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TorontoStarts and 100 Steps 2 Startup Present “Finding and Validating Your Startup Idea” with Dr. Sean Wise

Dr. Sean Wise has seen over 30,000 ventures pitched including his years working with Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank and he takes us through the process of finding and validating your startup idea utilizing hypothesis-driven entrepreneurship.  Answering questions on when to pivot or persevere.  Sean discusses the startups that wowed him with their idea and team including AccessNow, Wealthsimple, 7 virtues.  As well as, the startups that he was wrong about including Shopify.

Answering questions from How do I know if this is an idea you can stick with, to how to generate a startup idea, and How much traction is enough traction.  Various methods of validation are discussed along with key KPIs, finding early adopters, and validating a market.

During this interactive session Sean goes through the process to find and validate your startup idea:

  1. Make a note of all the groups you are in (i.e. parent of young children, comic book fan, startup founder, etc)
  2. Look at the problems that the people in the groups are facing
  3. Look at how they are solving these problems to determine if there is a better solution
  4. Go out and interview the people with these problems to find out if:
    • a) they really have the problem
    • b) if they are happy with their current solution 
    • c) would they pay for a solution that is significantly better – and show them an MVP of yours
  5. Test test test & pivot based on early adopter (people who have the problem) feedback

100 Steps 2 Startup covers everything that Sean talked about today plus more – in a step by step format that is easy to follow. It’s based on the proven Lean Startup methodology and it works! If you’re interested you can check it out here:

Dr. Sean Wise is a best-selling author, venture capitalist and founder of more than half a dozen new ventures. He has spent two decades in the venture capital industry, specializing in supporting high growth ventures at the seed stage.Dr. Wise is currently a partner at the seed fund, Ryerson Futures. Through that fund, he has supported more than 23 startups, investing in 13. He helped found Ernst & Young’s Venture Capital Advisory Group in Canada and the startups he has supported have raised more than $2.1 billion after training with him.Dr. Wise started his first startup at age 13, and by 30, he had started and launched 5 new ventures. At 31, he took his first company public. At 40, he was nominated for the Top 40 under 40™ and in 2014, he was named national startup Mentor of the Year.Dr. Wise helped launch Dragons’ Den, the hit reality show, now in 27 countries, and known as Shark Tank in the USA. After 5 seasons with the show, he moved in front of the camera with his own show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, called The Naked Entrepreneur. He publishes extensively on entrepreneurship. His work has appeared on or in: CNN Financial, The New York Times, Profit Magazine, Fox News and the Globe and Mail. Dr. Wise has written 5 books, including 1 textbook, and published dozens of articles on entrepreneurship and venture capital.Dr. Wise is a tenured Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University. He holds both a law degree and an MBA from the University of Ottawa and a PhD in Business from the prestigious Adam Smith School of Business at the University of Glasgow.

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