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At AREA Science Park the focus was on start-ups, at a meeting with business expert Bill Aulet from the MIT 

How to market an idea successfully


23.10.2013 -

Can entrepreneurship be taught? This is the (rather provocative) question that Bill Aulet, managing director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, attempts to answer in his book "Disciplined entrepreneurship. 24 Steps to a successful start-up". Aulet, who today was invited to AREA Science Park, to attend a meeting with researchers and businessmen, starts with the idea that the great entrepreneurs - Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Richard Branson to name a few - weren't necessarily blessed with particular gifts, but they certainly had successful products. According to the American expert, excellent, innovative products are the key to success.

 

Aulet explains the practical approach that all entrepreneurs should apply to their businesses, to achieve success. An innovative technology, a good idea and enthusiasm are the starting points, followed by 24 steps, which can be grouped under six basic questions: 1) who is your customer, 2) what can you do for him, 3) how can you buy the product, 4) how can you make money from the product, 5) how are you going to design and produce it, and 6) how can you measure your business. In practice, you start by identifying the target, before putting the potential customers in relation to your product, for example by considering the added value for the customer, where and how he can buy it, and so on. Aulet has often stressed how important it is to focus on both objectives and energies, because time and resources are usually limited.

 

"There are certain errors to avoid on the path towards a start-up" says Aulet. The first mistake is to think that a good idea is enough on its own. In reality, to be successful, it is essential to start thinking immediately of how the market that idea, and of how to build a close-knit team around it. Another mistake to avoid is wasting energy: we all have a shortage of time and cash, and for this reason, your efforts should be focused on the core activities without doing too many things together. This makes the difference, if you want to make it big. You have to give yourself a clear-cut strategy, and immediately realise who will be your customers, and who won't. It's also a good idea to think in terms of an international, global market, because if you only think of the local market, you will be more affected by fluctuations. If you produce something you can sell all over the world, you have more opportunities. Innovation is very important in this respect. It is a more difficult route, but ultimately it is what gives the company more solidity".

 

Part of the meeting was dedicated to two start-ups, ModeFinance and Forever, both born and raised at AREA. Aulet analysed their strengths and weaknesses. ModeFinance is a company specialising in analysis ratings, economic and financial evaluations, and credit risk assessments of joint-stock companies. Born in 2009 from an idea of its two founding members Mattia Ciprian and Valentino Pediroda, the company is based at Trieste's AREA Science Park, where it was incubated in the Innovation Factory. Officially, ModeFinance is also a spin-off of the University of Trieste, and in legal terms is considered an innovative start-up. Thanks to its proprietary credit risk analysis method, ModeFinance provides a range of products and services to meet the new credit risk management demands of market players from different countries and different sectors: industry, insurance, banking and finance, and also public and government organisations. ModeFinance provides assessments of more than 70 million companies in 200 countries worldwide, and each year processes more than 100 million balance sheets.

 

The other start-up examined was FOREVER, a development group from Innovation Factory. It was formed with the idea of guaranteeing digital immortality for each human being, and preserving it intact, complete with memories, personality and thoughts. What we are: our physical appearance, our peculiar expressions, the traits that distinguish us as human beings who are different from everyone else. Since the dawn of mankind, from the time of cave paintings and even before that, human beings have felt the irrepressible need to pass on to future generations a trace of their passage through this world. FOREVER now makes it possible for each individual's complete identity to be preserved for all eternity, in digital format. Not just static representations such as text, photographs and films, but a real digital identity in hologram form, representing each of us in an indivisible union of body and soul, which can transcend our own beings and interact with future generations.

 
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