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Idea Generation & Opportunity Assessment. Presented by Rich Bendis, CEO Innovation America. Temple Entrepreneurship. Temple is: A national leader in entrepreneurship education and applied learning

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idea generation opportunity assessment

Idea Generation & Opportunity Assessment

Presented by

Rich Bendis, CEO

Innovation America

temple entrepreneurship
Temple Entrepreneurship

Temple is:

  • A national leader in entrepreneurship education and applied learning
  • Ranked 6th in the U.S. for undergraduate programs by Entrepreneur magazine and the Princeton Review
  • Cited for excellence in entrepreneurship by Fortune Small Business, and U.S. News and World Report
characteristics of successful entrepreneurs
Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
  • Passion for the business
  • Vision and endless ideas
  • Product/customer focus: Must satisfy customer needs
  • Persevere through setbacks andfailures
  • Executional excellence: Translate creativity into action & generate measurable returns
the power of entrepreneurial thinking
The Power of Entrepreneurial Thinking
  • What makes a successful entrepreneur?
    • Seeing opportunity where others don’t
    • Innovation: better, faster, cheaper, easier
    • “Fire in the Belly”
    • Willingness to take risks
    • Extreme work ethic
three key processes
Three Key Processes






Increasing Relevance to Founding Venture

kinds of intelligence
Kinds of Intelligence
  • Analytic intelligence - The ability to analyze and evaluate ideas, solve problems and make decisions
  • Creative intelligence - Going beyond what is given to generate novel and interesting ideas.
  • Practical intelligence - The ability that individuals use to find the best fit between themselves and the demands of the environment
  • Social intelligence - The ability to understand and manage all types of people and to act wisely in human relations
  • Successful intelligence - The acquisition and use of what you need to know to be successful in a particular environment.
successful intelligence
Successful Intelligence










confluence approach
Confluence Approach

Creativity emerges from a confluence of

  • Intellectual abilities
  • Broad, rich knowledge base
  • Appropriate style of thinking
  • Personality attributes
  • Intrinsic, task-focused motivation
  • Environment supportive of creative ideas
additional aspects
Additional Aspects

Active search

Entrepreneurial alertness

Prior knowledge

Social networks



pattern recognition
Pattern Recognition
  • Seeing links between seemingly unconnected trends, changes, events
  • Connections form an identifiable pattern
entrepreneurial opportunity
Entrepreneurial Opportunity
  • Situation in which a person can develop a new business idea that has potential to generate profit
opportunities from change
Opportunities from Change

Truly valuable entrepreneurial opportunities come from an external change that either:

  • Makes it possible to do things that had not been done before
  • Makes it possible to do something in a more valuable way.
change leads to potential
Change Leads to Potential
  • New technology
  • Political and regulatory shifts
  • Social and demographic change


forms of opportunity
Forms of Opportunity

Entrepreneurs develop business ideas by:

  • Developing new products and services
  • Tapping new markets
  • Formulating new methods of production
  • Identifying new raw materials
  • Developing new ways of organizing processes
recognizing opportunities generating ideas
Recognizing Opportunities & Generating Ideas
  • Idea is thought, impression, notion
  • Opportunity: favorable set of circumstances that create need for product or service. Ex: Jeff Bezos/Amazon
  • Opportunity has four essential qualities
      • Attractive
      • Durable
      • Timely
      • Creates/adds value for buyer/user
recognizing opportunities generating ideas1
Recognizing Opportunities & Generating Ideas
  • Observing/Study Trends
    • Economic factors
    • Social factors
    • Technological Advances
    • Political Action and regulatory statutes
recognizing opportunities generating ideas2
Recognizing Opportunities & Generating Ideas
  • Economic Forces
    • Consumers level of disposable income
    • Interest rate changes
    • More women in workforce
    • Currently: global recession
  • Social Forces
    • Both parents working: fast food
    • People too busy: digital organizers
    • Life stress: spas, wellness clinics
recognizing opportunities generating ideas3
Recognizing Opportunities & Generating Ideas
  • Family & work patterns
  • Aging of the population
  • Increasing diversity in the workplace
  • Globalization of industries
  • Increased focus in health care & fitness
  • Proliferation of computers & Internet
  • Increase in numbers of cell phone users
  • New forms of music & entertainment
recognizing opportunities generating ideas4
Recognizing Opportunities & Generating Ideas
  • Technological Advances
    • Cell phones: allows people to be mobile
    • E-commerce: accommodates busy schedules and working from home/remote locations
  • Political Action
    • New laws: help companies comply; ex: SoX
    • Terrorism: Products & services to protect
recognizing opportunities generating ideas5
Recognizing Opportunities & Generating Ideas

Solving a Problem

  • Observe people’s challenges
  • Look for problems
  • Listen to people’s complaints
  • Think of your own challenges
recognizing opportunities generating ideas6
Recognizing Opportunities & Generating Ideas
  • Personal characteristics for opportunity recognition
    • Prior experience in an industry
    • Entrepreneurial alertness/6th sense
    • Social networks
    • Creativity: preparation, incubation, insight, evaluation, elaboration
small group exercise what opportunities exist
Small Group Exercise: What Opportunities Exist?
  • Group should choose a market and identify a BIG PERVASIVE PROBLEM customers face.
  • Brainstorm some products or services to solve those problems
  • Share ideas with larger group
techniques in generating ideas
Techniques in Generating Ideas
  • Brainstorming: generate ideas quickly, no analysis or decision making
    • Enthusiasm, originality, lots of ideas
    • Freewheeling, lively
    • No criticism allowed
    • Session moves quickly
    • Leapfrogging encouraged
techniques in generating ideas1
Techniques in Generating Ideas
  • Focus groups
    • People selected are familiar with issues
    • What’s on customers mind
    • Conducted by trained moderator
    • Success depends on moderator’s ability to ask questions and keep on track
techniques in generating ideas2
Techniques in Generating Ideas
  • Surveys: gathering info from sample of individuals
    • By phone, mail, online, in person
    • Random portions of population
    • Customer Advisory Boards
feasibility analysis
Feasibility Analysis
  • The process to determine if a business idea is viable worth pursuing
    • Product/service feasibility analysis
    • Industry/market feasibility
    • Organizational feasibility
    • Financial feasibility
product service feasibility analysis
Product/Service Feasibility Analysis
  • Concept testing: validate customer interest, desirability & purchase intent
    • Validate underlying premise
    • Help develop the idea
    • Try to estimate sales
product service feasibility analysis1
Product/Service Feasibility Analysis
  • New Business Concept Paper

- Description of product/service offered

- Intended target market

- Benefits of product/service

- Description of how the product will be positioned versus similar ones in market

- Description how the product would be sold or distributed.

product service feasibility analysis2
Product/Service Feasibility Analysis
  • Usability Testing: measures product’s ease of use and the user’s perception of the experience using model/prototype
industry market feasibility analysis
Industry/Market Feasibility Analysis
  • Industry attractiveness
  • Market timeliness
  • Identification of niche market
industry market feasibility analysis1
Industry/Market Feasibility Analysis

Industry Attractiveness

  • Large and growing
  • Important to the customer
  • Fairly young rather than older/mature
  • High rather low operating margins
  • Not being crowded

Primary and secondary research is needed

industry market feasibility analysis2
Industry/Market Feasibility Analysis
  • Market Timeliness

- Improved product = market exists

- Breakthrough product:

- First mover advantage

- Second mover advantage

  • Identifying a niche market
organizational feasibility analysis
Organizational Feasibility Analysis
  • Sufficient management expertise, organizational competence & resources to successfully launch a business

- Management ability

- Resource sufficiency

financial feasibility analysis
Financial Feasibility Analysis
  • Total start-up cash needed
  • Financial performance of similar businesses
  • Overall financial attractiveness of the proposed venture
evaluating opportunities quick screen
Evaluating Opportunities: “Quick Screen”
  • Looks at:
    • Markets and Margins
    • Competitive Advantages
    • Value Realization
    • Overall Potential
  • Exercise: Evaluate your group’s idea using the first two screens
I know quite certainly that I myself have no special talent; curiosity, obsession and dogged endurance, combined with self-criticism, have brought me to my ideas.- Albert Einstein

The air is full of ideas. They are knocking you in the head all the time. You only have to know what you want, then forget it, and go about your business. Suddenly, the idea will come through. It was there all the time.

- Henry Ford

A mediocre idea that generates enthusiasm will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.

- Mary Kay Ash