How to Build a Startup

Have you ever wanted to start your own company or had an idea you wanted to see come to life?  NAAAP’s How to Build Your Own Startup has all the information to make it into a possibility. Led by Temple’s own Program Director of Blackstone Launchpad, Julie Stapleton Carroll, you will know the ins and outs of building up your own vision for a future career and how to make it happen.

What is Blackstone?

  • This is a free resource for Temple Students and alumni that helps students take the first step in their entrepreneurship!
  • They provide one-on-one, individualized coaching for whatever your idea may be.
  • They also host numerous networking opportunities and events that will get you connected to people who have the skills you need, such as coding and marketing.
  • They provide workshops to help improve your skills.
  • Most importantly, they want to promote your entrepreneurship as a visible career path!

Who are some Entrepreneurs you can pull Ideas from?

  • Tiger Woods: Has his name is his own brand off of his career in golf
  • Vera Wang: Has her own successful clothing line
  • Lonnie Johnson: Inventor of the Supersoaker 
    • Inventors such as Lonnie Johnson invented the Supersoaker by accident and had to go through countless trials to get his invention on the market. It took him 7 years to successfully raise the business and his product is now widely used!

How do you begin a Startup?

Step 1: Come up with an Idea

  • You want to ask yourself: “What is a problem?”
  • After you establish a problem that needs to be fixed, ask, “What’s a solution?”
  • Make sure you know the difference that sets your invention apart from other competitors, convenience or speed for example, because that is your value proposition. 

 Step 2: Create a Mission Statement

  • Compile succinct sentences to draw them in and say who you are as a company
  • Make sure to get the core message of the company’s purpose and why it exists
  • Think of it like an elevator pitch – you have 30 seconds to explain why someone should pick your company

Step 3: Test Idea – Market Research

  • Marketing Research will also involve knowing these questions:
    • Who is the target customer?
      • You can identify this by thinking about:
        • Where is the product sold and where is it not sold?
        • How and where the product is advertised
    • Will your idea sell?
      • Validate your business and product/service
    • Is it a good idea that you will be able to afford?
    • Is it going to be of interest to the audience?
    • What is the price compared to similar competitor products?
  • Know that you will need to conduct two types of research: Primary and Secondary
  • Primary Research 
    • Survey questionnaires
    • Exploratory interviews with people who have different experiences than you, allowing you to gauge the audience interest. 
  • Secondary Research 
    • Government Statistics: Find out the current trends
    • Trade publications
  • Market Research is what you will need to conduct after the primary and secondary research by knowing what methods you need to collect and compiling the appropriate marketing info.
  • Think about:
    • How can I position my idea?
    • Learn how to set up your own business
    • Learn about your competitors and learn from their mistakes

Step 4: Pitch an Idea

  • What is the Idea? Give a 6 to 8 minute presentation with an investor focus. You need to make sure it grabs their attention early on by hitting the highlights of your business plan.
  • Your goal is to leave the investors eager to know more by showing your mission statement and how this will create a business.
  • Some important things to consider include:
    • Making sure that your pitch is understandable to everyone in your audience
    • Anticipate questions about your product or idea

 Step 5: Package the Idea

  • Marketing and branding are your key focus here and you need to make sure that it appeals to your specific audience i.e. students or teenagers
  • Have a mission statement, knowledge of what sets you apart from your competitors, and demonstrate you have thought about the finances (you don’t have to lay down the numbers but show that you put the thought behind it)

If you have an idea that you want to materialize, email to schedule an appointment and turn your dream into a reality!

“Everybody thinks their idea is the best; use market research to figure out how many people want what it is you’re selling rather than how many people you think need it.”




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