Based Sunshine Coast QLD Australia
Best way to contact me is via email – details below
As at October 2022 I am in Australia, although with regular travel local and overseas. I check my phone voicemail messages on a regular basis. To speak with me, book a time via my online Calendar at CALENDLY, more details below.
Dean Alle – Director of Company Creation at CSIRO
In April 2022, I commenced at CSIRO (Australia’s National Science Agency) to lead the Company Creation initiative which implements the Venture Science Model. Read a paper about the Venture Science commercialisation model here Perspective article: Towards a new venture science model for transforming food systems, Article in Medium by Main Sequence Ventures – Phil Morle Using ‘Venture Science’ for faster, deeper R&D. I love this Venture model. As a commercialisation pathway it can bring more impact sooner. Contact me to discuss the WHY and HOW!
Dean Alle – Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR)
An EiR will have
- Founded/Led startups and commercialisation projects
- Worked on a large number of diverse innovation opportunities
- Invested money and time, taken risks, list of examples with details
- Earned the respect of innovation ecosystems in multiple locations
- Integrity and Crediblity based on recognised experience & outcomes
What does an EiR do?
- Practices Entrepreneurial Karma (Gives First)
- Conducts Independent Opportunity analysis & value creation
- Resides with Entrepreneurs to provide sounding board & mentoring
- Guides creation & progression of Investable Opportunities (& Invests)
- Shares experiences, their own success/failure and others
- Provides direct/honest feedback, sometimes you don’t want to hear
- Explains the logic behind their views with references and case studies
- Disrupts organisations/regions/sectors as a change champion
EiR Dean Alle creates impact by serving in roles such as:
- Contract EiR and Federal Government EiR around Australia
- Founder TBH Accelerator aka The Execution Program
- In-Kind and Cash contribution to innovation/investment projects
- Commercialisation Pathways Advisor/Agent
- Serial Startup Founder Entrepreneur
- Work with founders + Work for equity
- Co-Founder, multiple startups, CEO, CDO, CIPO, Interim Executive
- Board Director + Board Chair incl. Board Reporting/Governance
- Investor in Startups, conducting Investor Due Diligence
- Structuring Startups + Startup Valuation
- Founding Chair of Sunshine Coast Angel Investor Group (Australia)
- Chair of Angel Loop – based in Brisbane Australia
- IP Expert (Patents) – Capture, Document, Assess & Extract Value
- Commercialisation of IP with Founders/Inventors/Corporates
- University based IP Commercialisation, worked with many Unis
- Entrepreneurship Education, Coord, Lecturer, Student, WIL & Youth
- Transformative Executive Retreats – Entrepreneurship & Innovation
- Entrepreneur Retreats – Sailing Startups – Lean Startup Courses on yachts
- Innovation workshops, Lean Startup Expert, drawing from examples
- Designed/Tested/Run Accelerator programs in AU and Europe
- Facilitator for AU National Innovation Program (The ON Program)
- Designer/Facilitator Innovation Tasters for Researchers (ARC CoEs)
I am an Scientist at heart, occasionally that is useful
- PhD Atomic & Molecular Physics – Australian National University
- BSc Hons – Australian National University
- BSc Physics, Maths, Computer Science, Chemistry – University of QLD
Some of my recent/current roles/projects are
- ResusRight building innovative medical devices, ensuring world-class care for every infant, resuscitation for newborns
Dean’s roles: Board Chair, Director Lead Investor, Chair of Advisory Board
- Net-Health self‑health management platform that aggregates data from wearable and personal health devices to improve management of chronic patient conditions
Dean’s roles: Board Chair, Director Lead Investor, Chair of Advisory Board
- Victus Health nutrition platform for health practitioners that uses menu planning and real food recipes to systemically addresses a wide range of health conditions including intolerances and allergies
Dean’s roles: Board Chair, Director, Chair of Advisory Board
- Schoolzine provides a Communications Platform to support schools in solving the problems of lack of parent/community engagement and increasingly complex communication channels
Dean’s roles: Interim Chief Executive, Board Chair, Director,
Chair of Advisory Board
- AngelLoop promotes a culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Australia, particularly in regional areas, through the establishment and support of local community (Angel) investment groups. Angel Loop promotes and organises Angel Investing around Australia. Angel Groups work together and share opportunities for the broader benefit of their local communities
Dean’s roles: Board Chair, Director, Investment Due Diligence, EiR Entrepreneur Support
- Innovation Cruise operates Innovation Retreats and Courses for Corporate Executives. The venue is selected itineraries in the Greek Islands. Course delivery is aboard sailing yachts. Refer to sister program Sailing Startups for Entrepreneurs and Startup Teams.
Dean’s roles: Founder, Lead Facilitator
If I do not respond to your email or phone messages then the best option is to book a time to meet or chat via my online Calendar at CALENDLY
Collaborate with me
Check out my TBH Accelerator Opportunity Conversion Program
Or my Commercialisation of IP work, Be Wise with your IP
Definition of Collaborate, for me it is Co Lab Ratting
So be prepared for Lab Rat experiments on each other & scenerio role play!
Thanks to Rachael Skyring for that definition
Other things I do
- Investment Ready Analysis from pitching to intense Due Diligence
Is your startup ready to pitch
Are you prepared for questions from potential investors
What information do you need in your “Deal Room”
- New Investment Models to connect ideas with capital
for example, founder of Startup Equity Auction
(ebay for startup equity)
- Speed Mentoring Events, prepare, matchmaking, follow up
for example Mentor Blaze Mentor Blaze Sunshine Coast
- Speaking Gigs and Events
for example MC, Panel Events and Investment Pitch judge
- Youth Support and Facilitation
for example founding CEO of NEXTi
More about the Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) Model
Think about the Innovation Ecosystem this way:
- The Entrepreneur is the CUSTOMER
- Innovation Centres/Hubs/Programs are one of the conduits that
support an EiR to work with the CUSTOMER
- VCs and Corporates also collaborate with EiRs to invest in the CUSTOMER
- EiRs contribute their time & money to the Innovation Ecosystem
to support ENTREPRENEURS as CUSTOMERS
- Positive Outcomes, Ecosystem Sustainability and the EiR Model
work best when the CUSTOMER decides who is providing value
So what is LEAN Startup all about
The EiR view ->>> the 3 questions to ask, can the Entrepreneur:
- Identify the problem to be solved and VALIDATE that problem with their proposed customer (or customer segments)
- Adapt or even PIVOT their proposed solution in light of that (often) iterative customer discovery/validation process
- Actively BALANCE passion with coachability, for example learn from mistakes (theirs and others)
The EiR understands the importance of these questions and can guide the Entrepreneur appropriately, for example using relevant case studies, scenario role play and direct feedback.
Most of all, the EiR knows that innovation opportunties usually fail to start or scale up, not due to lack of money or hard work, but due to lack of customers.
EiR Advice for Entrepreneurs
Think about the TV Show “MythBusters”
The assumption (the myth) is that a belief exists
So what do you do?
Design and conduct a set of experiments to test the assumption
The outcome is the myth is either:
So as an Entrepreneur you believe (assume) that
there is a CUSTOMER with a problem who cares enough
about that problem that they would be interested in YOUR solution.
That is a lot of guesswork!
Your belief is based on a set of ASSUMPTIONS
So what do you do?
Well – You talk to a CUSTOMER or potential CUSTOMER
So how does that conversation with your CUSTOMER go?
9 SIMPLE STEPS TO CUSTOMER DISCOVERY
1. Forget about your solution
2. Define the problem to be solved, define it deeply as a set of features
3. Identify the person who has this problem
4. Talk with them about the problem
5. Ask them when it happens, how often, how bad, consequences, what else
6. Then ask them, what have they tried to do about it, did that work out
7. Finally, in light of these questions/insights, ask your CUSTOMER
“how do you want this problem solved”
Or if that is too broad a question ask
“what are the first steps towards a solution”
or ask them
“what are the basic things that might provide a measurable difference”
Look up the definition of Minimal Viable Product (MVP)
8. So now without telling them in any way
what your solution or “your MVP” actually is,
you have extracted GOLDEN Information from them
WHY because it is does not have the BIAS of already knowing your MVP
and therefore you can decide if your ASSUMPTIONS are
Busted Plausible or Confirmed, in true MythBusters style
9. Whatever the outcome, you now have insights, maybe an epiphany
AT NO STAGE HAVE YOU TALKED ABOUT YOUR SOLUTION
You have not said to anyone, “Here is my shiny new thing, will you buy it?”
You will find it is really really challenging to stay in “PROBLEM LAND”.
Remind yourself that once you cross to “SOLUTION LAND” where you tell the person on the other side of the table (your potential customer) what your solution is and why it is so great, once you do that they will have CONFIRMATION BIAS and you have lost the opportunity to find out what they really want and WHY.
Ask them lots of questions ABOUT THE PAST
The past can be probed, take a deep dive and explore.
This is where your best insights will come from.
Avoid FUTURE PROBING, so avoid asking questions like:
“Would you use this product?”
“How much would you pay for xxxx?”
People often lie about the future because they just don’t know/care!
When you ask the question “would you”, are you are falling into the trap of attempting to validate your solution. Remember Lean Startup is all about validating a problem. Once you have done enough “talking with customers” to obtain decent statistics you can tweak/pivot your technical solution to fit the customers’ problem.
So that is my version of the GUTS of CUSTOMER DISCOVERY!
This is the backbone of the lean startup methodology!
Thanks to the many entrepreneurs and innovation program co-facilitators I have learned this from IRL. Plus, there is a plethora of info on the internet.
Ask any EiR, having been through lean startup time and time again, even before it was called lean startup, they will be a convert.
Sure it is nuanced with different business/revenue models, go to market options and supply chain strategies to test, and each innovation conversion is different.
But if you follow the advice and trust the process, then you give yourself the best chance of developing a solution that somebody cares enough about to test as an early adopter CUSTOMER and then buy from you.
And when you can explain your Customer Discovery Process, what did and did not work, the insights you learned from “Conversations with Customers”, how you determined who potential/actual customers are; and what they want and why, how you have adapted, or even pivoted your solution based on that feedback, then you have demonstrated the lean startup holy grail known as “PRODUCT MARKET FIT” and your potential partners/employees/investors will see a market-ready scalable startup with an entrepreneurial founder that was (and remains) willing to test assumptions and fail in order to pinpoint the pathway to success.
When you get stuck, you may find inspiration from the classic quotes in:
Stars Wars: Yoda “Do or do not. There is no try”
The Simpsons: Chief Wiggum “Dig up stupid”
Kung Fu Panda: Master Oogway “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”