Entrepreneurs Are Visionary
Lauren de los Santos M’15 and Seth Fabricant M’15 hosted a peer to peer session on idea generation and prototyping on Thursday, October 30 for the Butler Venture Accelerator. The session was based on how they developed their venture, Cloudanan. Cloudanan is a customer experience and marketing research company that uses technology to collect and gather beverage consumption data. The information is integrated with ordering systems, and deliver intelligent reporting and metrics to optimize sales and enhance customer satisfaction. The Cloudanan team was able to develop this company through their own money and promoting it on their own. They both agreed that this was to their advantage, because it is a good way to protect your intellectual property.
de los Santos and Frabricant both agree that idea generation is very important. “I come up with ideas every single minute” Frabricant shared. He said that he identifies a problem and then comes up with a solution. He stated that the most difficult part is that you have to come up with a solution that does not exist and something people will find it odd or funny. Often times, one can also apply the business model from another industry to a different industry. One can take a business model that one likes and apply it to it in a different way.
The Cloudanan team shared two different ways to develop your ideas. One way is the unstructured way. Unstructured way is when you find the problem and you come up with a solution that does not exist. Structured way is you find the problem and you take a business model that exists already and you apply it or you come up with a solution that is expected. Once you have your idea, it is important to go in to the prototyping phase. It is important to figure out what you want to build and sketch the product that you want to build. The questions that you should consider during this process are “What is your budget?” and “what kind of materials do you want to use?” It is important to choose your suppliers wisely.
One piece of advice that Cloudanan wanted to give young entrepreneurs is that you should use your networks: network with your friends, and make friends with people with different skills than you. As a business student, getting to know engineers for example, may be helpful in the future. As you become an entrepreneur, your network and the people that are around you are worth more than anything else.