Business Models and the Online Venture Challenge (A): The Decision Over Version 2.0
(5 pages of text)
In January 2016, two entrepreneurial brothers attended an academic conference on small business and entrepreneurship to sell their product, the Online Venture Challenge, a web-based software-as-a-service retail simulation system. The brothers also hoped to demonstrate their second product idea, Launchboard, an interactive product that enabled users to make development plans and record their progress. Both products were intended as tools for entrepreneurship educators. The brothers did not have much success selling their first product during the conference, but two professors wanted to use Launchboard that semester. The brothers needed to decide how to position their product line. Should the Online Venture Challenge be promoted as one primary product that offered multiple complementary features? Or should their two products be positioned as two separate but complementary products? Or was it better to have two stand-alone products and two corresponding businesses? The brothers needed to better understand their own business ideas to determine the approach they should take. Fittingly, Launchboard, the new tool they had created, might actually help them to do just that.
This case is appropriate for courses in entrepreneurship (for both new and existing organizations) and is intended to demonstrate the role of the Business Model Canvas and lean start-up approaches to developing new opportunities. After completion of the case, students will be able to
- understand how opportunities and ideas can be developed into viable business models using the Business Model Canvas;
- identify and evaluate a viable business model; and
- appreciate how certain tools can assist lean start-ups in developing business models.
Canada, Small, 2016
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