Initial Results From Palestine StartUp Cup Entrepreneur Tour Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, USAID and Silatech.
A small team of StartUp Cup mentors, entrepreneurial ecosystem architects, and graphic facilitators traveled to Palestine January 7 – January 12, 2014 to support launching the inaugural Palestine StartUp Cup accelerator program and business model competition, organized by ConnectME. Along with conducting an extreme business model and startup building workshop we had one goal in mind, to put a meaningful dent in Palestine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Extreme Build-A-Business Workshops
The first goal of our visit was to support increasing the quality and quantity of local coaches and mentors in the Palestine entrepreneurial community. We began our task by training a total of 26 local seasoned entrepreneurs and business leaders on the entrepreneurial mindset, techniques for coaching entrepreneurs, business model design, bootstrapping, and accelerated go-to-market strategies. Immediately following the mentor training session we launched into a two-day Extreme Build-A-Business Weekend program where the freshly certified mentors applied their new coaching skills with the local entrepreneurs competing in the Palestine StartUp Cup. The result was an increased focus on team development, bootstrapping techniques, business model design, customer development, assumption testing, and revenue generation.
Startup Mentoring Goals
1) To support each startup team in understanding that they needed to learn and take a long view beyond the business idea in order to advance their startup. It was important to introduce each team to the entrepreneurial mindset and visual thinking as a foundation for startup success.
2) To share the key elements of business model design (Using the Business Model Scorecard) including: customer development strategies, revenue model development, team building, bootstrapping techniques, and accelerated go-to-market strategies.
3) To inspire startup teams to take action and start testing their customer and business model assumptions by going out and acquiring customers, securing key licenses and certificates required to start their company, self-funding, and start selling their product(s) or service(s) right away.
4) To train a collection of Palestine mentors and StartUp Cup judges on business model design, accelerated customer development, and go-to-market strategies that support entrepreneurs to launch their startups quickly and, in the process, acquire customers, generate revenue, and/or secure funding.
- 48 startup teams;
- 520 coaching sessions;
- 26 coaches and mentors;
- 92% of all startup teams invited to participate in the extreme startup coaching workshop participated in the Extreme Build-A-Business Weekend;
- 96% Startup teams will utilize the training learned in their personal lives whether they start a company or not;
- 91% of startup teams improved their chances to launch their business
- 84% of startup teams went out and engaged customers working to validate their business model;
- 95% of startup teams readjusted their business models, including target customer, revenue model, and go-to-market strategy;
- 89% of entrepreneurs are more willing to take risks to start and build their business
- 91% of entrepreneurs are more willing to encourage family and friends to start a business
- StartUp Cup-trained mentors coached 520 fifteen minute high impact Business Model Scorecard sessions with 48 startup teams using accelerated go-to-market and bootstrapping techniques;
- Announced the Palestine StartUp Cup Top 25 that advanced into the first round of live business model pitching sessions;
- Palestine entrepreneurs have original ideas that are designed to maximize the unique strengths of the territory;
- Female founders represented 32% of all startups;
- Strong desire to create a viable business. Natural “team” development approach;
- Quality of entrepreneurs participating was a priority over quantity within the entrepreneurial ecosystem and specifically for the Palestine StartUp Cup Organizers;
- The StartUp Cup Bootstrap StartUp process is extremely effective (Entrepreneurial Mindset, Business Model Design, Team Development, Customer Engagement, Revenue Generation, and Tailored One-On-One Mentoring);
- The Business Model Scorecard accelerates learning, designing and the building of a viable business;
- The StartUp Cup process has the potential to change lives and empower people around the world to create their own career path;
Palestine StartUp Cup Sponsors and Organizers, the U.S. State Department, DAI/USAID, Siletech and ConnectME understand that to be successful, the measurement of short and long-term startup success and ensuring the sustainability of the Palestine StartUp Cup program to grow jobs and viable businesses, is of paramount importance. To this effort the U.S. State Department, USAID, Silatech and MEConnect are committed to support the long-term success of Palestine StartUp Cup. Working with Palestine StartUp Cup Organizers and the U.S. State Department, USAID and Silatech we will measure the impact of startup teams to create viable businesses and grow jobs. We will also monitor the impact of mentors trained to actively coach business model design and accelerated go-to-market strategies. Meaningful entrepreneurial ecosystem growth takes years, not months. StartUp Cup remains committed to being actively involved in the process of advancing Palestine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including ongoing research and future Extreme Build-A-Business events and the creation of a WECreate Center in planning stages for 2014.
Thank you to the U.S. State Department, USAID, Silatech, Global Entrepreneurship Program, and ConnectME, for sponsoring the StartUp Cup mentoring team’s visit and for supporting the launch of Palestine StartUp Cup accelerator program and business model competition in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
Thank you to the amazing Palestine StartUp Cup organizing team of Randa Masri, Ayman Awartani, and Lamees Abdeljalil for their efforts to mobilize and orchestrate such an amazing collection of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial champions. You have set a new bar for StartUp Cups around the world to emulate.
Thank you to the great entrepreneurs of Palestine. You inspire us! You are the reason we work so hard to support the growth of entrepreneurialism around the globe. We look forward to our next Palestine Entrepreneur Tour.
Thank you to Tanya Hiple, Caron DeMars and Lorraine Harrington at the U.S. State Department for your confidence in our ability to put a dent in Palestine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. A special thanks to Shelly Porges, former Senior Advisor of Global Entrepreneurship with the U.S. State Department for being the catalyst of the Palestine Entrepreneur Tour.
And last but certainly not least, thank you to the StartUp Cup Global mentoring team that lead the Palestine Entrepreneur Tour, Sean Griffin and Tanya Hiple. Your impact on Palestine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem will be felt for years to come.