Start-Up Deep Dive: MVP Building and User Generation

STARTUP DEEP DIVE is an Entrepreneurship Training Series conducted by IEDC MEC which aims at providing individuals with the aptitude to identify business opportunities, self-esteem, knowledge, and skills to act on them. Entrepreneurs or the move towards self-employment is and will continue to become, an increasingly important element of economic growth and development. A key ingredient to getting started on your entrepreneurial journey is finding the self-belief that it is possible for you to build an entire company from scratch. And what can be a more significant source of inspiration than hearing from alumni of your colleagues who have successfully achieved the same?

Mr. Sandeep S and Ms. Ashwathy Venugopal are X-MECians and co-founders of Avasarshala, an ed-tech startup that curates talent-based opportunities for children. Ashwathy has even been recognized as one of the top 75 women entrepreneurs in India by the Central Government. Together, they joined us for the 5th session of IEDC MEC’s Entrepreneurial Training Series, Startup Deep Dive on ‘MVP Building And User Generation’.

So what is MVP? A Minimum Viable Product is a low-budget version of a product with just enough features to be used by early customers. The feedback obtained from the MVP can then be used to guide the development of the final product.

“The MVP of a wedding cake would be a cupcake!”

This was the first myth that was busted in the session. While an MVP is a small-scale version made with the least amount of money, it should also retain the functionalities of the final product you envision. For a wedding cake, the MVP might be a simple sponge cake without all the fancy decorations, or it could be a diagram showing the design and features that the final cake will have. However, it cannot be a cupcake which is an entirely different product.

Avasarshala started as a WhatsApp group, which served as its MVP. Identifying the target audience is crucial at this stage. The next step is to charge a small fee for the product. By analyzing the percentage of clients who are willing to pay for it, we get a rough estimate of the demand for the final product. This is also essential in measuring the product’s sustainability in the market.

The session then introduced the Business Canvas Model, a tool that helps you visualize the development of your startup idea in a structured manner. A run-through of each process involved in the Business Canvas Model aided in understanding the multitude of aspects that should be considered while building a sustainable business model.

Starting a business is not an easy task, but it is certainly a rewarding one. The fifth installment of Startup Deep Dive was filled with valuable information and practical advice for aspiring entrepreneurs that are sure to help them turn their visions into reality. The speakers were generous with their time, answering questions and clearing up any doubts attendees had. For all of you out there who are interested in starting a business, be sure to keep an eye out for future sessions in IEDC MEC’s Startup Deep Dive.