Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I attend Idea Lab?
You are an entrepreneur and need to improve your chances of success. You need to test your ideas with other entrepreneurs. You need to discover how to improve them and add more value for your customers. You need to understand where you are pursuing a dead end and must pivot. You need to improve your application of lean startup techniques.
Idea Lab is a forum where you can learn how to better your chances now. And the sooner you do that, the sooner you focus your attention on the activities that will make your startup succeed.
What do I need in order to attend?
You need a completed business model canvas. Please see our Quick Start page for instructions on creating your first canvas.
Who should attend Idea Lab?
Any entrepreneur with a business idea to pitch for group feedback on ideas, how to test them, market assumptions, etc.
Who should not attend Idea Lab?
Those who are afraid to discuss their business ideas in a group forum. Those interested only in passive participation. Those who are unable to disagree about ideas in a reasonable and civil fashion.
How does Idea Lab presentation work?
Please see our How Idea Lab Works page for details.
Why do I need to bring a business model canvas?
When everyone has created a business model canvas, they understand the fundamental building blocks of a startup and share the lean startup lexicon. This common basis facilitates an informed discussion. It means that we spend our time discussing your idea, rather than the presentation format.
Which version of the business model canvas should I use?
There are a number of different versions of the business model canvas in widespread use. In order to keep the meeting simple and the inputs uniform, we will use the Osterwalder and Pigneur version, which you can find here. Using the same canvas gives us an apples-to-apples comparison of the ideas presented. If you use a different version of the business model canvas outside of Idea Lab, please translate it into our chosen standard version for presentation.
What elements of the business model canvas must I fill in?
All of them! Remember, the business model canvas begins as a record of your hypotheses for each component of the business model. As you test these hypotheses, you can invalidate them or confirm them as facts. Without hypotheses we have nothing to help you with. Make your best guess and start the discussion!
What if my idea is not selected for discussion?
Work to improve your appeal to the group and improve the way the group ranks your idea for discussion. If your idea repeatedly fails to rank high enough to be discussed then you have received valuable feedback the idea.
Can I present more than once?
Can a team present?
Where can I learn about business model canvas and lean startup?
Please see our Lean Startup page for pointers to many external resources.