The IDE Ecosystem
Competitions are important, but they are only one part of the IDE Process.
The IDE Center international parters, MIT and UC Berkeley, view competitions as an important forum for presenting potential innovation opportunities to investors and other stakeholders in the IDE ecosystem. However, competitions at MIT and UC Berkeley are far different than what is common in Thailand today.
Currently, most competitions in Thailand, as well as other start-up activities, are single events, with little continuity linking to other entrepreneurship activities. Judges see only a pitch, and the team that wins is often the one who presents best, instead of being the best real opportunity, since in a only a 20 minute presentation it is impossible to evaluate market feasibility or whether an innovation really works.
Competitions are important, but they are only one part of the IDE Process. The process of building an IDE opportunity begins with an entrepreneur driven to innovate in one of three ways:
- They have an idea to change the world (or at least part of it).
- They have a technology, or a better way of doing something.
- They have a passion to seek out important challenges, and are willing to work persistently to build a suitable team, identify a solution to a big problem, and convince investors to provide the necessary financial support.
Next, the IDE entrepreneur enters the IDE Accelerator, which has been developed in conjunction with MIT. IDE
entrepreneurial teams gain training in the 24 Steps of Disciplined Entrepreneurship and expert help from coaches trained by MIT. Over four months teams develop their innovation concepts, running market tests to understand and identify the first customers of beachhead market segments, and developing the product or service to meet these customer’s needs. With progress in these important areas, the entrepreneurial team begins to develop plans for long-term growth in order to capture as much of the Total Accessible Market (TAM) as possible.
IDE teams emerge from the IDE Accelerator ready to talk with investors and seek funding by entering an IDE competition to try to capture investor’s interest and gain funding for their IDE venture.