Empowering the entrepreneur with customer discovery and market intelligence

Empowering the entrepreneur with customer discovery and market intelligence

This week at Entrepreneurship 101, we heard from Usha Srinivasan, Vice President, Learning and Insights at MaRS Discovery District, and three members of the MaRS Market Intelligence team: Joe Lee, Emily MacIntosh and Lynda O’Malley. Together they spoke to the Entrepreneurship 101 participants about the importance of de-risking your idea or product to help avoid failure on the journey ahead.

The path to de-risking involves evaluating your market, determining your value proposition, discovering customer types and personas, and lastly, conducting primary research. This takes work, but the process helps to avoid big headaches down the road.

Joe, Emily and Lynda took the participants through possible research questions to ask on the de-risking path—and how to make them better.

They recommended:

  • Trying to scope out industry structure and trends to help evaluate your market
  • Assessing the market to determine how you fit with the current offerings and competitors
  • Accessing demographic research as well as considering conducting your own primary research to better understand your customer

Check out the infographic below for a look at the market and customer discovery process.

Infographic highlighting four components of Market and Customer Discovery, moving from solution to problem: 1. Is it worth solving? 2. What’s your value proposition? 3. Customer types & personas 4. Primary research

Resources to start your research

A great place to start conducting your own research is the MaRS Library’s curated collection of top market research resources.

Lastly, do not forget about the big idea. Emerging industry trends could help you refine your idea or ignite a new path you had not previously considered. A great free resource on the MaRS website is the Connected World Market Insights Series. It looks at the future of energy, water and health, and the opportunities that are being unlocked in the era of big and open data enabled by ICT.

Watch excerpts of the E101 lecture

Watch excerpts of Usha, Joe, Emily and Lynda’s discussion to learn how to empower your idea with effective market research, assessing major trends in all industries and observing key trends in cleantech, health and ICT.

The Steps of Customer Discovery


Market Intelligence: Asking the right questions


Game-changers and Industry Trends in the Market ​


Join us this week at E101: Different types of entrepreneurship

Join us this week at Entrepreneurship 101 as Allyson Hewitt, Senior Fellow, Social Innovation and Director, SiG@ MaRS, examines the different types of entrepreneurship. Allyson will cover the questions you need to ask before launching your business.

Entrepreneurship 101 course resources

And search “Entrepreneurship 101” on iTunes U.