That's what we asked past Ideadvance Seed Fund awardees -- the UW System faculty, staff, students and alumni who found it "critical" to advancing their businesses. The following videos are their answers.
Reinvent Ferment - "Thoughtfully build your business with Ideadvance"
Karen Iverson Riggers and her husband Eric started a food startup in Appleton, Reinvent Ferment, that connects consumers with the unique flavors and health benefits of fermented foods. The Ideadvance teaching team challenged the Riggers to focus on a singular path of growth and come up with a defined profitability scheme in order to ensure success.
Northern Star Fire - "You don't know what you don't know"
Jeff Dikes, of Northern Star Fire, designed an innovative electronic compass to help firefighters maintain their orientation in zero visibility conditions. Since he wasn’t knowledgeable on the business of running a company, Ideadvance came to help. Dikes was pushed out of his comfort zone and learned, with guidance from Idella Yamben and the Ideadvance team, how to conduct research and talk to customers to develop a lean business model for success!
ERbin - "What did we learn through the process? .... A LOT"
Michelle Goetsch and Charles Kijek, are the dynamic duo who came up with Erbin: an organization guiding consumers to recycle right and recycle more. With the direction of Ideadvance, they talked with industry professionals and used mentorship as the means to develop a minimum viable product. Learning how to effectively pitch their ideas and to trust in the lean startup methodology were keys to success in the Ideadvance program.
Arbuda - Ideadvance "helped us think through the business in its entireity"
Vivek Deshpande founded Arbuda: a medical platform that connects cancer patients and their physicians in India to world class resources and research hospitals from the US. Ideadvance helped him design a questionnaire to discover consumer pain-points and think through the entire business to develop a high quality application.
Pivot Interatives - "Ideadvance was critical for my business" - UW-River Falls faculty testimonial
Matt Vonk, a professor of Physics at UW-River Falls and, cofounder of Pivot Interactives – a platform to host videos of events and phenomena, combined with interactive measurement tools allowing students to explore, observe and analyze real events. Vonk found it difficult to make the transition from a grant-supported idea to a business where users will pay for access to the materials but Thanks to the finance focused education and mentorship from Ideadvance, Pivot is now equipped to face any future challenges!