New Venture Process
After working for two venture studios (including heading up incubation for one), we developed a 12 week innovation process that has been used on many projects. The purpose of the process is to take an initial venture idea and rigorously transform it through six iterations into a viable business opportunity. It builds on many concepts from Design Thinking, The Lean Startup, and Google Design Sprints.
Although the timing appears similar to the "startup bootcamp" model of many venture accelerators, the purpose of the New Venture Design Process is fundamentally different. This is not taking a startup team and helping them refine their business to succeed. Instead, it is taking a new idea for a business and validating whether it should ever be pursued in the first place. If it an idea looks promising and is pre-validated here, it can then attract a team and go through a venture accelerator to operationalize it.
Here is how the process works:
Over the course of 12 weeks, there are 6 successive two-week Innovation Sprints
Each sprint relies on two primary assets:
a UX mockup of a potential solution
a New Venture Canvas of a potential business model
In each sprint, the UX mockup is shown to 5-7 target customers for recorded feedback
The interview results are digested and compiled as inputs to the next sprint
By sprint 4 or 5, a compelling and viable solution has emerged
The final UX mockup and NVC are the validated foundation for launching the venture
Although the Innovation Sprints discussed here can be used by any team, we have found that the process produces greater results when the research and ideation are led by people with considerable design and innovation expertise. Anyone can and should be creative, but the synthesis into something both compelling and viable requires more specialized skills and experience.
Here is a typical schedule over two weeks:
Mon: Brainstorming and Research
Tue: Brainstorming and Research
Wed: Brainstorming and Research
Thu: Brainstorming and Research
Fri: Building UX Mockup and Recruiting Customers
Mon: Building UX Mockup and Recruiting Customers
Tue: Building UX Mockup and Recruiting Customers
Wed: Building UX Mockup and Recruiting Customers
Thu: Customer Interviews
Fri: Team Debrief
For more detail about the New Venture Canvas, go here.
One example of a venture that came out of this process for a client is here.