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The Golden Rules of Customer Development

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There are several reasons why startups fail, but for sure the one that customers don’t care is not among them. Instead, as harsh as it may sound, is that you don’t! So you’d better work out what matters to your customers instead of complaining about them! Customer development comes to the rescue here and the MVP Academy Class of 2015 has learnt more about how to do it right earlier this week, in a workshop with Salim Virani, Founder of Decision Hacks and Founder Centric.

Serial entrepreneur, Salim has started Founder Centric, Leancamp and 5 other tech startups, his early successes ironically funding his later failures. He’s worked with a bunch of startup thought leaders, designed education programs for Europe’s top accelerators and universities such as UCL and Oxford. We’re thus grateful that he kindly accepted our invitation to join us in the MVP Academy pre-acceleration program and share his expertise on the customer development process. (see more)

Go lean and fake it till you make it. The story of Babelverse

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In a world of founders on the hunt for the latest trends and mythical product market fit, one startup chose to stick to its guns. On a herculean 4-years journey to solve a universal problem, the concept of “permanent beta” was born, and Babelverse continues with its unorthodox approach.

The story dates back in early 2009, when Josef Dunne, now the Co-Founder and CEO of Babelverse, accepted a new professional challenge (he was working as a web developer back then) and moved to Athens, Greece. Having a limited knowledge of Greek, he encountered several difficulties in communicating effectively with the people around, both personally and professionally. (see more)

Storytelling & pitching advice from Alex Barrera, Tech.eu

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A great pitch is the business card that will help your startup open doors and convince potential clients, investors, media and strategic partners. And it’s no easy task to master your pitch to the finest detail and shape it to tell the right story: this is what the MVP Academy Class of 2015 worked on last week during the storytelling and pitching workshop.

Co-Founder and contributing editor of Tech.eu, Chief WOWness Officer at Press42.com, Co-Founder of Tetuan Valley, Global Shaper at World Economic Forum & Sandbox ambassador in Madrid, Alex Barrera joined us last week to share his insights on the topic and offer feedback during a pitching practice session with the MVP Academy teams. (see more)

Metrics, Metrics: Measure to optimize

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You can only manage what you can measure. You’ve probably heard this old saying before, and it is widely applicable when it comes to product management. You need to choose the right metrics to look at and have a good understanding of them in order to be able to optimize every single stage of your product development process. This is what the MVP Academy Class of 2015 learnt this Monday in a workshop delivered by Bogdan Ripa, ex-Master Product Owner at Adobe Romania, now looking for Co-Founders to start a new business.

Entrepreneur at heart, Bogdan has Co-Founded his first startup when he was only 21 years old. He started by doing outsourcing work (consultancy for websites, web apps, ERP systems, analytics tools), but he got bored by doing repetitive things and decided to make a shift and start building his own products. 6 years later, the company he Co-Founded was bought by Adobe Romania, where he worked in engineering and product management, until last month, when he decided to start all over again and build another business from scratch. (see more)

DOs and DON’Ts for effective networking

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The most important asset of an entrepreneur is his agenda, and reaching to the right contact at the right time, using the right approach, can help you attain your professional (and personal) goals faster and easier. Effective networking and building valuable connections have been discussed at length last week with our MVP Academy Class of 2015, in a 4-hours workshop held by Paul Renaud, Executive Coach.

Paul has kindly accepted our invitation to join the program and share his expertise with our startups. Having more than 31 years of professional experience (15 of them as an executive spanning 10 countries), Paul is a qualified executive coach for any management level and he is specialized in optimizing performance. His “can-do” attitude is contagious, and he shared with us some valuable insights, outlining how we can use networking to make a difference in everything we do. (see more)

Ready to partner? Interview with Olaf Lausen, Telekom Romania

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We’ve seen lately more and more international companies and tech giants that are getting actively involved in building the global startup ecosystem, willing to openly share their knowledge and expertise and to support the further development of early stage products. And this is great news for all the startups out there, since they can benefit from much more than money: by working together, startups have great opportunities to scale faster and take their products to the next levels by using the know-how and best practices that have already been tested with the market.

And since we’re talking about companies that are now active contributors to the development of the startup ecosystems worldwide, we have to mention the Deutsche Telekom Group, with their various initiatives. We are thankful that Telekom Romania joined our efforts this year as well in the MVP Academy pre-acceleration program and we talked with Olaf Lausen, Chief of Staff (of the CEO) and Director of Business Development at Telekom Romania, to understand the reasons underlying their involvement and how can startups benefit by working with them. (see more)

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