Inga Stasiulionyte competed in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. As her athletic career drew to a close, Inga developed a curiosity for starting a business to bring the mental strategies of high-performance athletes to the business world. But while her passion for the idea rapidly grew, she didn’t know how to position her business.
This is why Inga applied to the Bootcamp. “In sports, I learned that, if you’re passionate about achieving your dreams, you need the best coaches,” she explained. “I found those coaches for my business at the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp.”
At the Bootcamp, Inga learned that getting her business started was all about action. “It doesn’t matter if you have the perfect idea. You can’t start a business by making plans based on your own biases,” says Inga. “Don’t assume that you know your customer; you should speak with them to learn more about their needs and how you can solve them. A series of rapid, customer-centered experiments is just the start you need.”
For this, continues Inga, “establishing open lines of communication with your customer is key because your customer would view the value of your product offering differently. You may think your customers will purchase your product, but until you have the data to validate your hypotheses, you will need to keep experimenting until you find the most effective way to get paying customers.”
By working intensely with MIT faculty, mentors and Bootcamp peers, Inga developed a new approach to problem solving. Now when unsure of how to respond to a business challenge, she would breaks down a complex problem into manageable pieces that she can resolve in a systematic way. “I learned that my way wasn’t the only way, and I learned to depend on validated information rather than opinions.”
After the Bootcamp, Inga shared her learnings with her team and together they launched their business. Her online training platform, Onbotraining, is now fully functional in two languages and customers are signing up to take advantage of the online mind-training gym based on the Olympian mindset.
Inga credits the confidence, insights, and never-ending support received from the MIT community for the progress she has achieved after the Bootcamp. “You get exhausted mentally and emotionally when you’re building a business. But having the support of the global entrepreneurship community, and the ability to tap into the shared knowledgebase of such a diverse group of people, is priceless.”