Introducing the Venture Tinkers Avatars

Through endless discussions and interactions with different players of the startup ecosystem, we have identified the main “characters” you will most likely meet during your entrepreneurial journey.

On this series of blog posts, we are diving deeper into each avatar’s motivations and concerns while outlining how the Venture Tinkers team can help them overcome their challenges.

This week we are excited to introduce you to Scotty the Scientist. Scotty made a scientific breakthrough and wants to continue his research and commercially exploit the findings.


One of the major problems scientists like Scotty face is shaping their research into a marketable product which will become the foundation of a profitable business. We have identified some of the root causes:

  • Lack of business acumen and absence of a long-term strategic plan.
  • Inability to articulate the company’s vision, target geographies and go-to market strategy.
  • Absence of a strong team to support operations, management, sales, R&D etc.
  • Unclear problem definition, customer segmentation and product offering.
  • Lack of clear roadmap, milestones and goals for the foreseeable future.

Other problems also include:

  • Capital intensity to develop and launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which makes it hard to raise investment. It’s like a vicious cycle. You cannot do the one without having the other.
  • Sometimes, scientists tend to be fixated on the technology they have developed which provides little room for pivoting and adjusting to the conditions of the external environment.
  • Lastly, research conducted in universities might by subject to special conditions. We have seen university spin-offs facing problems with IP and technology rights, which are sometimes owned by the academic institution instead of the researcher.

When Venture Tinkers come to the rescue

Our first task at Venture Tinkers is to provide you with insights and help for a smoother transition to the startup ecosystem. The cultural differences between academia and startups are evident. Therefore, the transition might seem daunting at first, and will surely not happen overnight but there is a specific skillset required to succeed in the world of venture-backed early stage companies.

We will help you shape your future business in a way that is easily comprehendible by a general audience. This includes creating a storyline that inspires, without getting into technical language or in-depth scientific findings. Communication is very important, since you will need to convince non-technical people (clients, investors, future employees etc) that your product is worth a shot. And this is not a one-off endeavour, similar to research grands, but rather something that needs on-going effort and fine-tuning. Although it does get easier and the Venture Tinkers team will be by your side to help shape your ideas into a product worth buying or investing into.

After shaping the initial communication material and some possible ways to market the product, it is crucial to get validation from the actual market. Together we will create a go to market strategy and customer engagement roadmap to gather and analyse feedback in order to incorporate the findings and adjust the product or service accordingly.

Once the company has developed a tried and tested methodology to enter the market we will guide you to create a Minimum Viable Product or a working prototype (depending on the situation) with minimum cost. This step is very crucial to start receiving order requests and show traction to future investors. Please note that you don’t have to build the actual product just yet, and these pre-orders will help fuel your company to get to the next level, while having customers already commited to buy once the product is ready to hit the market. Following this strategy we will raise awareness for your brand and render the early adopters part of your mission to change the world. A great strategy to attract potential early adopters is by launching a Crowdfunding Campaign. Although this is not applicable to any product or service, if it does, it can have great results.

The Dos for Scientists like Scotty

Always be transparent with your research and the results of your trials. You definitely don’t want to end up like the infamous Theranos.

Ethical behaviour: Bringing years of research to the market is substantially increasing the scientist’s responsibilities. Never misrepresent or falsify data to draw a more favourable image for your business.

Authority: Make sure to showcase your previous work (such as academic papers related to your research) and any awards you have received. Create easily digestible content (such as a blog) and participate in industry events as a panelist or moderator. This will help your customers and investors realise your value and will open up the route for new connections.

As a final note, the journey from invisible to investable is not an easy one to embark on. But it can definitely be rewarding and by having the Venture Tinkers team by your side, it will surely be an enjoyable ride.