Startup Commons has recently been selected by City of Marbella as the service provider to design a "one-stop-shop" ecosystem portal application to showcase real-time information about ecosystem people, startups, events, support services, development projects and beyond from the digital entrepreneurship ecosystem in Marbella.
Cristóbal Garre, councilor for economic development for City of Marbella, highlighted the importance of “initiating this project as part of Marbella Digital initiative, which is targeting to boost digital entrepreneurship in Marbella. It is very strategic for us to start the inventory of Marbella startup ecosystem as the first step to know the starting point of the ecosystem. Information like what is going on in the startup ecosystem, who is who, who is doing what and why, where and when are things happening, etc. is very relevant for us in order to start connecting the different ecosystem actors but also to understand over time together with Startup Commons team the services and activities that we are missing in the ecosystem and that we should deploy in order to increase the volume of business creation as well as their quality so that local startups in Marbella can compete in global markets. By knowing that information will help us prioritise the actions and therefore the resources to smartly support entrepreneurs and startups in Marbella”.
The project will kick off by gathering information from existing ecosystem players and users, continuing with its subsequent standardization according to Startup Commons Framework and finishing with the identification of the missing gaps within the ecosystem (services, activities, etc.). The output of this data collection process will be used as part of the designing works that Startup Commons team will carry out to propose a digital solution that help startups get the right services and connections at the right time, and to help public sector decision makers as well as both public and private service providers tailor their services to the specific needs of the startups and other ecosystem actors.
There is mutual interest between City of Marbella and Startup Commons in this project being the solid foundation on which a digital infrastructure is built to enable connectivity and data flow of ecosystem activities and processes in real-time.
In a global context where there are tons of materials and knowledge about how to create and grow your startup, startups still do not know where to start, what to focus on, when to do what, and how to identify what’s next. They also do not know how this all connect in sync with support, trainings and services available in a local ecosystem.
It is necessary for startup ecosystems to have a common language and framework to describe, track, measure and guide entrepreneurship and innovation from an “Idea to Product into a Scalable Business” and from “Talent to Team to an effective Organization” to eventually bring efficiency and transparency to help entrepreneurs and startups navigate along the startup journey.
Startup ecosystem development is about breaking ecosystem silos, sharing resources, removing inefficiencies and bringing connectivity and standardisation at all levels. When it comes to transferring entrepreneurship and startup knowledge, more transparency, common sense and efficiency is needed on how it is structured, connected and delivered.
For these the reasons we have created our Growth Academy.
We believe that when entrepreneurs and startups are educated with the right knowledge, while working together in an ecosystem - together we will be able to remove or significantly reduce the highest “universal risks” - We will also be able to educate and inform stakeholders about optimal methods and structures for startups that are strong and flexible enough to sustain failures at various levels, while minimizing the possibility of terminal failure. We will provide reasoning and will connect with other sources and data that support the knowledge and views provided.
Startup Commons has been implementing the Growth Academy program in different startup ecosystems at different levels by partnering with local support providers - but our mission is always “scaling entrepreneurship and innovation”.
Growth Academy eLearning
So we are now working to bring a digital eLearning solution to help scale Startup Commons Growth Academy to reach a global audience, - so that all entrepreneurs in the world can benefit to improve their potential for success.
Startup Commons has entered into partnership with StartupContinuum, a Calgary, Alberta based startup aligned with Startup Commons’ mission. StartupContinuum is a company that is founded by team of successful serial entrepreneurs who have built and exited a successful eLearning company before. StartupContinuum is creating an innovative online learning environment, with templates and support tools to help startups succeed by fully adapting Startup Commons’ world-renowned framework and curriculum.
The learning platform will be initially rolled out module by module in Calgary, with great support and input from the local Calgary startup community and ecosystem. This ecosystem is actively adopting Startup Commons Framework via key ecosystem players like the Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC), Alberta Innovates, Calgary Technologies Inc and Rainforest Alberta.
After initial launching, the StartupContinuum / Growth Academy learning platform will actively start expanding to the rest of Alberta and Canada. In parallel, we at Startup Commons will start promoting it to be deployed in Europe and Asia.
Along with publicly announcing this great initiative, we are announcing an open call for all support providers catering support services directly for business creators to invite them to become a key game changer, to deploy and connect Growth Academy in their local ecosystem for a real impact in their local ecosystem.
Would you like to make your mark in the startup universe? All it takes is an app.
Along with Startup Commons EcosystemOS, we are establishing a global ecosystem applications marketplace to connect leading application developers with three ecosystem customer segments: business creators, startup support providers and ecosystem developers. If you have an awesome existing app for one of these three segments, we encourage you to submit your application today to join our very first developer cohort.
Problems Worth Solving
Are you a Business Creator, Support Provider or Ecosystem Developer? Are you frustrated by the lack of good applications or models to solve your big pain point and cant find a proper solutions?
Share your pain with us, and we will share it with motivated app developers, looking to build applications to problems worth solving and look into ways of co-creating and contributing along the way.
Looking to develop an application?
To get creative juices flowing, we are sharing one such concept "open ipr" openly here with the world that have been iteratively developed as part of Startup Commons work with European Commission and several ecosystems, to help solve the problem of unused resources and other IPR not connecting with innovative business creators - leaving more than 90% valuable research findings being under utilized in business creation.
Download PDF below or open via Google Drive for comments and questions.
You have until May 2018 to submit an application. We have created this short design thinking guide to get you started on your application development journey:
Step 1: Choose a startup development phase.
Do you want to focus on the formation, validation, or growth phase?
Step 2: Identify a customer segment.
Do you want to build an app for business creators, support providers, or ecosystem developers?
Step 3: Develop empathy for your target customer segment.
Engage in perspective taking to understand target segment needs by asking questions and gaining ground-level experience. We suggest conducting informational interviews and shadowing people in your target customer segment. The goal of this step is to gain an understanding of what matters most to the people in your target customer segment and figure out what challenges they face.
Step 4: Define the problem that you want to solve.
Based on the needs of your target customer segment, create a clear definition of the problem that you want to solve for them.
Step 5: Ideate solutions to the problem.
Sketch and model ideas for how you can solve the problem. There are no bad ideas at this stage. Put every possibility on the table, and defer judgement until the end of the process. Ideating solutions is most effective with a team or group of collaborators. Once you have entertained all possibilities, vote and choose the idea that you would like to pursue.
Step 6: Prototype your solution.
Build a minimum viable product (MVP). This version of the product should allow you to collect the maximum amount of information about customer preferences with the least effort. Hackernoon.com provides an excellent guide to minimum viable products.
Step 7: Test your application.
Engage in validated learning. Use focus groups and customer feedback to figure out what works and where improvements are needed.
Step 8: Repeat steps 3-7.
Follow the lean methodology of build-measure-learn-repeat. However, don’t be afraid to submit your application once you reach this step! You can always keep improving it.
To continue diving deeper into topic, have a look at the video below...
Startups are the future of finance.
This trend is not limited to fintech startups. While fintech companies will play essential roles in financial inclusion and alternative finance, startups that specialize in the smart grid and internet of things are positioned to make markets.
If you are considering founding or supporting startups, you should seriously consider entering the data space. Put on your scuba gear.
Using examples from water markets, we are about to dive into data.
How can startups make markets?
Market Development Hierarchy of Needs
Investors need data if markets are going to emerge and this is where innovative startups play a role.
At the base of the hierarchy, internet-of-things and smart-grid startups need to collect data on relevant information, such as water flow and electricity use.
Once sufficient data is in place, basic commodity markets can emerge to facilitate trading of water, using spot prices and forward contracts.
According to Investopedia, “A forward contract is a customized contract between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a specified price on a future date.”
These contracts are sold over-the-counter, without exchanges, and can be used for hedging or speculation. As more data is gathered, the public and private sectors can collaborate to create regulated exchanges. Once exchanges have been developed, market participants can trade futures, which are essentially standardized forward contracts, and other derivatives of the underlying commodity.
If markets develop for water, then water pricing will theoretically become more efficient. Through the use of financial instruments, industries that rely on water, such as the agriculture and energy sectors, will be able to hedge their exposure to fluctuations in water supply and price.
Governments can also craft better resource policies as water markets become more mature. Utility companies will also face higher incentives to minimize leakages and use electricity more efficiently for water pumping and processing.
Water Sector Startups
Numerous startups have already begun gathering data in the water sector.
As you can see, these startups utilize leading-edge technologies to capture water data. They comprise the first level of the market development hierarchy.
The next steps are market creation and water trading.
Water will become the next oil.
Do you agree?
Multiple factors are converging to create water trading markets.
On one hand, data on water usage and weather patterns is becoming more abundant. Additionally, water is becoming a scarcer resource as global population increases strain water supplies, due to both agricultural production and household consumption.
According to the United Nations, the world population was 7.3 billion in 2015, and it is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.
The United Nations says, “With the existing climate change scenario, almost half the world's population will be living in areas of high water stress by 2030.”
Additionally, “the world needs to produce at least 50% more food to feed 9 billion people by 2050.”
As these factors converge, governments will recognize the need to manage water resources, companies will search for efficient water pricing, and traders will find fortunes to be made.
Emerging Commodity Markets
The same principles that apply to water markets can be applied whenever demand exists for scarce resources. When resources fail to exist in abundance, conditions become ripe for market development. As people develop new resources, such as technical apparatuses and pharmaceutical products, new commodity markets will emerge.
People will also undeniably find new applications for previously unused natural resources. Oil markets did not exist until people started using oil for energy. As new applications and innovations emerge, new commodity markets will come into existence.
Who will make the next markets?
Startup Commons with his startup development phases framework can help to plan the journey.
Startup Commons has released entire Growth Academy innovation entrepreneurship curriculum training materials with more than 700+ slides, along with supporting booklets for free co-development and use.
All is released under Creative Commons licensing and in editable format.
The curriculum is built, designed and refined over the years to increase the volume of entrepreneurship and likelihood of startup success by focusing on removing or reducing the biggest “universal risks” and to educate about optimal methods and structures.
The base knowledge shared via these trainings is accumulation of more than twenty years of international serial entrepreneurship experience combined with more than ten years of parallel experience on startup advisory.
➡️ If you are interested join our facebook groups:
Startup Ecosystem Developers
Innovation Entrepreneurship Education providers/trainers
Case Study - Swiss Entrepreneurship Program (Swiss EP): Support to Startup Macedonia in Macedonia, January 2018
Swisscontact, in consortium with J.E. Austin Associates, is supporting the strengthening of
entrepreneurship ecosystem organizations and actors to aid the development of business
startups and growth-oriented small businesses in Macedonia.
Description of the mission
Target of the mission
The main objective of the mission was to strengthen the capabilities of the managers/members of Startup Macedonia to manage the association in a sustainable way, and to offer quality demand-driven services and support to the ecosystem as a whole.
We delivered final report where we proposed a roadmap plan working at multiple levels (connecting top-down and bottom-up approaches, taking into account specific function verticals and business vertical ecosystems) but being conducted step by step in very transparent manner to achieve consensus and solid progress amongst key ecosystem players within Macedonia ecosystem.
See also: “Connecting the Macedonian Ecosystem, 2018“ - research following Startup Common’s framework for ecosystem development, where Startup Macedonia engaged in conversation with startups and support organization to identify key challenges and opportunities for an ecosystem growth.
The article is written by Davis Miller. He writes about business, negotiation, sales and many other similar topics. His site, www.thegappartnership.us, provides workshop for negotiation.
You’re there, that deadlock where negotiations have faltered and there’s
nothing more to say. Or is there? A seasoned negotiator knows that there are
ten ways you could still seal that deal:
1. Suggest a break. Although this sounds like a cop-out, it’s good psychology. Using the “let’s take a coffee break and come back to this” approach allows you to sweep the other party along for joint refreshments. Keep conversation friendly and low key, giving the other party a chance to get to know you on another level ~ at the very least, you’ll go back into the negotiations refreshed and with a greater understanding of the person you’re negotiating with.
2. Context is everything but it’s easy to get caught up in looking at things from one direction only, so try a different approach. For example, if the stalemate relates to costs, shift negotiations in the direction of terms or time-frame. This alters the focus but still keeps things moving along whilst both parties gain time to quietly re-consider those costing options.
3. If you have the upper hand in the negotiations but have hit a stalemate, then suggest a cooling-off period. It’s a risky strategy which isn’t recommended if you’re not in the driving seat, but if you are negotiating a deal that’s of greater importance to the other person, the chances are that suggesting an adjournment will re-open those immediate negotiations. However, do ensure you make the suggestion in a friendly, respectful way which is not dismissive or rude ~ you never know how much you might need this business in the future.
4. Be honest about what exactly the stumbling block is for you and why you are unable to relent in that area. This will invite the other person to do the same, in which case you are both still negotiating in a way which might allow you to identify a mutual adjustment and shared solution.
5. Consider how much you want this negotiation to work and what is the smallest compromise that you could make in order to secure this deal. If the compromise is possible, then offer it and move things along.
6. Be aware of your future prospects and dealings with your opposing number. Is it worth it to you to offer not just compromises, but sacrifices, in order to secure the deal and future business, a business equivalent of the retail ‘loss-leader’?
7. Ask for a legal opinion on the proposed contract. Most people respect the legalities of business and understand that this is a regular part of business agreements. In this instance, it not only keeps the negotiations open where they may have faltered, but also buys both parties valuable breathing space in which to reconsider those sticky areas.
8. However difficult the negotiations have become, don’t be trite or unprofessional in your dialogue. Using phrases such as “I hear what you’re saying but ...” imply that you are actually rejecting their points. Turn this on its head by looking for joint solutions in a “so what can we do to make this work ...?” kind of way, which shows that you’re not only listening but also trying to make things work in a professional and courteous manner.
9. Talk business. Literally, steer the conversation away from the sticking points and onto the greater topic of future business you could do together. Nothing helps encourage compromise more than the promise of future business and now’s the time to remind your colleague about this.
10. Keep something up your sleeve. Always go into a negotiation with a little something you could use for leeway, a special offer, deal or discount which can come into play as a ‘thank you’ for sealing the deal then and there. This in itself can often
make the deal happen.
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