first generating hypotheses, testing them against customers, and refining your value proposition based on their response.




This seminar will get you familiar with the concepts and processes that reduce risk and increase the probability of being successful in any new venture.

You need to get out of the building, meet with customers, and collect data. And iterate, pivot or persevere in response.

What gets measured gets managed.




Entrepreneurial mindset

How best to organize, execute and deal with uncertainty and risk and fear of failure


  • 7 Habits
  • 80/20 Rule Pareto’s law
  • Pomodoro Technique
  • Stoicism




You need to first find a viable business model and product/market fit before you attempt:


Business Plans: why no business plan survives its first encounter with potential customers

Financial Projections: Adoption, scale and growth dynamics






  • Steve Blank
  • Eric Ries Lean Start Up
  • Sean Ellis Growth Hacking
  • Osterwolder Business Model Canvas




Start up Methodology


Searching for a repeatable, sustainable Business Model

Business Model Canvas

Value Proposition

Problem/Need Solution

  • Maslow Hierarchy of Needs


  • Entertainment


  • Discovery
  • Validation
  • Development


Relation between Value Proposition and Customer segments

Product/Market Fit

MVP Minimal Viable Product

  • Low Fidelity



Niche Down and Iterate

Adoption and growth trends



Lean Strategy

Blue Ocean

SWOT analysis


Barriers to Entry

Competitive Analysis

  • Petal Diagram


2 essential ways to compete:

  • Cost leader
  • Differentiation



Business Structure

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • LLC or LLP
  • Corporation





Growth Hacking




Monetize ideas

  • Business Model
  • Pricing
  • Free
  • Fremium
  • Getting Customers to pay (Toupee)




  • Supply and Demand
  • Costless products/infinite supply



  • Capex vs Opex
  • Risk vs. Reward
  • Valuation
  • Debt
  • Equity Investment



Marketing in the Digital Age:

  • Web 2.0
  • Growth Hacking
  • Customer Funnels
  • Conversions
  • Branding
  • Permission
  • Content
  • The Long Tail



Create Assets for competitive advantage, barriers to entry, and to fund around:

  • Write Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Domain names

Dealing with Failure; lessons learned

Transition and Side Hustle

  • Bootstrapping


Scale and automation


  • Convergence
  • Rogue Waves




Value Proposition


Pain Killers

  • Easier
  • Savings
  • Time
  • Effort




Gain Creators

  • Quality
  • Performance
  • Delight

Ranking Gains and Pains According to relevance to customers

Customer Segments

  • Customer Archetypes

Product Market Fit

Technical Insight

Market Insight


Competitive Analysis


Customer discovery


Top 3-5 pains

Customers Persona/Archetype



  • Sex
  • Budget
  • Matter
  • Motivate
  • Influences
  • Role Models

Customer Acquisition


Budgeting Discipline

Premature spending is the killer of start ups

  • Burn Rate
  • Runway




Marketing Funnel

Get, Keep, Grow customers


  • Awareness campaigns
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Track conversions
  • Viral loop
  • Incentives
  • Accelerate
  • Reduce CAC


  • Loyalty programs
  • Churn/attrition rates
  • Contests
  • Blog
  • Email
  • Content marketing
  • Permission marketing
  • Seth Godin


  • Unbundling
  • Freemium
  • Upsell
  • Cross sell
  • Next sell
  • Referrals
  • Affiliate marketing

Activate customers

Calls to Action

Customer Acquisition Cost CAC

Lifetime Value LTV


LTV greater than CAC

Present value calculation on LTV


Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) < Life time value (LTV)

Revenue Models

  • Product/Service
  • Freemium


Revenue Streams

  • Strategy


  • Tactic


Business Model Canvas

9 squares

Product/Market Fit

MVP Minimal Viable Product


FOMO fear of missing out

Venture Capital




Lean Strategy


Lean Startup: get data for revenue model

Diffusion of Innovation

  • Early Adopters
  • Evangelists
  • Crazy People
  • Business Development
  • Main Stream users

Package Products

  • Unbundle
  • Value based packaging

Partner Strategy


  • Physical
  • Financial
  • HR
  • IP
    • Trademarks
      • Logos, branding, slogans
    • Copyright
    • Trade secrets: NDA
    • Patents



Cost Structure

  • Most Expensive Costs
  • Fixed Costs
  • Variable Costs

Costs < Revenues

Sustainable Business Model

Metrics that Matter

What gets measured gets managed

Execution Metrics

  • Balance Sheet
  • Income Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement