Startups have common challenges and go through common cycles and processes on their way to success. On average, 9 out of 10 startups fail, and in developing markets like that of Jordan, even greater challenges emerge. According to our records, Jordan has 500 operating startups, only 30 of which are consistent, revenue-generating companies that are experiencing healthy growth.
The basic lifecycle of startups from conception to success is illustrated below. Next to it is our assessment of the situation with Jordanian startups. Notice how a problem is occurring in the middle of the process, locking entrepreneurs in an area of despair and no hope for funding and business traction. The proposition of this paper is strongly based on the needs of startups in the Grow stage.
There are 4 different sections we focus on when accelerating the businesses of our startups.
A. Investment Needs
Generally, entrepreneurs have very little to work with on a local scale in terms of dedicated investors. On one hand, they have friends, family and founders, and on the other hand are the fairly common awards, competitions and prizes that have temporary relationships with the them and their businesses. Beyond seed accelerators that are focused on investing in idea-stage startups, here is a list of the options that we at BIG help our startups secure:
1. Angel Investment: We help liaise with a growing list of angel investors who have an appetite for growing businesses. We approach angels at a very early stage in our program and onward.
2. Series A: Help our startups secure their first significant venture capital investment for their company. BIG powered by Orange offers the following solutions:
a. Investor connection with global and famous investors
b. Legal help: registering of legal entities in Delaware, USA or BVI
c. Accounting and financial advice
d. Inclusion of entrepreneurs in worldwide events, exhibitions, competitions, etc.
3. Crowdfunding and crowdinvesting: we help our startups position their crowdfunding campaigns and offer considerable media and PR support in this regard.
B. Product Improvement
We offer startups on board a variety of training programs on lean startup fundamentals, conducting market research with them to help them boost product penetration in their respective markets. The following are some of the ways we can help:
Discussing and brainstorming about different propositions in the market and how products can be changed to fit needs of market.
MVP (Minimum Viable Products) Experimenting:/ Testing the market with different variations of the product, measuring feedback and following with action steps.
Marketing Plans: devising a plan that automates the business from sales to CRM to repeat business so that the model can scale at ease.
C. Customer Development
Startups are temporary organizations that are constantly looking for a repeatable and profitable business model. The focal point of making a startup successful is validation and post validation in the marketplace. Validation signals real acceptance for the MVP in the marketplace and is often required for many investors as a point breaker.
BIG is working to build ready-made plans for startups to introduce their products to a huge marketplace. This will differ with the type of market and industry in which the startup operates, however our model will always follow the same pattern of help we use here at BIG and that is Steve Blank’s renowned 4 customer development cycles.
D. Business Support
These are a spectrum of services that startups require along the way, and the ones highlighted in orange are those that are highly needed. The opportunity lies in the insufficient number of organizations and companies that help fulfill these very important services. BIG facilitates the services of these 3rd party companies to offer them at a highly discounted rate.