Identifying Venture Opportunities

6340 Words26 Pages
CASE: E-323
DATE: 11/18/08

IDENTIFYING VENTURE OPPORTUNITIES
I never perfected an invention that I did not think about in terms of the service it might give others... I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.
—Thomas Edison

INTRODUCTION
One of the biggest questions on every hopeful entrepreneur’s mind is, ―how do I come up with a compelling idea for a new venture?‖ While there is no right or wrong answer to this question, there are several things to be aware of and thinking about as one heads down the entrepreneurial path. Even if a great idea has already come to mind, it is essential to cover the basics – the market, product/service offering, competitive, economic, and team dynamics to determine if the
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Howard Schultz’s inspiration for Starbucks came to him when he was on vacation in Italy and admired the ―café culture‖ there that had not yet taken root in the US.
Another valuable exercise is to reflect on experiences (particularly frustrating ones) as a retail or industrial consumer. Entrepreneurial ideas can be the result of simply being an irritated consumer looking for a better solution, where ―in solving their own needs, they often find they satisfy the latent demands of a broader group of users.‖3 Recall the origins of Nike – Phil Knight and his track coach Bill Bowerman were dissatisfied with the footwear available for longdistance runners, so they started their own footwear company using Bowerman’s waffle maker to produce the rubber soles.
Never underestimate the importance and relevance of contextual knowledge. Many successful entrepreneurs have found their ideas by reading different newspapers and economic and technical publications in order to keep abreast of trends and events taking place around the world. One incredible advantage that students have is the access to resources available at colleges and universities. Investigate what kinds of projects and experiments are going on in university research labs, as
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