The Department of Mechanical Engineering (DME) at the Faculty of Engineering (FE), Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU), in collaboration with NDU Consulting Club, organized on February 12, 2018, a lecture titled, “Entrepreneurship and Innovation: Convert Your Project Into A Start-up Venture,” presented by Program Manager at Qatar Business and NDU alumnus (B.A./2000) Amine Matni.
The lecture began with an overview on Matni’s career path with and concluded with a discussion of the latest programs he manages at the center. The 10-week long “Lean Start-up Program” supports entrepreneurs who want to transform their ideas into start-up ventures.
Beyond the programmatic overview, the lecture covered “Design Thinking” and “Lean Start-up Method,” as processes that emerged from Stanford Graduate School of Business. Both methods are customer-centered and iterative, meaning that the process will be navigated, depending on emerging data; hence, they are not linear processes or cascading ones. As entrepreneurs present a new idea or business model to solve a specific problem, they need to shy away from writing business plans and focus on talking to customers to better understand their challenges/frustrations and then validate it. The start-up serves to solve a core problem or a tangent to meet the anticipated needs of potential customers.
Statistics have shown that the number one reason for start-up failure is that they offer a solution that has no market need. Quick prototyping and continuous interactions with customers is either a recipe for success or quick failure. No one needs a lengthy product development roadmap to discover at the end that no interest exists in the offering!
The lecture was concluded with few examples from the last three years of start-ups whose co-founders were university students.
It was left to the audience to respond on how best to respond to their burning desire: either start their ventures, or not!