Business tips from Nestholma accelerator

Business tips from Nestholma accelerator

Tecinspire is participating in Nestholma accelerator. In this article we summarize the main lessons from the first two weeks: Finding your focus, unique value proposition, hooking the customer, lean canvas and much more.

Sami Heikkiniemi from Nestholma introducing Cash Flow Analysis
Sami Heikkiniemi from Nestholma introducing cash flow analysis.

According to the agenda, the first week was about how to interact with customers and building customer driven products. The second week was action packed with coaching in sales, value proposition and financials. But… we got so much more! Next we summarize the most important learnings for us: 


1. Finding your focus and being unique

We value this as the most important lesson so far. Before the accelerator we thought that we had a clear focus. Soon we noticed that we were on the right track, but still had a lot of work to do. After coaching and discussion, we narrowed our focus to a specific target group. In addition, we also emphasized our unique features in our marketing materials.

Tip: You have to differentiate clearly from the competitors and find your niche as a startup. Later on you can broaden your targets.


2. Value is the only thing that matters to the customers

This is a basic thing, but Nestholma professionals emphasized this as it should: Your product might be technically superior or have a fancy user interface, but the only thing that matters is the value that it gives to the customer.  

Tip: You have to know your market, business and especially customers and their needs. This is the only way to get your value proposition right.

Antti Kosunen from Nestholma telling that don’t assume the customer needs.
Antti Kosunen from Nestholma telling that don’t assume the customer needs. Otherwise you make “Ass” of “U” and “Me” 🙂 So do your homework and get to know the background before customer meetings. Especially important in business to business markets.


3. Use open questions to hook the customers

Use open questions in customer meetings to truly understand your customer. This way you will know customer needs, background, values, fears and interests. Later on, you can use these valuable learnings to sell your product or service. In addition, customer will get a feeling that you really care about her and her needs.

Many people fail in this and just tell about their own greatness or fantastic products. In this great article Topi Järvinen tells how to use open questions as a basis for building better products.

Tip: By open questions you get to know your customer. Later you can use this valuable info for selling your service


4. Your Lean Canvas is for regular updates

Lean Canvas is a great tool for startups. We had used it before, but decided to do the program’s filling exercise from the scratch. This way we got some new point of views.

Tip: Your Lean Canvas should be updated regularly, because things change. Pivoting and fine-tuning your plans is normal in early phases of startups.

Topi Järvinen from Nestholma introducing Lean Canvas
Topi Järvinen from Nestholma introducing Lean Canvas.

5. Team that can execute the idea is important

Mark Cuban has said: “Ideas are actually the easiest part…The hard part is knowing what you need to do and then executing on your plan and then staying focused with it”. This valuable point was handled many times during the Nestholma Accelerator.

Tip: Most important thing is a team that can develop the idea into a lovable service. 

Jari Pasanen from Nestholma emphasizing the meaning of the team for investors
Jari Pasanen from Nestholma emphasizing the importance of the team for investors.


6. Interact with others. Give away good and you will receive it back multiplied.

Last but not least, we want to thank Nestholma for an excellent program so far! Instead of lectures, the whole program is built to be interactive. It also requires a lot of hands-on work from all participants. It has been very nice and fruitful to interact, co-operate and cross-coach with other startups. Big thanks and greetings to you all! We are looking forward to upcoming weeks.

Tip: By interacting with other persons and companies you will find new business opportunities. 

Interacting with other startups in Nestholma Accelerator
Interacting with other startups in Nestholma Accelerator.


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