Earlier this year, we made the announcement via our instagram that we were participating in Braventure's Customer Validation Program. Our goal? To learn how to professionalise our start-up and to gain more focus on what products and services to develop first. Here's a quick recap on the program and how we experienced it ourselves.
Customer Validation Program: The Introduction
The first session was hosted at the Ondernemerscentrum at Avans Hogeschool in 's Hertogenbosch back in September this year. Together with tens of other founders, we learned about the importance of having a vision and were introduced to the start-up framework.
Then, we were given the tips and tools to develop our own so called North Star. You might have already seen ours somewhere earlier, as we went with "We believe in improving lives through Circularity". And while we're at it, we're excited to announce that there's a brand new version of our brand book coming very soon that further explains our vision in detail.
In the weeks that followed, we learned to apply a wide variety of tools with the ultimate goal of finding a (1)customer with a (2)problem big enough for which we can offer a (3)solution the customer (4)is willing to pay for.
At the end of the introduction program, we then reached out to the trainer to find out more about the possibilities of signing up for the advanced program. Within this program, each start-up would receive personal and in-depth feedback and guidance during the so-called customer discovery phase.
Advanced Customer Validation Program
Not long after we signed up, we received the news that we had been selected in the Advanced Program together with nine other start-ups. The reason that we were selected was because we already had quite a bit of evidence that we were onto something interesting with our Augmented Reality T-shirts and that we already received active support from Schijvens.
The program continued online, as the second wave of covid-19 hit, but that didn't limit us in doing further research. The program started with the assignment for us to conduct user interviews with fashion professionals to find a problem big enough to solve. Easier said than done, we realised.
Because Circularity is still relatively a new concept, we first explored the landscape and identified the circular value chain within fashion & textiles. We conducted over twenty user interviews with various fashion professionals with different roles and backgrounds.
This might sound like quite a bit, but honestly, it is just the start as we're looking to keep doing these interviews in the months to come.
In the end we concluded that there are currently three areas that pose operational challenges for professionals striving for circularity within fashion & textiles:
- Customer Engagement
- Reverse Logistics
- Recycling Technologies
Our next steps, therefore, will be to dive deeper into each problem area to look for the root causes of these challenges.
In order to do so, we will continue with our user interviews, but will now split our interviews into three different focus area's. Lastly, we have started our preparations finding a fashion/tech accelerator program that can help us further, once our problem(s) have been identified.
In case you'd like to receive the report on our research, feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll make sure to send you a copy!