One of the perks of engaging with start-ups while implementing ambitious mentoring programs is the tools that we create along the way. The OpenLab team at Verhaert, together with their partners in the Point.IoT program, have brought to life engaging tools that can help any team in their entrepreneurial journey. Although the tools we developed here were tailored to GNSS and IoT focused start-ups, they can be used by any team interested in developing a commercial product.
The first barrier we faced is that experts that are great teachers have a hard time providing general courses and mentoring at the same time. In other words, expert teaching is difficult to scale. At the same time, we notice that bringing start-ups together on specific dates can be an arduous task. We prefer highly customized, flexible online courses that contain the basics and fit concisely the needed information to go to the next stage. This gave the light to the first tool: a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC).
A total of 16 courses are included in this MOOC with the first 9 courses focused on business design and understanding customer requirements, and therefore are universal to all start-ups. The remaining 7 are more technical sessions that delve into IoT and GNSS aspects of a commercial solution. Throughout the trainings, the experts refer to a variety of external support materials. Links to these material can be found below each video. The learning can be tested at the end of each session with a fun quiz.
On a second note, we saw several founders struggling with finding the right process and structure to start and build new revenue streams. For this we developed the Entrepreneur’s Playbook providing a customized and comprehensive entrepreneurial toolkit. It allows promising entrepreneurs to unlock unique business opportunities in several interesting markets. This playbook will help teams go through their business journey with a series of self-directed exercises addressing key questions to understand customer challenges, define products & services, design a business model as well as get practical instructions in preparing to pitch. You can just skip and use whatever segment is relevant for you.
We are really happy with the results of these 2 tools and the great feedback we get from our start-ups. Even so that we are making these available for free to use for all of our start-ups. Let’s make new businesses fly through both tools.
For more information about our incubation program, visit our website.