A Precelerator is a program that comes before a Lean Startup, Accelerator, or other program that will help you to build a business. It will ensure that you enter those programs with an offering worth accelerating.

Get your product idea off to the right start

You have an idea and you want to commercialize it? Excellent!

You’ve probably already heard the statistics that most new products fail (up to 75%). But this doesn’t have to be true. In this program hosted by BU Technology Development, BU researchers and practitioners will learn to create new value for your potential customers, and build a product to best capture that value. This Precelerator program will get you off to the right start.

Who it’s For

Researchers and teams pursuing new ideas who would like support in developing their idea into a successful solution (product) for adoption by an intended audience. The program is available to individuals or teams working on BU ideas.

About the Program

Introducing the Value Creation Precelerator

This program is based on the following broad assumptions:

  • Market behavior and customer needs cannot be observed or directly articulated by the customer
  • Before iterating on solutions, the right problems need to be defined along with the criteria to guide the creation of solutions (ie., a product, service or business).

The approach satisfies the following rationale:

  • Every business needs customers
  • Customers need to make a decision to buy
  • For a solution to succeed, it needs the customers to choose it over available alternatives
  • Decisions are made by deep, psychological motivations – which are usually justified by rational reasons
  • Motivations do not translate easily to rational reasons, or to product specific requirements

To understand customers’ motivations it is necessary to explore the depths below what people say. We then need to be able to translate tacit motivations to explicit requirements for products that the entrepreneur can develop. Since these activities translate emotional inputs to tangible outputs, they do not follow a typical linear, analytic method – however, they still need to rigorously demonstrate validity of the conclusions. These non-linear logic skills are not typically taught in traditional business or science curricula, which are based on linear thought and progression. For this reason it will be important to incorporate elements of the creative processes taught in the arts and humanities disciplines. Through a more creative lens, we can ensure that scientific discoveries will be shaped into product ideas that are appreciated by human customers.

What you will learn to help you succeed

The Precellerator serves the experienced truth that innovation and product success arise from a deep understanding of how customers make decisions, often concealed beneath surface-level needs and concerns. Rather than simply focusing on finding the right solutions, the key is to uncover the underlying problems and motivations that customers may not explicitly express. By delving into these hidden challenges and desires, businesses can create solutions that not only address functional issues but also resonate with customers on a deeper perceptual level.

You will learn to work with the following truths:

  1. The most successful ideas don’t come from searching for the right solution, they come from digging to find the right problem.
  2. It’s our job to figure out what the customer can’t tell us.
  3. The right solution needs to solve functional AND perceptual problems.
  4. Finding the right problem to create customer value is different from finding the right problem to create business value.
  5. When creating customer value, the right problem reveals a deep motivation.
  6. It is necessary to integrate the Arts and Humanities disciplines with science and technical disciplines to ensure our product will be appropriate for human customers.

When you get the customer problem right, you can create new solutions customers wouldn’t think to ask for, and you will form deep, lasting bonds with them.

How to Register

To learn more about how to participate or for more information contact Rana K Gupta.

About the Facilitator, Ellen DiResta

Ellen DiResta is the Founder/Managing Director of Pearl Partners LLC, a consulting firm that works with business leaders and entrepreneurs to create and launch new products, services, and ventures. Formerly, as Managing Director leading Innovation Strategy at Continuum, and building innovation capabilities at Becton Dickinson, Ellen is a mechanical engineer by training who, over the last 20+ years has developed an approach and methodology to help corporations and entrepreneurs to create new products, value propositions, and capabilities to ensure market success.

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