From Ideation to Execution
The following post is from Fifi Shi ’18, a Butler Venture Accelerator team member.
“Every year 350 million pairs of sports shoes are thrown away as they are no longer fit to use, while 1.2 billion people wake up without having any kind of foot wear whatsoever”.
This fact inspired a young entrepreneur to start his business that is making a difference to the world.
Shriyans Bhandari, a 2016 MSM candidate at Babson, brought his company Greensole to a peer to peer session on October 20 and shared with us how he started up his company. Greensole is a social venture that collects discarded shoes, refurbishes them with recycled materials into slippers, and then donates them on behalf of its customers.
Shriyans walked us through, step by step on how he came up with this idea, the research involved, people he met that shaped his idea, funding through pitching competitions and efficient allocation of money. Here are some tips that Shriyans gave us based on his experiences:
- It is not necessary to have a perfect business idea at the beginning. The idea can be really simple: he came up with the idea of Greensole when he was discarding his own sports shoes.
- This business idea should be something that you have passion for, because it will keep you motivated throughout the entrepreneurial journey. As for Shriyans, the motivation is providing people who are in need with shoes that are made from recycled materials.
- Market research is tremendously crucial at the beginning stage of the venture. For example, Shriyans had to know how many individuals, companies and organizations are interested in donating shoes through his service, how much are they willing to pay for the service and what the prototype will look like before starting the venture.
- People often have a misunderstanding that they need a lot of money to start their companies. However, Shriyans mentioned that he started Greensole with only $10,000 he won from a b-plan competition. The key is to allocate the resource effectively and what you have on hand. Shriyans used the reward he got in the early stage of the venture for doing market research, creating prototypes, and finding manufactures. As the business grows, he said, the resource base would increase.
- Write a paper plan, stick with it and manage your time. Still a MSM program student at Babson, Shriyans needs to balance out his academics and business.
- Have faith in yourself and work on it step by step.
Don’t know where to start? Try to get an idea from something simple happening around you and shape your idea as Shriyans did.