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Fab Advisor at Fab Lab ICC 

Thank you for your interest in the Fab Advisor Network at FabLabICC.org, an innovative new way for entrepreneurs and/or small business owners (E/SBO’s) to create their own private, custom, virtual advisory boards to communicate with about their business model, products and services.

  • Every entrepreneur, from those with pre-start-up ideas to seasoned veterans with years of business experience and operation under their belts, can benefit from feedback and advise from a hand-picked board of mentors, coaches and advisors.

    E/SBO’s can choose members for their Fab Advisory Boards from friends, family and existing members plus a list of advisors and coaches provided by Fab Lab ICC. Anytime an E/SBO has an idea or question for their Fab Advisory board, they post it on their private forum at FabLabICC.org where only the members of their particular board and see and respond.

    Within the forum, conversations can be initiated by the E/SBO or any of the designated advisors on that board. The initial conversation starter triggers and email notice to advisory board members that a new post awaits their response. From there, the conversations can grow offering the E/SBO ideas, insights and feedback not possible by any other means.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q.How can I have my own Fab Advisory Board using the Fab Advisory Network at FabLabICC.org?

    A. The Fab Advisory Network is available to E/SBO’s who are currently part of a paid Fab Lab ICC membership and have also joined the Growth Accelerator Program (GAP.) (No extra charge for the GAP.)

    Q. What is the Growth Accelerator Program?

    A. The Growth Accelerator Program (GAP) is a offered to paid Fab Lab ICC memberships who want to use Fab Lab ICC tools to help their businesses grow. There is no additional charge to paid Fab Lab members to belong to GAP. Click here to view the Growth Accelerator info page.

    Guidelines for Coaches and Advisors

  • Our Philosophy is to coach our players to start as small as possible and validate their markets before scaling up. For a product, this may mean starting out with a few prototypes, getting them in the hands of potential customers and learning what the customers like and don’t like about the product. This might be followed by a small trial manufacturing run to seek early adopters willing the buy the product to try it out. These first items would be sold at the initial market-based price point regardless of the cost to manufacture. The first sales are not about making money but about buying knowledge from customers about what changes they’d like to see moving forward.

    Similarly, for services, we recommend starting small with limited offerings in order to learn about what customers would like to see in the finished product.

    From the period of pre-sales through ramping production to full capacity, our job as coaches and advisors is NOT to pass judgement on whether an idea is good or bad—except maybe in the case of something illegal or dangerous (J)—the marketplace will decide. Our job is to ask probing questions to lead the players to thoughts, ideas and concerns that have not occurred to them previously. Thus, they can draw their own conclusions and make their own decisions about their ideas, methods and process to bring their products and services to market.

    Examples:

      • “I would probably not purchase this as is because I would rather have it do this or that.
        • Not, “People won’t buy it because it won’t do this or that.”
      • “Have you asked people if solving this problem is important enough to try a solution like this?
        • Not, “I don’t think this new solution would be worth it to most people.”
      • “Have you searched the Internet and current sources to see if there is this or something like this is already on the market?”
        • Not, “There surely is something like this already on the market.”

(This would be where we state our philosophy. Start small, validate market before scaling up. Also that Advisors are not to say whether or not an idea or business model is good or bad, but that initially the advisee and later the marketplace will decide. What the advisors need to is ask questions and initiate conversations to make the advisee think things all the way through. If an idea is bad or the time is not right, the advisee should make a self-determination of that.)

Guidelines for Players and Advisees (Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Being Advised)

Our Philosophy is to coach our players to start as small as possible and validate their markets before scaling up. For a product, this may mean starting out with a few prototypes, getting them in the hands of potential customers and learning what the customers like and don’t like about the product. This might be followed by a small trial manufacturing run to seek early adopters willing the buy the product to try it out. These first items would be sold at the initial market-based price point regardless of the cost to manufacture. The first sales are not about making money but about buying knowledge from customers about what changes they’d like to see moving forward.

Similarly, for services, we recommend starting small with limited offerings in order to learn about what customers would like to see in the finished product.

(Don’t take anything an advisor says personally. Advisors should be asking questions and making statements to give you a perspective that you may have missed.)

For more information about Growth Accelerator or Fab Advisor, contact Jim Correll, jcorrell@indycc.edu or 620.252.5349.

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