RESOURCES

What is Business Model Competition?

Empresario represents a radical departure from the traditional approach and marks the beginning of a new paradigm in entrepreneurship. It is not just a typical business plan competition; rather, it focuses on the business model competition approach. Instead of solely concentrating on creating a comprehensive business plan with financials and polished presentations, Empresario emphasizes identifying and precisely defining the key assumptions of the new venture. It encourages participants to test these assumptions in the real world and then make necessary pivots or changes based on the insights gained from the testing phase.


The competition aims to reward entrepreneurs who can break down their ideas into critical business model assumptions. Participants are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and engage directly with potential customers to test these assumptions rigorously. By applying customer development and lean startup principles, the objective is to arrive at a customer-validated business model.


In essence, Empresario fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptability in entrepreneurship. It acknowledges that successful ventures are built upon a strong foundation of validated assumptions and a willingness to iterate and pivot until the optimal solution is achieved.

How does a Business Model differ from a traditional Business Plan?

The International Business Model Competition recognizes that any new venture involves making educated guesses about the problem and its solution. The only valid way to test these assumptions is to "get outside the building" and engage with customers directly. let's clarify the difference between a business model and a business plan.


Outside versus Inside the Building:Traditional business plans often rely on secondary research, market reports, and internal analysis to gather information about the market and potential customers. However, this approach can lead to assumptions based on incomplete or outdated data. In contrast, the lean startup methodology encourages entrepreneurs to actively engage with customers early on. By having direct conversations, conducting interviews, and observing customer behaviour, startups can gain valuable insights and feedback that inform the development of their business model.


Input versus Output Focus:Traditional business plans tend to focus on input-based assumptions, where entrepreneurs make educated guesses about customers' preferences, market demand, and strategies. These assumptions are often treated as facts without being tested. The lean startup approach emphasises an output-focused mindset. It aims to transform assumptions into facts by actively seeking customer feedback and validating hypotheses through experiments and real-world data. This iterative feedback loop allows startups to continuously refine their business model based on actual customer responses and behavior, increasing the chances of creating a product or service that customers truly want.


Change versus Fortify:Traditional business plans often aim to fortify the core idea or concept by gathering evidence, conducting market research, and providing extensive justifications. These plans are presented as static documents that attempt to convince others of the idea's viability. In contrast, the lean startup approach embraces a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation. It recognizes that initial assumptions may be flawed or incomplete and encourages startups to be open to change. Rather than seeing a pivot or change in direction as a failure, it is viewed as a natural part of the learning process.


Chasing Customers versus Chasing Funding:Traditional business plans often place a primary focus on attracting funding. Entrepreneurs may spend a significant amount of time crafting their plans to impress potential investors and secure financing. In contrast, the lean startup approach encourages startups to prioritize customer acquisition and validation over fundraising. By focusing on getting into the field, engaging with customers, and delivering a product or service that meets their needs, you can demonstrate real-world validation and traction.


Launching versus Talking:Traditional business plans are often centered around future projections, forecasts, and initiatives. They lay out a roadmap for what the business intends to do without necessarily validating those assumptions through real-world feedback. In contrast, the lean startup methodology emphasizes the importance of taking action and launching early. Startups actively engage in customer development, gathering insights, and iterating their products or services based on validated learning. This emphasis on tangible actions and outcomes positions the startup to learn and adapt quickly, ultimately increasing its chances of success.

Business Model Development

Drawing from Steve Blank’s Customer Development process, Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation book, and Nathan Furr’s Nail It then Scales It process


Find a Problem: Identify a Significant Customer Problem Worth Solving and write down all your key hypotheses about the business model to solve this problem. We recommend that you use Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas as a scorecard to track your assumptions and the changes that you make.


Nail the Pain: Step outside the building and conduct face-to-face interviews with customers to understand the specific "job" they are trying to accomplish, identify their current pain points, and explore their existing methods for addressing those challenges. Be prepared to pivot your approach if you discover that your initial assumptions are incorrect.

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a strategic management tool to quickly and easily define and communicate a business idea or concept. It is a one page document which works through the fundamental elements of a business or product, structuring an idea in a coherent way.


Value Proposition: Value Proposition: What’s compelling about the proposition? Why do customers buy, use? It is the fundamental concept of the exchange of value between your business and your customer/clients. Generally, value is exchanged from a customer for money when a problem is solved or a pain is relieved for them by your business.


Customer Segments: Who are the customers? What do they think? See? Feel? Do? Customer Segmenting is the practice of dividing a customer base into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways, such as age, gender, interests and spending habits.


Channels: How are these propositions promoted, sold and delivered? Why? Is it working? Channels are defined as the avenues through which your customer comes into contact with your business and becomes part of your sales cycle. This is generally covered under the marketing plan for your business.


Customer Relationships: How do you interact with the customer through their ‘journey’? Customer Relationships is defined as how a business interacts with its customers. So, do you meet with them in person? Or over the phone? Or is your business predominantly run online so the relationship will be online too?


Key Activities: What uniquely strategic things does the business do to deliver its proposition? The Key Activities of your business/product are the actions that your business undertakes to achieve the value proposition for your customers.


Key Resources: What unique strategic assets must the business have to compete? Key means the resources your business requires to do business. These resources are what is needed practically to undertake the action/activities of your business.


Key Partnerships: What can the company not do so it can focus on its Key Activities? If my business cannot achieve the value proposition alone, who else do I need to rely on to do it Key Partners are a list of other external companies/suppliers/parties you may need to achieve your key activities and deliver value to the customer.


Cost Structure: Cost Structure: What are the business’ major cost drivers? How are they linked to revenue? Your business cost structure is defined as the monetary cost of operating as a business.

What is a patent? How do you file a patent?

When inventors come up with a new device, the first thing they want to do is patent it. Patents are enforceable rights in a particular jurisdiction given to an inventor to exclude others from using, making or selling their invention. For a certain period of time, patent-holders are allowed to control how their inventions are used, allowing them to reap the financial rewards of their work. Patents are a palpable, legally-binding manifestation of a person's genius and innovation; they allow a person to actually own an INVENTION.


One can obtain a patent by filing a patent application in a prescribed format in any one of the four patent offices in India. Patent application will result in defining your rights over the invention and how broadly you have protected your invention. Even simple words in patent application can change your right over the scope of invention drastically. Patent attorneys or patent agents are the best people to write and draft your application. Filing an invention in India will give you a right only in India as patent right is jurisdictional in nature. One has to file patent applications in other countries wherever he/she feels the invention needs to be protected.

How to prepare your submission?

All the teams who qualifies the first round, need to submit a documentation which must adhere to the following submission requirements: Although there is not one format for successful submissions, we suggest that it should contain the following components:


Title Slide: Briefly introduce your team and provide an overview of your business, highlighting the pain point it addresses and the proposed solution.


Assumption Slides: State your initial hypotheses and emphasize any identified customer problems. - Highlight key hypotheses related to your business model, particularly focusing on customer pain and your solution.


Action Slides: Describe the specific tests conducted to validate your hypotheses. Present the discovered facts and insights from the tests, along with any remaining information to be uncovered. - Emphasize the importance of gathering data to demonstrate your understanding of customer pain.


Pivot Slides: Explain how your initial assumptions were either confirmed or refuted. - Outline any significant pivots made based on the test results.


Solution Slides: Detail your current solution to the customer problem and provide evidence of its viability. - Include customer statements, pilot commitments, and purchase orders, if available.


Go-to-Market Strategy: Identify the decision-makers and influencers involved in the sales process. - Share facts and customer feedback that demonstrate your ability to connect with and communicate convincingly to customers.


Market Size Analysis: Present the Total Addressable Market (TAM) and Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) figures. - Clearly define your target market and your plan for entering the market successfully.


Lessons Learned: Communicate the valuable lessons you have learned throughout your entrepreneurial journey. - Acknowledge any pivots made and discuss learnings from both successes and failures.


Appendices: Include supporting material in the appendices that complements the main body of the model. - Ensure that all critical information is included in the main presentation, as judges may not read all material in the appendices.

Rules

1. A team may consist of minimum 1 or maximum 5 members.


2. Ventures must not involve a buyout, an expansion of an existing company, a real estate syndication, a tax shelter, a franchise, a licensing agreement for distribution in a different geographical area, or a spin-out from an existing corporation.


3. There is no restriction on any individual to participate. Anyone, from students to working professionals across the world with an idea, a product or service or even an operating startup, can participate.

Terms and Conditions

By registering for this competition, it shall be deemed that each individual of the participating team has agreed to be bound by the following terms and conditions:


1. By registering to participate in Empresario, each participating team agrees to allow Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur to use their names, images and information regarding the team's business, and prize information for publicity and marketing efforts throughout the world. Each participating team must agree to accept that their registration form and other entries will not be returned to them, and accept that their personal data will be available for information and statistical purposes.


2. The participating team represents that the Intellectual Property in the Business Plan does not infringe upon the intellectual property or any other legal or moral rights of any person or entity.


3. Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur reserves the right to disqualify or prohibit any team from participating in Empresario if their submission, in the sole discretion of Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur, does not conform to the Eligibility Criteria or fails to comply with these Terms & Conditions and/or the Competition Rules.


4. By entering the competition, each team and its individual members agree to accept as final any decisions made by The Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur, including the determination of the winners of Empresario.


5. Entrepreneurship Cell, IIT Kharagpur, shall have the discretion to initiate appropriate action against participating teams, including individuals of such participating teams, in case of any losses or damages arising from the violation of the Eligibility Criteria, Competition Rules, and the Terms & Conditions.

RESOURCES

All useful information on integration and for working with

TAB 3

The International Business Model Competition is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only valid way to test whether those guesses are right is to “get outside the building” and start working with customers. So what exactly is the difference between a business model and a business plan?


Outside versus Inside the Building: Most business plans are written using library research. Successful business models are achieved through talking to customers and making changes based on feedback from those conversations.


Input versus Output Focus: The goal is to identify your assumptions and turn them into facts by getting outside the building. And when a startup has done this, the story is compelling and it is an awesome one to tell because it is based on facts. Validated learning about what customers reallywant is the stuff a business model is made of and music to the ears of potential investors.


Change versus Fortify:Most business plans attempt to fortify/prove the core idea with evidence. Judges of the Empresario will be looking for instances where teams learned they were wrong and made a pivot in a new and right direction. Your application should focus on the lessons learned and “pivots” made—the more the better.


Chasing Customers versus Chasing Funding: Let’s face it, many business plans are written to raise money. Unfortunately the business plan formula doesn’t capture the answers VCs most want to see: real validation you can make a product customers want. Instead of chasing the money, chase customers. Getting into the field you will validate the model and raising money will be relatively easy.


Launching versus Talking: Business plans often talk about what will happen in the future. Empresario is about what you learned by applying a Customer Development / Lean Startup / Nail It then Scale It process.

TAB 4

The International Business Model Competition is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only valid way to test whether those guesses are right is to “get outside the building” and start working with customers. So what exactly is the difference between a business model and a business plan?


Outside versus Inside the Building: Most business plans are written using library research. Successful business models are achieved through talking to customers and making changes based on feedback from those conversations.


Input versus Output Focus: The goal is to identify your assumptions and turn them into facts by getting outside the building. And when a startup has done this, the story is compelling and it is an awesome one to tell because it is based on facts. Validated learning about what customers reallywant is the stuff a business model is made of and music to the ears of potential investors.


Change versus Fortify:Most business plans attempt to fortify/prove the core idea with evidence. Judges of the Empresario will be looking for instances where teams learned they were wrong and made a pivot in a new and right direction. Your application should focus on the lessons learned and “pivots” made—the more the better.


Chasing Customers versus Chasing Funding: Let’s face it, many business plans are written to raise money. Unfortunately the business plan formula doesn’t capture the answers VCs most want to see: real validation you can make a product customers want. Instead of chasing the money, chase customers. Getting into the field you will validate the model and raising money will be relatively easy.


Launching versus Talking: Business plans often talk about what will happen in the future. Empresario is about what you learned by applying a Customer Development / Lean Startup / Nail It then Scale It process.

TAB 5

The International Business Model Competition is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only valid way to test whether those guesses are right is to “get outside the building” and start working with customers. So what exactly is the difference between a business model and a business plan?


Outside versus Inside the Building: Most business plans are written using library research. Successful business models are achieved through talking to customers and making changes based on feedback from those conversations.


Input versus Output Focus: The goal is to identify your assumptions and turn them into facts by getting outside the building. And when a startup has done this, the story is compelling and it is an awesome one to tell because it is based on facts. Validated learning about what customers reallywant is the stuff a business model is made of and music to the ears of potential investors.


Change versus Fortify:Most business plans attempt to fortify/prove the core idea with evidence. Judges of the Empresario will be looking for instances where teams learned they were wrong and made a pivot in a new and right direction. Your application should focus on the lessons learned and “pivots” made—the more the better.


Chasing Customers versus Chasing Funding: Let’s face it, many business plans are written to raise money. Unfortunately the business plan formula doesn’t capture the answers VCs most want to see: real validation you can make a product customers want. Instead of chasing the money, chase customers. Getting into the field you will validate the model and raising money will be relatively easy.


Launching versus Talking: Business plans often talk about what will happen in the future. Empresario is about what you learned by applying a Customer Development / Lean Startup / Nail It then Scale It process.

TAB 6

The International Business Model Competition is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only valid way to test whether those guesses are right is to “get outside the building” and start working with customers. So what exactly is the difference between a business model and a business plan?


Outside versus Inside the Building: Most business plans are written using library research. Successful business models are achieved through talking to customers and making changes based on feedback from those conversations.


Input versus Output Focus: The goal is to identify your assumptions and turn them into facts by getting outside the building. And when a startup has done this, the story is compelling and it is an awesome one to tell because it is based on facts. Validated learning about what customers reallywant is the stuff a business model is made of and music to the ears of potential investors.


Change versus Fortify:Most business plans attempt to fortify/prove the core idea with evidence. Judges of the Empresario will be looking for instances where teams learned they were wrong and made a pivot in a new and right direction. Your application should focus on the lessons learned and “pivots” made—the more the better.


Chasing Customers versus Chasing Funding: Let’s face it, many business plans are written to raise money. Unfortunately the business plan formula doesn’t capture the answers VCs most want to see: real validation you can make a product customers want. Instead of chasing the money, chase customers. Getting into the field you will validate the model and raising money will be relatively easy.


Launching versus Talking: Business plans often talk about what will happen in the future. Empresario is about what you learned by applying a Customer Development / Lean Startup / Nail It then Scale It process.

Business Model Competition

What is Business Model Competition?

Empresario represents a radical departure from the traditional approach and marks the beginning of a new paradigm in entrepreneurship. It is not just a typical business plan competition; rather, it focuses on the business model competition approach. Instead of solely concentrating on creating a comprehensive business plan with financials and polished presentations, Empresario emphasizes identifying and precisely defining the key assumptions of the new venture. It encourages participants to test these assumptions in the real world and then make necessary pivots or changes based on the insights gained from the testing phase.


The competition aims to reward entrepreneurs who can break down their ideas into critical business model assumptions. Participants are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones and engage directly with potential customers to test these assumptions rigorously. By applying customer development and lean startup principles, the objective is to arrive at a customer-validated business model.


In essence, Empresario fosters a culture of continuous learning and adaptability in entrepreneurship. It acknowledges that successful ventures are built upon a strong foundation of validated assumptions and a willingness to iterate and pivot until the optimal solution is achieved.

B Model v/s B Plan

How does a Business Model differ from a traditional Business Plan?

The International Business Model Competition is about recognizing that any new venture is just a guess at a problem / solution and the only valid way to test whether those guesses are right is to “get outside the building” and start working with customers. So what exactly is the difference between a business model and a business plan?


Outside versus Inside the Building: Most business plans are written using library research. Successful business models are achieved through talking to customers and making changes based on feedback from those conversations.


Input versus Output Focus: The goal is to identify your assumptions and turn them into facts by getting outside the building. And when a startup has done this, the story is compelling and it is an awesome one to tell because it is based on facts. Validated learning about what customers reallywant is the stuff a business model is made of and music to the ears of potential investors.


Change versus Fortify:Most business plans attempt to fortify/prove the core idea with evidence. Judges of the Empresario will be looking for instances where teams learned they were wrong and made a pivot in a new and right direction. Your application should focus on the lessons learned and “pivots” made—the more the better.


Chasing Customers versus Chasing Funding: Let’s face it, many business plans are written to raise money. Unfortunately the business plan formula doesn’t capture the answers VCs most want to see: real validation you can make a product customers want. Instead of chasing the money, chase customers. Getting into the field you will validate the model and raising money will be relatively easy.


Launching versus Talking: Business plans often talk about what will happen in the future. Empresario is about what you learned by applying a Customer Development / Lean Startup / Nail It then Scale It process.

Development

Business Model Development

Drawing from Steve Blank’s Customer Development process, Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Generation book, and Nathan Furr’s Nail It then Scales It process


Find a Problem: Identify a Significant Customer Problem Worth Solving and write down all your key hypotheses about the business model to solve this problem. We recommend that you use Alex Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas as a scorecard to track your assumptions and the changes that you make.


Nail the Pain: Step outside the building and conduct face-to-face interviews with customers to understand the specific "job" they are trying to accomplish, identify their current pain points, and explore their existing methods for addressing those challenges. Be prepared to pivot your approach if you discover that your initial assumptions are incorrect.

Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas (BMC) is a strategic management tool to quickly and easily define and communicate a business idea or concept. It is a one page document which works through the fundamental elements of a business or product, structuring an idea in a coherent way.


Value Proposition: Value Proposition: What’s compelling about the proposition? Why do customers buy, use? It is the fundamental concept of the exchange of value between your business and your customer/clients. Generally, value is exchanged from a customer for money when a problem is solved or a pain is relieved for them by your business.


Customer Segments: Who are the customers? What do they think? See? Feel? Do? Customer Segmenting is the practice of dividing a customer base into groups of individuals that are similar in specific ways, such as age, gender, interests and spending habits.


Channels: How are these propositions promoted, sold and delivered? Why? Is it working? Channels are defined as the avenues through which your customer comes into contact with your business and becomes part of your sales cycle. This is generally covered under the marketing plan for your business.


Customer Relationships: How do you interact with the customer through their ‘journey’? Customer Relationships is defined as how a business interacts with its customers. So, do you meet with them in person? Or over the phone? Or is your business predominantly run online so the relationship will be online too?


Key Activities: What uniquely strategic things does the business do to deliver its proposition? The Key Activities of your business/product are the actions that your business undertakes to achieve the value proposition for your customers.


Key Resources: What unique strategic assets must the business have to compete? Key means the resources your business requires to do business. These resources are what is needed practically to undertake the action/activities of your business.


Key Partnerships: What can the company not do so it can focus on its Key Activities? If my business cannot achieve the value proposition alone, who else do I need to rely on to do it Key Partners are a list of other external companies/suppliers/parties you may need to achieve your key activities and deliver value to the customer.


Cost Structure: Cost Structure: What are the business’ major cost drivers? How are they linked to revenue? Your business cost structure is defined as the monetary cost of operating as a business.

About Patents

What is a patent? How do you file a patent?

When inventors come up with a new device, the first thing they want to do is patent it. Patents are enforceable rights in a particular jurisdiction given to an inventor to exclude others from using, making or selling their invention. For a certain period of time, patent-holders are allowed to control how their inventions are used, allowing them to reap the financial rewards of their work. Patents are a palpable, legally-binding manifestation of a person's genius and innovation; they allow a person to actually own an INVENTION.


One can obtain a patent by filing a patent application in a prescribed format in any one of the four patent offices in India. Patent application will result in defining your rights over the invention and how broadly you have protected your invention. Even simple words in patent application can change your right over the scope of invention drastically. Patent attorneys or patent agents are the best people to write and draft your application. Filing an invention in India will give you a right only in India as patent right is jurisdictional in nature. One has to file patent applications in other countries wherever he/she feels the invention needs to be protected.

Submission

How to prepare your submission?

All the teams who qualifies the first round, need to submit a documentation which must adhere to the following submission requirements: Although there is not one format for successful submissions, we suggest that it should contain the following components:


Title Slide: Briefly introduce your team and provide an overview of your business, highlighting the pain point it addresses and the proposed solution.


Assumption Slides: State your initial hypotheses and emphasize any identified customer problems. - Highlight key hypotheses related to your business model, particularly focusing on customer pain and your solution.


Action Slides: Describe the specific tests conducted to validate your hypotheses. Present the discovered facts and insights from the tests, along with any remaining information to be uncovered. - Emphasize the importance of gathering data to demonstrate your understanding of customer pain.


Pivot Slides: Explain how your initial assumptions were either confirmed or refuted. - Outline any significant pivots made based on the test results.


Solution Slides: Detail your current solution to the customer problem and provide evidence of its viability. - Include customer statements, pilot commitments, and purchase orders, if available.


Go-to-Market Strategy: Identify the decision-makers and influencers involved in the sales process. - Share facts and customer feedback that demonstrate your ability to connect with and communicate convincingly to customers.


Market Size Analysis: Present the Total Addressable Market (TAM) and Serviceable Addressable Market (SAM) figures. - Clearly define your target market and your plan for entering the market successfully.


Lessons Learned: Communicate the valuable lessons you have learned throughout your entrepreneurial journey. - Acknowledge any pivots made and discuss learnings from both successes and failures.


Appendices: Include supporting material in the appendices that complements the main body of the model. - Ensure that all critical information is included in the main presentation, as judges may not read all material in the appendices.