A Lean Startup Approach

A Lean Startup Approach

The Inspiring Enterprise’s mission is to use business practices as a tool for social good. The Inspiring Enterprise will do this by employing the Lean Startup methodology, used widely in Silicon Valley to jumpstart and efficiently launch tech startups. We believe we can help bring solutions to critical local issues in Santa Cruz County by employing the Lean Startup methodology to startups focused on solving a social or environmental issue.

Participants in The Inspiring Enterprise accelerator, or Fellows, will use the Lean Startup methodology to quickly test and expand their idea. The Lean Startup methodology can be summarized through the phrase “plan your test and test your plans” with the idea of constantly planning, testing, reviewing, replanning, testing the new plan, and reviewing the new results.

For more, visit http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/the_promise_of_lean_experimentation.

Although the Lean Startup methodology has been used in businesses for over 5 years, adopting the practice for the social sector is a relatively new concept. At The Inspiring Enterprise, we believe this methodology can benefit both for profit and nonprofit social ventures. By creating a minimum viable product, getting out of the office and speaking with potential customers, and iterating the plan when necessary, this practice can greatly affect a startup’s success.

In concert with the Lean Startup methodology, the real difference for Fellows is made through one-on-one consultations with The Inspiring Enterprise’s Mentor Network. The Mentor Network consists of a robust group of individuals from varied backgrounds including City and County governments, established social sector organizations, investors, and startup founders. Not only are these individuals experienced, but they are also committed to the community such that they are motivated to take time out of their busy schedules to offer their expertise and valuable knowledge.

For the past year, The Inspiring Enterprise has used the Lean Startup methodology to starting a new business. We have built a network of mentors that support the mission and work with us one-on-one to make the smartest decisions, we create a plan and test it, but re-evaluate when necessary and build newly or redirect our efforts.

We are now working hard to raise the $10,000 needed to run the pilot program on a bare minimum budget. We are in conversation with 4 potential Fellows for the pilot and are building the mentor network to ensure the Fellows are successful.

We are seeking the support, contribution, and participation of our community. We will fulfill our mission by using business practices to incentivize new ideas and bring them to fruition. Visit our fundraising page to join us and be part of our solution.

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Written by Janneke J. Lang

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