By Thomas Klem Andersen, Published on July 10 2014
At Scion DTU I am involved in the facilitation of 20 collaborative development projects beteween technical researchers and high tech companies in the science park environment.
The aim is to ’spin back’ technology based companies to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).
The companies ranges from dealing with metal spinding to drones and Laser based skin treatment and they are now colaborating with eight different departments at the University: Space, Photonics, Chemistry, Management, Chemical and biochemical Engineering, Compute, Civil engineering and Mechanical engineering.
However the initiative is not just about knowledge and tech-transfer but is integrated with business development (provided by Keystones & 1st Mile) and process facilitation (provided by Scion DTU).
In this context we just hosted a master class about the Lean Startup framework and the Business Model Canvas tool in collaboration with the Copenhagen Lean Startup Circle represented by Andreas Cleve Lohmann (@andreascleve) and Sebastian Schwermer (@schwermer).
Many entrepreneurs break their neck and waste vast amounts of time and money in the process. The reason is that product innovation is incredibly hard because you are navigating in a field characterized by limited knowledge, extreme uncertainty and high risk.
For this reason the Lean Startup framework focuses on how systematically to mitigate risk when bringing a new product to the market. This approach is increadibly valuable for the 20 development projects we are facilitating, as they need to focus on the market as well to make sure that the value of the collaborations is also realized outside the laboratory.
What is required from the Lean Startup perspective is systematic learning. The Lean Startup methodology is all about maximizing learning to develop a sustainable and scalable business model as fast as possible with the least amount of effort in order to save time and money.
This is done through a build-measure-learn cycle, where you break down the initial assumptions underlying your vision to testable hypotheses and build the absolute minimum you need in order to test them.
The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is very useful for this particular purpose as it organizes the crucial elements of your business model and (ideally) lets you see them for what they are: Hypotheses that should be tested and addapted to reach optimal market-fit.
We look forward to be working with the canvas and the Lean Startup framework together with the 20 companies in the spin-back program!
For more on Lean Startup: Lean reinvented? Pretotyping –leaner than Lean? A secret sauce for Running Lean?