Arsalan Lodhi invested heavily into the development of his product and service offering without validating that customers needed it and was quickly running out of capital.
He knew he had to change his sales approach. He began reading Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, by Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.
Arsalan, a former services architect manager with IBM and manager with Accenture applied to the Bootcamp and was admitted to Class 3 of the MIT Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Seoul, Spring 2016. Through the Bootcamp he developed a network of mentors and like-minded entrepreneurs, whom he describes as “pivotal” to providing a network that will help his company expand into new markets, and the ability to work with people from various backgrounds.
“The Bootcamp selects talented people from many different countries [up to 35 at the Seoul Bootcamp], such as South Korea, Japan and Mexico. That diversity taught me how to work in multicultural teams and how to look at problems from other people’s perspectives,” he says.
“I have been in contact with people in the MIT network in Brazil and Australia. They are very well connected in the agriculture industry and, when I am ready, they can help me enter new markets in Latin America and Asia Pacific,” he adds.
“I focused on my customers and asked: What problems are they going through? And how will my product help to solve them?” he says.
The transformation has produced financial benefits. WISRAN has secured five customers ahead of its beta product launch, generated $33,000 in revenue and raised $100,000 in seed capital. WISRAN also won $5,000 at the MIT Rabo Bank Challenge.