Start-up A Process

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The Start Up Process; Ideation to Launch

Phase One: Discovery and Vision

It’s the phase where we determine what you want to do, where the aha occurs, the light comes on it’s the big idea; the business, the organization you want to create…

What is the Problem/Opportunity you are curious about?

What is your innovative, high value solution?

Who are the current competitors, substitutes, alternatives: Competitive Landscape

Why: This is the personal part why; why you, why now ..why?

Markers of Success- how will you know you’ve succeeded; what are the outcomes you hope to achieve with this venture? Begin with the end in mind.

Mission, Values; What’s the big picture here?

Phase Two: Innovation & Value Creation

Is it Innovative? High Value? Differentiated? Sustainably innovative?

The goal is to inquire and innovate so that you do not begin developing out a plan or model unless you’re convinced you have a differentiated, high value, innovative solution to evaluate.

Phase Three: Define the Business Model (Think Bike; models are means of transporting you from here to there)

Now that the problem/solution set has passed the basic gut check and quick com

petitive landscape perusal. The idea goes into model form and we start to see how this model, think bike can transport you from where you are to where you want to be. The model, bike solves the problem you’ve identified and it does it profitably- right? Let’s see. We do that through a process of inquiry and at this stage loose structuring of the framework by which this bike travels, makes money; creates value.

The Basic Business Model Elements:




The Market

Competitive Landscape

Industry Strategy Canvas

Go To Market Strategy



We will also review: Key business drivers, key resources, partners, key activities, customer segments, channels, cost structure, revenue streams.

Phase Four: Research and Confirmation

Now to prove out our gut and quick perusal of the market with indepth market research. Secondary research combined with client intercepts, interviews with industry experts, and all the primary research you can afford down to a beta for final proof of concept and value happen throughout the next steps of the process. The model is being informed by the target and the potential vendors, alliances, partners and tribe. Collaboration, crowdsourcing, engaging it’s all apart of practicing the art of innovation as a way of life.

Phase Five: Develop the Specifics of the Business Model

Now it’s time to create all the business assumptions for each area of the business model and operational launch plan. These assumptions will drive and inform the financials we develop. They will also serve as our process of inquiry and the design specs for what we are creating.

Phase Six: Go To Market strategy: Marketing/ Branding/Sales Plan

The Go To Market strategy is the marketing plan and includes all the decisions for product/service, price, promotion and distribution. The branding and communication strategies are included during this phase. The entire plan complete with strategies and tactics to the agreed upon benchmarks of success must be developed to fully inform both the operation and the capital/financial plan. The development of the actual branding and marketing materials does not happen till after the startup resources and capital goals for development have been met.

Phase Seven: Financials

Once the assumptions have been confirmed/or at least confirmed to our satisfaction financial projections are created that include:

24 month Profit and Loss Statement by Month

3/4/5 Annual Profit and Loss Statement

Statement of Cash Flows

Margin analysis

Revenue stream projections

Cost Structures outlined

Balance Sheet

Phase Eight: $ Resources/People/Knowledge acquisition

We now have a clear understanding of the cash, expertise and people we need to execute the business model. Now an overall capital, resources plan is developed with key benchmarks and milestones identified per phase of the business plan. Markers of success, outcomes drive strategy and capital investments.


Phase Nine: Strategic Action Plan: Sequencing the steps to the Vision

Once we have the financial resources, intellectual property, knowledge, skills and experience; the team goes to work to further refine the model for launch. It’s game time!

Pam Hoelzle

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