A major component of our IMD entrepreneurship education is the Startup Project. 18 startup companies have come to IMD asking for “help.” “Help” means anything from business strategy to market research to marketing to manufacturing and production optimization to HR to . . . any other aspect of business. Frequently they need help with several of these issues in order to secure loans, raise money, or even just get “unstuck”. In January students selected from the 18 client opportunities and began work immediately. We are expected to deliver demonstrable value–not just a high-level, hand waving consultant report. We are expected to provide recommendations and then help implement them–essentially to work IN the startup.
My startup group (myself and four others: Turkish, Russian, South Korean, and French) is working on a company called DeskNet, which produces Sobees. They came to us without any investors, strategy, business model, clients, completed product, or many of the other things you would expect in a successful startup. Ah yes, living the startup dream! 😛 But hey, they have a cool idea and we know we can help them commercialize it. We’re really into the thick of it now, so I will keep you all posted about our progress over the next few weeks. I may even ask for some feedback on our ideas and options as we move forward.