Dean Alle

Based Sunshine Coast QLD Australia

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

Contact me

If I do not respond to your phone/email messages then try again
Otherwise book a time to meet or chat via CALENDLY

Collaborate with me
Check out my TBH Accelerator Opportunity Conversion Program
TBH Accelerator
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

  • Speed Mentoring Events, prepare, matchmaking, follow up
    for example Mentor Blaze Mentor Blaze Sunshine Coast
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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:
1. Busted
2. Plausible
3. Confirmed

So as an Entrepreneur you believe 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?
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 all these questions, what do they actually want
8. Now you decide if your assumptions are Busted/Plausible/Confirmed
9. Whatever the outcome, you now have insights, maybe an epiphany

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 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.

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, 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 holy grail known as “PRODUCT MARKET FIT” and your potential 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 success.