It was indeed a great experience! We attended the maiden edition of ISN gathering.
ISN stands for Innovation Support Network.
We had 75 partner hubs in attendance across the country.
On their own, they are all addressing issues peculiar to their locality from Agriculture to Blockchain, to Artificial Intelligence, to Business Incubation, Tech Innovation and the list goes on and on.
Heartland Incubation Hub was fully represented and like you must have guessed, we engaged Industry leaders on exploring opportunities for the ecosystem. Before we let the cat out of the bag, let’s explore the lessons for you as a startup.
As a Startup, What is your focus?
We live in a world where if well explored, almost everything has a side that is promising and enticing for an entrepreneur – People start businesses for the starting sake and literally want to explore every opportunity within that industry.
While this may work for some startups, it might not work for you – and the earlier you understand as a startup what clarity of purpose means, you may be far from hitting it big as a startup.
With statistics shared from the experts in the industry, a good number of startups and Small businesses are engaged with the same type of business – This is not bad in itself, however, what makes it worse is that they forget to understand that for your business/product to strive, it must be addressing a particular problem and various locations do have peculiarities. This is what you must be looking at as a startup, be known for a solution or product & services you are providing.
What is your growth plan?
The first thing that dissolves when the plan meets the battlefield is the plan. If you, however, don’t have a plan, then you will dissolve – Michael Oluwagbemi.
The quote above is more assertive than being motivational! This means that as an entrepreneur, your armor can be let out when confronted (as of a battleground), so how much time do you invest in planning?
While many different people employ different approaches to planning, the good book emphasizes you document your plans, write them down! So that when they fail you, you can then re-iterate, re-plan or re-strategize the ways or alternatives.
In recent times, there has been this urge among the Entrepreneur Industries about this go-global campaign. Many startups want to operate on a global scale simply because that is what is obtainable in the Industry.
Some experts argued that at the just concluded gathering and I’d like to share with you as a startup – Going global is not a bad idea in itself, however, you can’t go global empty-handed!
It is not about the fund, it is about the content. During the gathering, a new word was coined out for startups – #GLOCAL This implies Thinking Local, acting Global. This further validates the need to develop local content, understanding the peculiarities in your local community and employing global standards in proferring solutions to the problems. You can’t strive globally if there is a disconnect between you as a startup/entrepreneur and the community in which you are supposed to be solving its problem.
Equity is better than debt!
It is important to own a small percent of something than own 100% of nothing. The future of works emphasizes greatly the need for collaboration and as entrepreneurs, it couldn’t be better than embracing it.
It is great to understand that there exists the need for competition, however, collaboration breeds healthy competition and the earlier this is realized, the better it is for your businesses.
“If you want to go fast, go alone if you want to go far, collaborate! In collaborating, clearly define the roles of the businesses you are collaborating with, you may want to choose founders who possess your weaknesses as strength as this will compliment your weaknesses and will endear scaling.