Microsoft BizSpark - Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business. Microsoft BizSpark is a worldwide partner of the Founder Institute, providing software, support, facilities, and mentoring to many entrprenuers within the Fouder Insitute network. Learn more about our partnership here, and sign-up for BizSpark here.


 

Créée en 1989, Brunswick Société d’Avocats accompagne ses clients - investisseurs financiers et PME françaises et internationales et leurs dirigeants - dans leur quotidien et dans leur développement. Ses équipes interviennent en droit des sociétés, fusions acquisitions, capital investissement, droit boursier et marchés de capitaux, droit fiscal, droit social, droit des entreprises en difficulté, contentieux du droit des affaires et droit de la propriété intellectuelle. 




Cap Digital est le pôle de compétitivité de la filière des contenus et services numériques. Ses 9 communautés de domaine regroupent : 620 PME, 20 grands groupes, 50 établissements publics, écoles, et universités ainsi que 10 investisseurs en capital. Cap Digital oeuvre à faire de la Région Île-de-France l’une des références mondiales du numérique, tant d’un point de vue industriel que stratégique.


  

Lawways a développé une expertise pointue axée sur la négociation et la rédaction de tous types de contrats, liés aux domaines des nouvelles technologies, et plus particulièrement en matière de software, pour des groupes français et internationaux. Le cabinet accompagne tous ses clients dans leurs projets de développement et de création de valeur, principalement dans le secteur des services et en particulier celui des nouvelles technologies. Ses compétences l’amènent à être régulièrement face aux cabinets leaders du marché.


 

ISART DIGITAL  is a leading Institute, speis based in Paris and has developed strong links with the best international Video Game and CG animation studios : Blizzard, Ubisoft, Pixar, cialised in Video Game and CG Animation. The School Double Negative, Mikros, Buf... The School's reputation is also based on its students’ projects (44 awards in 7 years and many commercialisations) and its international partnerships with the best Japanese schools, NCC and Tokyo University of Technology.


 

How to Identify your Competition, by George Deeb

Posted by Amity Sims on 2013-04-02

Founder Feedback gives you insight from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, George Deeb, Managing Partner at Red Rocket Ventures and Chicago Founder Institute mentor, explains the various levels of startup research and how to go about identifying your competition. He suggests starting with high level industry research and digging deeper to assess your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

Below, How to Identify your Competition has been republished.


Lesson #19: How to Identify your Competition


Webster's Dictionary defines a competitor as "one buying and selling goods or services in the same market as another."  Pretty self explanatory at the high level.  But, I can't tell you how many times executives do not properly assess their full competitive set.  The goal of this post is to teach you how best to not miss any competitor that could get between you and your goals.

I typically start with high level industry research.  Find the major trade association in your industry and see who they are talking about as key players in your space.  Then do Google searches with the same keywords that will be important for your business, to see who is advertising around those keywords.  If those keywords are important to those advertisers, they are most likely directly competitive with you for all, or at least a part, of their businesses.  That should pick up the launched businesses.  But, you should also look in the venture capital funding records at sites like Crunch Base and Venture Beat, as well as as searching patent registrations at the USPTO to see if anything new is in the works, that directly overlaps with your business.

Once the high level research is done, you need to start digging even deeper.  This will include asking prospective customers of your business, if they are aware of any similar businesses in the market.  And, similar businesses could also include tangential businesses that could easily pivot into your space if you are successful.  For example, if you are launching an online restaurant reservation software, competition could easily pop up from tangential players like point of sale register manufacturers (e.g., Micros, Radiant) or other large online businesses in the restaurant space (e.g., Restaurant.com, OpenTable.com, Zagat.com).

Another example includes making sure you think about all players that are aggressively going after the same target audience, even if in very different businesses.  Let's say you are building a fishing website.  In addition to all the fishing websites, you are also competing with magazines like Field & Stream, cable networks likes Sportsman Channel, retailers like Cabela's, fishing gear manufacturers like Daredevil lures and online portals like Yahoo (that may have a fishing content section).  All of these businesses will be putting a lot of consumer marketing muscle to work to own the online fishing space, so prepare for a lot of competition from many different businesses all looking for the same fisherman eyeballs.

Once you fully assess who your current or potential competitors are, then you have to assess their strengths (e.g., customer base, revenue base, cash resources, product offering) and weaknesses to see if you can build a better "mouse trap" within your budget.  Some companies decide not to move forward at this point, because it is simply too much of an uphill battle to win the space, or will require much more monies than are available to spend.  But, if you are confident you can offer a better product, better pricing, better marketing tactics or bigger budgets than your competitors, then "bring it on!"

For more startup insights from George, check out more from the Red Rocket Blog and follow him on Twitter @GeorgeDeeb.

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