Harvard i-lab | Testing Your Social Venture: Iterating Based on Market Feedback | Summary and Q&A

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March 3, 2014
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Harvard Innovation Labs
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Harvard i-lab | Testing Your Social Venture: Iterating Based on Market Feedback

TL;DR

Social entrepreneurs share their experiences in identifying social needs, testing the market, and adapting their business models.

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Key Insights

  • 🪡 Social entrepreneurs should focus on understanding both the social need and the market opportunity before developing their ventures.
  • 👨‍💼 Engaging with customers and stakeholders is crucial for product development, business model validation, and market testing.
  • 🎏 Pricing models should consider both social impact and sustainability, and may involve partnerships with other organizations or additional revenue streams.
  • ♿ Academic institutions offer valuable resources and networks for social entrepreneurs, including access to experts, funding opportunities, and collaborations.

Transcript

Oh um so my name is Andrea McGrath and I'm working with the social enterprise initiative on this spring I'm working with them as they help to as they develop and create their story of impact as they're celebrating their 20th anniversary this year and I'm also working with them a little bit on the new venture competition including tonight's panel wh... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How did you come up with the idea for your venture and identify the social need or market opportunity?

The entrepreneurs shared that their ideas originated from a technology they had developed and finding ways to apply it to solve real-world problems. They conducted research, spoke to experts and potential customers, and iterated on their ideas before finalizing their ventures.

Q: How did you test the market and adapt your business model based on feedback?

The entrepreneurs emphasized the importance of being on the ground and having direct interactions with customers. They listened to feedback, made changes to their products or services, and focused on finding the right target market. They also emphasized the value of being open to criticism and iterating on their ideas.

Q: How did you determine your revenue model in a social enterprise?

The entrepreneurs discussed the importance of finding the right balance between social impact and sustainability. They highlighted the need to identify who is willing to pay for their product or service, such as governments, corporations, or other stakeholders. They also mentioned the need to price their offerings appropriately to cover costs without burdening the end user.

Q: What advice do you have for entrepreneurs in leveraging the resources available in an academic institution?

The entrepreneurs mentioned the importance of tapping into the expertise and networks available in academic institutions. They advised students to take advantage of professors, researchers, and fellow students to gather information, collaborate, and validate their ideas. They also highlighted the value of publications and collaborations with academic institutions in building credibility and gaining access to resources.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The panel discussion focused on identifying social needs, testing the market, and adapting business models in the context of social entrepreneurship.

  • The entrepreneurs discussed how they came up with their venture ideas and identified social needs or market opportunities.

  • They highlighted the importance of engaging with customers and stakeholders, adapting their models based on feedback, and finding the right revenue models.

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