startathlon, get a head start
You and your co-workers will be guided by mentors and investors during an intensive 7-step start-up accelerator program.
We’ll give you a head start with one-on-one training sessions, coaching and knowledge exchange.
But luckily, you can minimize the risks. Draw lessons from historical failures, and flops that were turned into a success story
Flickr started off as a multiplayer online game. Photo sharing was just a side feature. However, it generated way more traction than the game did. The founders fought for a while trying to stick with their original idea, but it soon became obvious where the real need was. So they shifted the focus to photo sharing.
PayPal started as a PDA payment solution. It turned out that no one wanted to use it. The founders of PayPal recognized what people really wanted, and where there was money to be made: online payment. Now we all know PayPal as the leading online payment service.
Remember Google Wave? A technically superior product, supposed to replace e-mail as the next generation collaboration platform?
Google engineers were using it successfully before the multimillion dollar launch. The launch was a major flop.
So, what happened? Apparently, the product didn’t solve a real problem. On top of that, Google Wave proved to be confusing for users.
How about GeoCities? In the early days of the Web, it was the platform to host a homepage. It was a very popular product, solving a real pain.
Unfortunately, Yahoo! had to close down the product, as they failed to successfully monetize it.
So, should you ask people what they want before developing a new product? Not really, no.
Henry Ford was right: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. Remember that!
Conclusion? To succeed, having technology is great, having a full strategy is better.
There is no business without customers, a monetization model, and a go-to-market path.
Creating a good business plan is easier said than done, because each case is different, and there are a lot of uncertainties involved for every project. That is exactly why we created our Startathlon program.
During the Startathlon program you can carry on developing your business. You get all the information you need during a combination of training sessions, one-on-one coaching and exchange with other innovative companies. In between workshops you can apply what you have learned. You'll get feedback and help from our mentors and your peers. We know your business is unique. We are more than happy to look for answers for the specific challenges in your field.
Sirris teamed up with the brightest experts and entrepreneurs in Belgium.
Sirris is a not-for-profit, industry-owned knowledge center founded by Agoria, the federation of the Belgian technology industry.
is a serial entrepreneur.
After he sold his last company, he started to help out European companies with a go-to-market strategy for Europe and the Middle East. He’s also professor of entrepreneurship at the Antwerp Management School.
is a scientific entrepreneur. He’s always looking for new key concepts to turn them into a commercial succes. He runs several SaaS companies in markets with high and very diverse customer needs. He’s an expert in finding the best fit between maximum customer service, minimal products and lean business models.
is venture capital consultant. He has founded and supported several companies and projects for over 15 years.
is entrepreneur, lean startup adviser, blogger and organizer of Lean Startup Circle Brussels. He started as a software developer.
is software engineer, web & cloud computing adviser, and co-author of The Art of Software Innovation.
is online communication, strategic positioning & team dynamics
is engineer, jurist and strategist with a large network in the Belgian high tech industry. Peter started the Mistral program at Sirris. This program guided more than 70 companies in the search for the right technology strategy.