Benefits of Lean Startup methodology for businesses touted at workshop

The old adage “If you build it they will come” flew out the door during Maui Economic Development Board’s “Business Model Canvas & Lean Startup Overview” workshop held on Feb. 15. In its place came the advice to all entrepreneurs and small business owners: “Best to not build anything until you figure out first what your customers want.”

Such was the advice of Omar Sultan, founder and managing partner of Sultan Ventures and XLR8UH, one of the workshop’s speakers who touted the many benefits of the Lean Startup methodology, a scientific approach to creating and managing startups and growing businesses.

“The Lean Startup approach encourages people to come up with their hypothesis first on what products and/or services they think their customers want,” said workshop speaker Jacob Butters, venture analyst for Sultan Ventures and XLR8UH. “From there, they need to test their hypothesis by speaking to others, including their potential customers. Once they gather this critical input, they can then re-evaluate their original hypothesis and either change or keep going to create their business model. The idea with this method is you’re constantly learning by communicating with potential customers and improving upon what you’re building.”

During MEDB’s workshop, attendees learned about the steps in developing a new or existing business model; how to outline their firm’s or product’s value proposition, customers and finances; and how to align and evaluate their business activities by recognizing potential trade-offs in a much easier and effective way.

“The Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup Overview workshop provides valuable tools that will allow businesses to focus on essential building blocks to create a successful business,” said Frank R. De Rego Jr., director of business development projects at MEDB.

Online registration is now available for MEDB’s Pitch Bootcamp on May 16 and the Startup Weekend Maui on May 19-21. For more information and to register online, visit bit.ly/SUWMaui17.

Startup Weekend is part of a global grass-roots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs with various skill sets who are determined to learn the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures.

The Startup Weekend Maui Series was sponsored by the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, Sultan Ventures and XLR8UH.

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