Tech Angel Christopher Muenchhoff is on the expert panel of judges for #GetStarted2014, helping us choose the best startup idea to turn into a real product.
Entrepreneur turned business Angel, Christopher Muenchhoff co-founded one of the first price search engines, DealPilot in 1997, which he sold in 2001. With more than 30 investments in 20 tech companies under his belt, Christopher is now one of the biggest names on the tech startup circuit.
In the runup to the #GetStarted2014 deadline on July 31st, we caught up with Christopher to find out what investors like him are looking for in startups and entrepreneurs…
What makes a good startup idea?
The first step to starting a business (and the key concept of #GetStarted2014) is coming up with an idea. But what makes makes a good startup idea, and how should you know who to target?
It’s “very important to focus on really big markets, ideally the global market”, stresses Christopher. A successful product will strike a chord with consumers emotionally, or else serve a purpose, solving a real life problem…
“[A successful product is] usually a consumer product people will love to use and buy (or at least spend massive amounts on time with it), or a business product that makes companies more efficient or enables them with new options.”
Once you have an idea, and you’re confident it’s a good one, what are the most important first steps to getting started?
Start by finding “a product concept you think you can sell” says Christopher. This is your ‘internal view’ and in order to validate it, you’ll need to find the ‘external view’. Christopher recommends getting feedback from everyone you can, including potential customers, co-founders and employees.
Next you need to create something you can test…
“Get a team to build a prototype, find first customers for the minimum viable product, check whether your hypothesis is right and the market needs and wants your product.
Validate business ideas and products on the market early on instead of spending too much time developing and optimizing without any customer contact.”
What makes a good entrepreneur?
Finally, I asked Christopher what he thought were the main characteristics of a good entrepreneur. Investing isn’t just about finding the best ideas, it’s also about finding people you believe in, people you can trust to work hard and build their business to success.
Christopher highlighted 4 main characteristics of great entrepreneurs…
1. Leadership skills: Great entrepreneurs have the ability to manage and grow their team, as well as their business operations.
2. Domain knowledge: To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must have an in depth knowledge of the market you are addressing.
3. Technical knowledge: The knowledge to build the product.
4. Sales skills: “Always be closing” says Christopher. Great entrepreneurs take every opportunity to find new users and opportunities.
Christopher is on the panel of judges for #GetStarted2014. Enter your idea now at getstarted2014.co.uk.
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