Nexus entrepreneurs learn to connect to markets, build evidence for venture

In the last week of May, the first cohort of startups in the Nexus program received a week-long experience on how to connect to markets and build evidence for their venture. Dr. Cliff Zintgraff, from the IC² Institute at The University of Texas at Austin, shared his experience as an entrepreneur, coach and mentor, through a session called Evidence-Based Entrepreneurship. Focused on “building their core,” the entrepreneurs were challenged to connect with individual customers and stakeholders in their markets, conduct in-depth interviews to capture the habits and voice of the markets, and incorporate that information into their products and venture plans. Entrepreneurs came away with a deeper awareness of why and how they must constantly improve their market understanding to be successful building their venture.

Dr. Zintgraff noted that he was “impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of the entrepreneurs, but more importantly, by their willingness to embrace and act on the lessons learned. That attitude is essential for the success of new ventures.”

Cliff Zintgraff spent fifteen years as a software developer, manager and executive in startups before building his own EdTech company, earning a Masters in Technology Commercialization, and a doctorate in Learning Technologies. He has delivered education, training and mentorship for hundreds of startup efforts in five countries, and has secured grants and run programs in entrepreneurship and STEM education for business, research, and non-profit efforts.