A boot camp for entrepreneurs? Knowledge accelerators, known as boot camps, take up the idea of a U.S. military training camp – maximum challenge and maximum effort in any military career – to gather, in a specific space and time, the three pivots necessary for innovation: human capital, monetary capital and marketing problems that require a disruptive solution. This original concept to initiate young people in the entrepreneur sector took off at ITAM in June 2018. For several days, groups of students with initiative, talent and ambition came from the best educational institutions in Mexico to participate in EPIC Lab’s so-called Entrepreneurship and Innovation Boot Camp.
David Patel, entrepreneur and resident teacher at the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, was in charge of directing this boot camp for entrepreneurs, that is, in essence, the ideal type of environment to explore the entrepreneur ecosystem with experts in the industry, mentors, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, as well as to form teams with students from different universities.
During this boot camp for entrepreneurs, participants developed skills, such as creating business models, marketing research, prototyping and creative planning, among others. All the necessary tools were made available to them, from the personalized support of the mentors who shared their knowledge with them to a network of contacts and financing at hand so that the entrepreneurs of tomorrow could develop their best ideas and impress the judges, since this is a key part of the entire boot camp. The final presentation of the product always takes place on the feared Demo Day, when all the teams must pitch their projects, that is, the argumentative, solid, short and ingenious speech, that will, or will not, elicit investors’ attention.
Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs: The Result
The winning team was Tea Bombs and it was made up of Yves Goirand Caraveo, from ITAM’s Business Administration program; Jordi Mas de la Peña, from ITAM’s Law and Economics joint program; Norma Idalia Rentería Coronado, from ITAM’s Economics program; Paulina Ruiz Leycegui, from ITAM’s Business Administration program; José Ignacio Mascarúa López, from UNAM’s Chemical Engineering program; and Alberto Urquiza Escalante, from Universidad Anáhuac’s Industrial Engineering program.
Thanks to the brilliant idea of promoting heathier beverage consumption, and to the quality of their planning and presentation, these students won the opportunity to visit the Martin Trust Center to meet Bill Aulet and a host of entrepreneurs, as well as to attend the Delta V Demo Day that will take place from September 6 to 9.
I participate as a judge in the closing of the @EpicLabITAM #Bootcamp in collaboration @ITAM_mx @MIT. A pleasure to be here with fellow advisors @Juan_Saldivar @adolfobabatz @ljauregui @hernanAVM@HebertoTaracena @humberto
— Fernando Lelo Larrea (@ferlelo) June 18, 2018
Due to their excellent work during this boot camp for entrepreneurs and the originality of their ideas, the members of Fresh Bites, ConnectPharma and Real Link received special mentions and various awards offered by BBVA, NUMA and Angel Ventures, among which stand out free coworking space, tickets for Startup Weekend, 20 hours of tutoring and consulting, and an incubation program.
The atmosphere at boot camp was one of camaraderie, innovation and great entrepreneurship. In addition to promoting individual initiative, this EPIC Lab project promotes teamwork among different undergraduate programs and universities. We are very proud of our students’ work and we look forward to the next edition of this event.
Total Entrepreneurship: The Great Initiative of MIT
Recognizing and promoting university talent to link formal learning with the real market and trigger innovation processes that improve the world around us was the great idea behind the creation of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship in the early1990s. Bill Aulet, its current director, presented his book Disciplined Entrepreneurship, before students in the auditorium at Río Hondo in 2015. The book includes his reflections, principals and proposals for achieving success in the complex universe of the new company.
This text is available in both bookstores and online and it is the best summary of a philosophy that has changed the business perspective in the 21st century. Valenciaplaza summarized the three initial steps to follow in this complex process, that can be cool, but also difficult, and in which few are really successful:
Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup
Prologue by Rafael del Pino
#0. Before starting. Aulet highlights three reasons why people start a business: They have an idea, they have technology or they have a passion. For this it is necessary to find a founding team to ensure that entrepreneurship is not an individual sport. One must focus on the needs of the clients and begin to consolidate the company with the following 24 steps.
#1. Segment the market. He recommends brainstorming about the company’s clients and potential markets. Reduce the list to six to twelve major markets and do primary research with them. This process indentifies multiple potential business opportunities . When you have the list, he points to the need of doing a market study analysis of certain segments, which helps to know which markets are best for your idea. The objective is not to come up with the perfect idea, but to present a range of market opportunities before deciding where to focus the business.To do that, he recommends talking directly with customers.
#2. Select an initial market. It is necessary to select a single market in the beginning. Then you have to continue segmenting it until you have a well-defined and homogenous market opportunity that meets the three recommendations of a market. For Aulet, the best ally is the ability to concentrate.
It is also possible to read, or download, the annual report of this incubator of knowledge that since its foundation has changed the language, forms and operation of entrepreneurship throughout the world:
And, finally, we cannot forget the key role of EPIC Lab in establishing a creative and viable environment for entrepreneurship in Mexico. This transversal nature center fosters an entrepreneurial vocation and promotes high impact business ideas, for which it has a precise vision: “To achieve that the members of the ITAM community become actors in our mission and institutionalize a formal methodology, that is instrumented and clear for the identification, support and monitoring of high impact entrepreneurs.” This boot camp for entrepreneurs is another example of a philosopy that advances with freedom.