Validation – Advice by Valentin Aschermann

Business risks, hypothesis testing, the validation process and the lean approach.

Friday, October 19th, 17:30. Week 1 of  Batch#3 of ELEVATE just came to a successful end. Founders and employees are out to enjoy their weekend. Which means there is more work waiting for Valentin Aschermann. He is first in line to explain the accelerator’s advantages, the risks of starting a business and how to handle them through validation & experimentation. So, Valentin – how do you feel about this Batch?

“Batch #3 of ELEVATE is looking Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!”

Now, this might seem like a pretty audacious statement. But coming from a man that knows the Startup-industry like he does, it might even be an understatement.

After founding his own startup SIMPLEWISH following his graduation in 2012, Valentin decided to move on and became a startup consultant and program manager at INiTS, Vienna’s high-tech incubator. He worked with around 50 startups and helped them grow from an idea to a fully validated business model. This experience he now implements as head of Startup Services at TheVentury: He is involved in all offers towards Startups as well as in ELEVATE.

ELEVATE is an accelerator program that in a first step helps startups with systematically testing out their most crucial hypotheses through qualitative and quantitive experiments & validation. Then, once problem-solution fit is found, it’s time for execution. We provide startups with a senior developer as well as a growth hacker and they are ready to start accelerating their development. That’s what makes ELEVATE special – it provides the resources startups are so desperately looking for.

Hypothesis-testing as a solution to de-risking failure

Following their very definition, Startups are exposed to a lot of risk based on uncertainty, the liabilities of newness and smallness – but most importantly the founders’ bias. Valentin proposes hypothesis-driven validation as solution to the problem. Translating founders’ visions into critical assumptions and testing them through experiments. In this process founders continuously de-risk and learn, helping them with preventing problems in the long run.

“I wanted to ingrain a feeling for the importance of this data-driven approach.”, Valentin says. “We went through a fuck-up story so founders would realize how an invalid hypothesis and the wrong approach can cause failure”. Planning isn’t the answer to high uncertainty – Learning is.

So what tip can you give founders, Valentin?

To quote Steve Blank: There are no facts inside the building so get the heck outside. There is no value in theoretically approaching a topic without any knowledge. So get out there and don’t forget to stick to the “Lean”-approach: Build – Measure – Learn!


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ELEVATE is coming back in 2019 – Join the ELEVATE family and pre-register now! You’ll get hands-on coaching, as well as IT-development and growth marketing support.

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