The key is to understand the market.
– The lean innovation approach sets high demands on the researcher, says Professor Anders Goksøyr from the University of Bergen.
He heads one of the eight potential startups that participated in the Lean Innovation Workshop in Oslo. Over two intensive days, multidisciplinary teams of five to six people brainstormed, struggled and refined the selected business ideas into shape.
– We develop an environmental diagnostics tool, explains Goksøyr.
– This workshop has given us a clearer direction for our future innovation work, and we have a tool to continue this process in the dCod-project.
Professor Jerome Engel from UC Berkeley led the two-day workshop. Engel is an internationally recognized expert on innovation, and uses models translated and adapted to fit startups in the life sciences.
– The biggest challenge for startups, especially in biotech, is that the researchers have so much technical knowledge, says Engel.
– The science is important and complex, but the researchers are often far removed from the clinic.
The workshop focused on understanding the market, generating business models and drafting value propositions. Engel engaged in lively discussions with the participants to push them further along the path towards a successful startup.
The startups used a Business Model Canvas to map out and explore the potential in their ideas.
– The point of this workshop is to get out of the building and engage with the marketplace, says Engel.
Careful consideration of the market is a key step, and helps potential startups focus their energy towards a minimal viable product.
PhD-student Nadeem Joudeh from the University of Oslo presented results from the BEDPAN-project (part of the NANOP-project). They develop application-tailored nanoparticles for potential customers in the fuel cell energy and chemical catalysis industries.
– We are debating if we should sell the technology or start a company ourselves. This workshop helps me see the different options for the future, says Joudeh.
During the workshop, he has changed his view on what type of product he has to offer to the customers. Instead of focusing on the nanoparticles and his research, the workshop challenged him to think about the product-market fit and design a product that the customer needs.
– The engineering process and our production line is the most interesting value to the customer. I have shifted focus from what I like to do in the lab to what the market needs, concludes Joudeh.
The Centre for Digital Life Norway organized the workshop together with The Life Science Cluster, Catapult Life Science and Share Lab.
You can find the program and more information here: Lean Innovation Workshop