OIC First Business Development Session: Achieving Product-Market Fit

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Just a few months ago, FIRE-RES welcomed just over 50 selected innovators from different parts of Europe, South America, and the U.S. to the OIC Acceleration Programme. The heterogeneous group ranges from early idea innovations to in-market solutions brought together by one mission: to tackle the challenges of Extreme Wildfires.

Courtesy of INESC TEC

On May 15th, the OIC Team comprising EFI, CoLab Forestwise and INESC TEC launched its Business Development Series with a highly informative webinar focused on achieving a Problem- solution and Product-Market fit. This session is part of the three pillars of the Innovation Support Hub. as Inazio Martínez de Arano (EFI) illustrated during the webinar, this initiative aims to:

  • Connect the selected innovators with wildfire experts by establishing the Fire-Res Forum platform. The first meeting “Wildfire Risk and the Role of Innovation” is planned for May 23.

  • Support the group in their Business Innovation Readiness journey, beginning with a self-assessment tool and launching a series of dedicated webinars.

  • Train the innovators to tailor the narrative of their ideas with Pitching Opportunities and Partnership Brokerage events, which are expected to take place in Spain, Portugal, and Bulgaria, to provide visibility to and better communicate about the proposed OIC solutions.

    The inaugural webinar featured insights from Alípio Torre (INESC TEC), who has extensive experience supporting teams of research and technology entrepreneurs in navigating common pitfalls and avoiding failure. The event aimed to equip participants with the necessary tools and knowledge to develop business models for their proposed solutions.

Courtesy of INESC TEC

Among the key takeaways, Torre discussed the common reasons for start-up failures and the importance of understanding the nature of the problem being addressed by the proposed innovation. Just to name a few, start-ups might focus on a product which the market does not need or lack an accurate business model. It is crucial to communicate a product’s capabilities and its alignment with market needs.

Ensuring the solution addresses a real problem at an acceptable market price is key, but it is equally crucial for innovators to understand both the functional and emotional necessities of potential users. Building relationships rather than just focusing on sales, and designing a product roadmap aligned with customer needs, can be a game-changer.

The session saw active participation, with 47 attendees engaging in discussions and gaining valuable insights into the entrepreneurial process and the importance of aligning technological solutions with market demands. If you missed it, watch the session’s recording here, and stay tuned for upcoming sessions and opportunities.

Author: Beatrice Bellavia (Euromontana)

Contributors: Carmen Rodriguez (EFI)