Innovate 2015 Conference – The Lean Launchpad

The Innovate 2015 show took place on the 9th and 10th of November at the classy venue of Old Billingsgate London. Set against the backdrop of London Bridge, the conference was billed as the UK showcase of UK innovation featuring stellar speakers, the UK’s leading innovators and 300 international buyers and investors.

So did it live up to expectations?

Well yes, the environment was well suited to the event and the hosts were very attentive, but at £200 a ticket you would expect a certain level of attention.

I witnessed many presentations during the two days, several of which were worthy of mention; however, I would like to draw attention to three speakers in particular and their particular message.

The first presented in The Grow Faster Room; a gentleman by the name of Dr Stephen Chambers the CEO of SynbiCITE introduced the ‘Lean Launchpad’, something I admit to not being familiar with. That said, the principle is very simple, you talk a lot to your potential customers to test your idea, you then refine and re-visit until you get a product that you believe will work utilising the well-used ‘Business Model’ tool. Once here, you create a prototype that works, but doesn’t need to be stable or robust. Then you test it again. Then, and only then, do you move to building the company.

The steps defined in the process are ‘Customer Discovery’, ‘Customer Validation’, ‘Customer Creation’ and ‘Customer Building’. The first two are focused on Launch, whilst the second two are about Building The Company. Particular emphasis was made on the ‘Pivot’ or ‘Persevere’ during the launch phase. This is the point where you decide on the destiny of your product. Dr Stephen Chambers gave example of how products had been developed using this approach. In principle, I would agree that this approach made perfect sense; and is how I go about business in many ways.

My only add would be that (and I would add that this was only introduced during the conference so it could be part of the ‘paid for trained’ solution) was the addition of a ‘One Page Business Plan’ split into strategy and operations would add clarity to the process of those outside looking in.

Since attending the event I have researched the ‘Lean approach’; Stephen Blank appears to be the custodian of the idea. Anyone looking to reinvigorate or launch a start-up could do far worse than follow this approach, in my opinion. It’s worth a look. Stephen Blank has a lot of videos on You Tube. I found this one particularly interesting.

Nigel Stone – November 2015

*All comments are based on my personal experiences and given freely. That said, you need to make your own choices. I can’t and won’t accept liability for you employing any recommendations. Business is all about risk. It’s your choice.

Nigel stone has, over the last fifteen years, started, led, consulted and nutured both UK and European businesses to achieve quite outstanding results. To find out more drop him an email at


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