Coentrepreneurs Week End Louvain-la-Neuve

This Sunday afternoon, I've been paying a visit to the Co Enterpreneurs Week End in Louvain-la-Neuve.

Coentrepreneurs Week End

This just happens to be next door. I've been invited by Ben Piquard and Roald Sieberath as a supercoach, whatever that means, to challenge the attendees on their business canvas/plan/ideas. It was pretty interesting and fun to do.

I hope that the people got a decent enough feedback on their proposals. This was a very early stage idea-shaping week-end for them.

So, as a summary of key points to take care of, here is what I'd like to have people to think about when coming up with a business idea:

  • Talk about the problem you solve or the opportunity you seize. Don't ramble about features upfront. Who are you helping with the solution? What's the problem? That's the engineering syndrome. When you know where you want to go, it is easier to know if you want to it by car, plane, or bicycle (not to mention the option of staying home because the trip makes no sense).

  • Have an idea on how you'll make money out of the system. Sinking energy, attention, care (and sacrificing quality family time) into something that isn't a business equates to having a very expensive and obsessive hobby. No issue with that if you can afford it. But that's not a business to me.

  • Can you draw a map of the ecosystem you are in? Who are your partners? Who is able to write you a check?

  • Have a couple of analogies to describe your offering. Investors aren't keen to invest in businesses they do not understand. Humans do like metaphors, easy to remember images.

  • Check if you are sold on your own idea. The first sale is always to yourself. So, are things clear in your mind eye? Next: how do you feel about it? Mind eye and gut should agree. Listen to your gut feeling. It appears that we do have more than a couple neurons wired in there. Listen.

  • Check if the opportunity you pursue is aligned with your core values. Even if an opportunity looks profitable, it may not be right for you to pursue. One can force him/herself to do stuff. But in the long run, it really matters to be aligned with your core values.

  • What process are you streamlining? Easy enough question, harder answer. And as an additional point: Who is your real customer in doing so?

Get these points right, and you'll be in a much better position to meet success. I wish the best to all attendees. We need such people in our country, one needs to be able to help him(her)self very well to be in order to help others. It is okay to make money, that's fuel for life. It will enable you to help others. If you are broke, well, you can't have an impact and the brain has a bad tendency to run in circles in that configuration.