The Economist has a piece on I-Corps (AKA Innovation Corps), a new program created by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Blank to systematically improve the success rate of start-up companies:
What distinguishes an I-Corps start-up from a typical university spin-out is the way it forces researchers to stop fixating on the technology they have developed. New ventures, they are taught, are all about finding customers, what distribution channels to adopt, how to price the product, who to partner with, and more. From day one, the mantra is “get out of the lab”. Participating academics have to make countless cold calls to potential customers—something few research scientists and engineers have ever done in their professional lives and most initially find awkward.
The I-Corps programme is based on the premise that all new ventures are little more than a series of untested hypotheses—in other words, optimistic guesses about market size, customer needs, product pricing and sales channels. With so many unknowns, the programme teaches participants to treat their start-up as if it were a typical research project, amenable to the same iterative process of hypothesis testing and experimentation.
The full post is here.