On getting started
It’s cool to see that so many people are inspired by entrepreneurship and innovation formally entering the university environment. Everyone and their mother is starting a company or building a product—how exciting! That said…
An idea is not a startup.
It is a first step, and a valiant one at that. But in order to create a team, raise interest, and get moving, you’re gonna need more than an idea. Here are a few places to get started (and resources to help).
- Understand how your product will work technically and what infrastructure is involved
- Investigate the intricacies of a market
- Start learning the skills needed to create your product
- Map out your idea (see VentureBoard, Elevatr)
- Fill out a Business Model Canvas (not a business plan)
- Make sketches, user flows, text-only UIs, wireframes, mockups
- Build a CAP (Co-founder Attracting Product)
- Create an MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Working on these “second steps” shows that you are committed to seeing your project through, that you have the chops to lead it’s development, and that you aren’t just a wantrepreneur.
Going beyond just an idea will allow you to better communicate to friends, partners, and mentors about what you’d like to make and what help you may need along the way.
We’ve adopted this thought at the Startup Shell. As we continue to shape our incubator program and coworking space, this “more than an idea” concept creates a baseline for membership eligibility.
We understand that people are at different stages with their ventures. Some groups enter with profitable startups while others are just beginning to work out their idea. This diversity allows our collaborative community to thrive. However, it’s important that we maintain a certain level of curation to ensure that our resources and limited space are apportioned fairly. For those just beginning to formulate an idea, we hope this requirement serves as motivation to get started on your project or attend our public events to receive help and mentorship.
So now when we get asked “Do I already need to have a startup to become a Startup Shell member?” we explain that you do need more than an idea.