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Revolutionising startup success through entrepreneurial empowerment

MA 22/23
Entreprenurship, Future Finance, Business Development, Startup support platform, Human-centered design, Collaboration opportunities

Entrepreneurs and early-stage startups face numerous challenges on their journey to success. Despite the crucial role startups play in economic expansion and job creation, many struggle to overcome obstacles and realize their full potential. This project is driven by the recognition of this pressing issue and aims to address it through the application of service design principles.

By adopting a human-centered design approach, the project seeks to understand the pain-points and challenges faced by aspiring entrepreneurs. Through extensive research, engagement with startup support organizations, and data analysis, valuable insights will be gathered to inform the development of innovative solutions.

The project emphasizes collaboration among governments, organizations, and individuals to create an enabling environment for startup success. By providing entrepreneurs with the necessary tools, resources, and support, the project aims to empower them to transform their ideas into thriving businesses.

Ultimately, the project's goal is to foster an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem that drives economic growth, job creation, and innovation. By addressing the challenges faced by startups, we aim to pave the way for a more vibrant and successful startup landscape.

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Research & Insights

In the pursuit of understanding the challenges faced by entrepreneurs and startups, I embarked on a comprehensive research journey. This encompassed both desk research and engaging directly with entrepreneurs to gather valuable insights.

Research Direction:

Comprehensive research conducted through various mediums such as podcasts, books, videos, forums, and TED Talks

Surveys and interviews with over 30 entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners

Emotional journey mapping to understand the emotional aspects of the entrepreneurial journey

Identification of key learnings and support needs during the business setup phase

Analysis of gaps in the entrepreneurship ecosystem

Evaluation of incubators, accelerators, and advisory services

Key Findings:

Entrepreneurs find it challenging to test their ideas effectively.

Difficulties in finding the right collaborators and team members

Lack of awareness about research methodologies and frameworks to use for their respective ideas.

Additionally, I investigated the role of incubators, accelerators, and business advisors in supporting entrepreneurs. While these entities offer support, they also present challenges such as:

Limitations of incubators, accelerators, and advisory services

Highly competitive application process

Rigorous schedules and time commitments

Risk of giving away significant equity

Pressure to achieve specific milestones quickly

By combining my prior knowledge with the findings from extensive research, I developed a deep understanding of the challenges and struggles encountered by entrepreneurs. This comprehensive insight served as a solid foundation for generating focused and impactful "How Might We" questions during the ideation phase. These key insights played a crucial role in shaping the development of targeted solutions that effectively address the specific needs and aspirations of entrepreneurs.

Key Problem Statements

Entrepreneurship isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It takes time, effort, dedication, perseverance and consistency to succeed.

While incubators & accelerators programs do exist; it is extremely challenging to get into one and does not work well for all.

The first few months of being an entrepreneur is the most challenging phase of transforming an idea into business and that’s when they require most help.

Most entrepreneurs (almost 80%) of them are unaware of different frameworks and tools to use to understand the market and develop their idea.

After gaining valuable insights, I conducted a detailed analysis of the typical process that entrepreneurs go through to transform their ideas into successful businesses. This mapping exercise helped me identify the specific challenges faced by entrepreneurs at different stages of the process. I also examined the areas where incubators, accelerators, and other resources provide support to entrepreneurs.

Based on these findings, I made a strategic decision to narrow down the focus of my project. I chose to concentrate on the most challenging phase for entrepreneurs, which includes finding suitable partners, accessing assistance from skilled individuals, and conducting thorough research. By addressing these initial steps, I aim to provide practical solutions and support to entrepreneurs during their crucial early stages, enabling them to navigate these hurdles more effectively and increase their chances of success.

In the realm of entrepreneurship, the stage is not reserved for seasoned elites alone. It is the realm of dreamers, the untapped potential of every individual longing to make their mark. As a designer, I am driven by an unyielding passion to empower these audacious souls, ensuring they have the support to forge their own path. Let us unlock the potential of the underrepresented, ushering in an era where every idea finds its wings, and where the spirit of innovation knows no bounds. Together, we reshape the landscape, celebrating the bold and creating a legacy of inspired dreams realized.

How might I questions to help with ideation:

  • Inspire and guide individuals with great ideas to embrace entrepreneurship.
  • Provide research and market analysis support for better business understanding.
  • Design a platform for testing and gathering feedback on initial ideas and MVPs.
  • Offer frameworks to launch successful MVPs and navigate early-stage challenges.
  • Simplify the process of business registration and legal requirements.
  • Facilitate partnerships and community engagement among entrepreneurs.
  • Foster user-friendly product development and user-centric design.
  • Mediate and resolve early-stage disagreements among entrepreneurial teams.
  • Support individuals over 40 in starting businesses by understanding current trends and target audience.
  • Boost confidence and overcome intimidation in entrepreneurship.
  • Assist in gaining acceptance into incubation programs.

Developing Solution

To ignite the spark of innovation, I created diverse personas, embodying the diverse entrepreneurial landscape. This allowed me to explore a range of ideas and evaluate their potential. One such idea is a dynamic platform that connects individuals with complementary skills, facilitating meaningful conversations and collaborations.

This visionary platform blends the principles of service design, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. It intelligently understands users' ideas, providing personalized guidance and actionable steps for business startup. By harnessing the power of design thinking, it empowers entrepreneurs to unleash their creativity and navigate the startup journey with confidence.

In addition, I envisioned an innovative barter system within the platform, fostering a vibrant ecosystem of collaboration. Entrepreneurs can exchange their skills, insights, and resources, forging valuable connections and unlocking mutual growth.

In summary, my ideation phase yielded a collection of transformative ideas, revolutionizing the entrepreneurial landscape. By addressing the unique needs of aspiring entrepreneurs, my vision is to provide them with the support and tools they require to turn their dreams into successful ventures.

Proposed Solution

I have focused my project on catering to small-scale entrepreneurs and leveraging my role as a service designer to provide them with a transformative service that turns their ideas into successful businesses.

The proposed solution/service is a mobile application that encompasses the following features:

Meet: This feature enables users to connect with other skilled individuals for potential business partnerships. It allows users to discover people with diverse backgrounds and skills, find suitable partners to start a business together, offer freelance services based on required skills, and provide consultancy services to fellow entrepreneurs working on startups.

Learn: Through this feature, users can access educational resources tailored to their needs. They can search for topics they wish to learn more about, participate in skill-sharing activities where they can teach their expertise to others (either for free or for a fee), and even sell valuable research data, presentations, case studies, and other resources to assist fellow entrepreneurs.

Connect: This feature includes social sections where entrepreneurs can share thoughts and insights about entrepreneurship. It facilitates random connections with other entrepreneurs using the app, and users can utilize filtering options to find and engage with specific individuals.

AI: The application incorporates an Entrepreneurial AI Assistant that takes into account user data, bios, goals, and skills to provide personalized answers and guidance to user queries.


A heartfelt thank you goes out to the faculties and staff at RCA, Imperial College Business School, and Srishti Manipal Institute for their invaluable support and contribution to my project. I am deeply grateful for their guidance, expertise, and the workshops they provided, which have been instrumental in shaping the development and success of my project. Their commitment, dedication, and willingness to share knowledge and resources have made a significant impact on the quality and overall excellence of my work. I sincerely appreciate their assistance and acknowledge the profound influence they have had on the progress of my project.

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