Successful people, no matter their role on the corporate ladder,  behave/think like entrepreneurs. Though it's easy to be blinded by projects and  thankless work tasks, the truth is: we all have the ability to bring tremendous value back to our companies by developing  new approaches, ideas, & service offerings. That mindset is what will make existing companies survive, nay, thrive in the future!

This past Fall, Luckett & Farley, GE, and 26 other entrepreneurs participated in the LaunchIt lean start-up program, offered by Nucleus (University of Louisville's Entrepreneurship and Innovation incubator).

The program involved taking a new service offering and developing/testing the concept through Steve Blank's How to Build a Start-up coursework.  The premise of the course challenges the traditional "business plan": most start-ups and new ideas combat this fact, LaunchIt follows a lean approach to developing your new business idea--the Business Model Canvas.

Your new business idea is dissected through the lens of 8 important aspects and TESTED through interviews with prospective customers, industry-specific thought leaders, resources, etc. Who'd have thought?! Interview your future customers before you actually bring a product/service to market!?

The Business Model Canvas helps you to define: 

  1. Customer Segments: Who are you really targeting and why?
  2. Value Propositions: What needs/problems are you solving for your Customer Segments? 
  3. Customer Relationships: How will we stay connected with the Customer? 
  4. Channels: What avenues will you utilize to access your customers
  5. Key Partners: What third parties will you need to work with to deliver your product/service?
  6. Key Activities: What needs to happen in order for our Value Propositions to be realized?
  7. Key Resources: What resources do our Value Propositions require? 
  8. Cost Structure: Where are most of your costs derived? 
  9. Revenue Streams: How are your Customers willing to pay? What models will you use that will maximize the perceived value you're bringing?

LaShana Harris was a colleague and graduate of the program with us, and was also the subsequent recipient of the prestigious, Vogt Award, where her company Babylocity won $100,000 to advance her all-in-one baby bottle:

"The LaunchIt program revolutionized the business approach for Babylocity, LLC. The Steve Blank methodology and the business model canvas helped to revive, refocus, and propel  Babylocity, LLC in the right direction..." 

Each class also started with a presentation from an entrepreneur who shared their perspectives/insights, including Mayor Fischer.   Having a direct, one-on-one link with a coach to bounce ideas off of was also a huge perk. The next offering of this awesome program starts Spring 2014 and is worth every minute & penny. Though developed for start-ups, it's a tremendously valuable way for existing companies to re-think &  re-tool the way they offer their products & services.

We're excited about what LaunchIt will bring our firm and our customers as we seek to create new ways to deliver architecture, engineering, and interior design services!

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