OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Founder's Road Trip: Amazing Race for Company Founders

What if we could give company founders rapid in context experience working to gain understanding of their market, while refining their concept?

Photo of Kelsey Ruger
4 5

Written by

How do you give an entrepreneurs enough knowledge or experience to build a solution that is actually relevant globally?

Cultural awareness and understanding is key to building a sustainable global business. Sometimes the best way to gain that awareness is by getting out from behind the screen and taking action. This concept is a travel based competition/program that allows entrepreneurs to rapidly learn the skills needed to master their businesses both domestically and in unfamiliar territory. The goal is to give them the opportunity to get out and see how real people are solving a particular problem.

The journey would allow them to:

  1. Learn quickly apply both known and new skills based on their location.
  2. Learn how their digital solution translates in the real world for people from different cultures.
  3. See our their idea evolves based on input and experiences from different cultures.
  4. Receive quick and simple validation of their business model.
  5. Bonus: Uncover new ideas and opportunities.

Why The Amazing Races offers a good analogy
The Amazing Race offers a good example of something that a lot of businesses learn early on - in today's economy you have to cooperate with other companies to survive, but you have to compete to win. In the amazing Race the teams quickly learn that their team may need help one day, so it's in their best interest to help others, and to not be too overbearing or aggresive. The game has built in equalizers that de-emphasize the importance of being first. It is critical however not to be last.

This along with the opportunity to learn how local customs, practices and beliefs affect the usage of their solution offer the budding entrepreneur the environment to learn the flexibility they will need to succeed.

How will your concept support web entrepreneurship?

While nearly every new business will have some component that is online, not every business will be given the opportunity to quickly learn and iterate their idea. It's difficult and rather than working from assumptions the program will put then in a structured environment, and use tools like The Founder's Roadmap(http://www.openideo.com/open/web-start-up/concepting/the-founder-s-roadmap/), or Personal MBA to structure challenged in between re-structured pitches or prototypes of their idea based on what they have learned along the way.

What kinds of resources will be needed to get this concept off the ground and scale it?

Resources needed are the design of the program, participating locations around the world, toolkits to support the entrepreneurs and sponsors to help fund the travel. It will be a challenge to adjust the toolkits appropriate to meet the needs of the location the entrepreneur is currently working in.

How could we get started?

We could start by doing some research with people who have started web business and global businesses to determine what types of challenges they face that could effectively be translating into challenges for the program. We could also work with entrepreneurial programs around the world to determine what types of challenges would match up with their learning objectives.

4 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Edmund Ng

The amazing race requires quick adaptation to new environments and new scenarios. This is definitely a great analogy. Failure is not failure until you virtually give up. Sometimes, when a company doesn't make it, it's just the implementation of the wrong strategies.


Edmund Ng
http://www.ceoconnectz.com

View all comments