Are you starting or growing a venture in Noosa?

This tool will help you assess your innovation capacity and direct you to local tools and resources you can use to develop your capacity.

The left hand side is for you to fill out. The right hand side provides context and assistance for each section.

Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to think deeply about your business. This is a strategy development tool and will take you about 20 mins to complete and receive your action plan.

1: About you

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Instructions / FAQs

How does this work?
Use this self-assessment tool to help identify and prioritise which of the Capacity Areas you may want to improve and connect to helpful local resources. Once completed, you’ll be connected to local resources in the Noosa Innovation Ecosystem that can support you in developing your specific target Capacity Areas.  

How do I receive my assessment?
A secret link to the results of the assessment and your action plan will be emailed to you so you can keep track of your progress in developing your innovation capabilities. Please note that anyone with this secret link can view your results.

Who has access to the data I submit?
During the beta testing stage the data will be accessible by The Social Deck, a certified B Corp, that is managing this project. The data you submit will not be shared with people outside of The Social Deck.

Do I have to answer every question?
No, the only question you need to answer is your email address so that we can send you your assessment and action plan.

Should I submit confidential information?
No, please do not submit any confidential information as part of this assessment.

Step 2: Your venture

The different stages of a venture

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Inspiration

Perhaps you don’t have an idea yet, but you have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to get involved in a new venture or find some inspiration to create your own. Maybe you want to see what’s out there and connect with others in the startup/entrepreneurial scene. There are many opportunities to do this in the Noosa area, if you know where to look and are willing to take the initiative.

Discover & Define

You’ve got an idea – great! The Discover & Define stage is about clearly understanding and defining the problem you are trying to solve, who you are solving it for, and what value you can bring by solving it. Immerse yourself in the issue to get a deeper understanding of the space. This information will set the foundation and direction for your venture and is a common element in prominent innovative startups.

Solution Validation

You now have a solid understanding of what your problem is, who experiences it, and why it’s important. Now you can start generating ideas and hypotheses for how the problem can be solved. Think outside the box and draw on the research insights you gained to help develop an alternative view of the problem that will lead to an innovative solution.

Venture Development

You’ve built, tested, refined, and validated your idea and now it’s time to transform it into a viable and sustainable venture. It’s full steam ahead now, so you’ll need to have a solid business case, be able to pitch your idea confidently, and be prepared to invest more heavily in resources to implement your idea.

Stability & Growth

At this stage, your venture should be fully operating, even if perhaps on shaky legs. Now you can focus on achieving medium and long-term stability, establishing a good reputation with your customers and network, and perhaps growing your venture to address new problems and reach new markets.

Step 3: Your capacity

Capacity area 1: knowledge & skills

Building your knowledge and skills

Stakeholder Engagement encompasses identifying and connecting with individuals and organisations who may be interested in, involved in, or affected by your venture in some way. This group of stakeholders is often referred to as a network. The earlier you start identifying and establishing relationships in your network, the more likely your venture is to succeed. Building a strong network can be very valuable – both for you and for the stakeholders – but it takes time to navigate and nurture those relationships.

How well you can lead, plan and manage projects and resources plays an important role in the long-term success and reputation of your venture. Being able to project future cash flow can help with managing resources. Establishing a clear vision and goals for your venture will help you stay focused when making difficult decisions. Staying organised with projects, communications, and deadlines all play a role in providing good customer service and will help you establish a good reputation. There are many local and online resources and groups that can support you in developing these capacities.

Resources are required for any venture to operate and can be tangible (e.g. funding, infrastructure, office space, equipment, etc.) and intangible (e.g. other peoples’ knowledge and skills). Some of your resource requirements will be easily identified, but some, particularly intangible resources, may be less obvious. Take the time to assess what you need and how it can be sourced. Developing your resources can be as simple as making sure you have the right help and expertise to deliver your venture.

The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.

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Industry Knowledge

Understand the industry sector you seek to operate in: the market, pervasive problems, key players, technologies, regulations and policies, and trends.

Interpersonal & communication skills

Operating a successful venture requires working well with others. This involves establishing trust and rapport, maintaining clear verbal and written communication, and being respectful and professional.

Technical & research skills

It is likely that one or more specific sets of technical skills are required to develop your venture. You can develop these skills yourself through training programs, as well as collaborate with someone else who has the expertise.

Marketing skills

Marketing your venture is much more than simply having a Facebook page. It involves telling a good story about the value of your venture and engaging the right audience through the appropriate channels.

Business & Financial Knowledge

Understand financial basics (e.g. revenue vs. profit, business/organisation structures, tax obligations, cash flow, intellectual property, accounting and record keeping) so that you can use your resources effectively and efficiently and build a sustainable venture.
The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Acquire and improving industry knowledge and technical skills specific to your venture may seem like an obvious step to take. However, there are other, more general capabilities that may be less obvious, but are critical to successful entrepreneurship and innovation.

For example, capabilities related to communication, working with others, how you deal with ambiguous or difficult situations are just some of the skills that can make or break a new venture.  Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.

Capacity area 2: planning & management

Improving your planning & management

Stakeholder Engagement encompasses identifying and connecting with individuals and organisations who may be interested in, involved in, or affected by your venture in some way. This group of stakeholders is often referred to as a network. The earlier you start identifying and establishing relationships in your network, the more likely your venture is to succeed. Building a strong network can be very valuable – both for you and for the stakeholders – but it takes time to navigate and nurture those relationships.

How well you can lead, plan and manage projects and resources plays an important role in the long-term success and reputation of your venture. Being able to project future cash flow can help with managing resources. Establishing a clear vision and goals for your venture will help you stay focused when making difficult decisions. Staying organised with projects, communications, and deadlines all play a role in providing good customer service and will help you establish a good reputation. There are many local and online resources and groups that can support you in developing these capacities.

Resources are required for any venture to operate and can be tangible (e.g. funding, infrastructure, office space, equipment, etc.) and intangible (e.g. other peoples’ knowledge and skills). Some of your resource requirements will be easily identified, but some, particularly intangible resources, may be less obvious. Take the time to assess what you need and how it can be sourced. Developing your resources can be as simple as making sure you have the right help and expertise to deliver your venture.

The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.

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Business Strategy & Planning

Together, a strong vision, strategy and plan will act like a compass for your venture, helping to keep you focused, aligned with your values, and on track through forks in the road.

Project Management

Managing resources, establishing goals and priorities, meeting deadlines, adapting to unforeseen changes and being organised all contribute to a smoothly operating venture.

Financial Planning

Budgeting, accounting, tax, invoices, financial forecasting, cash flow – these all play a role in ensuring your venture will have the resources not just now, but in future, to continue operating

Success Metrics

How will you know when your venture is successful or failing? Setting clear goals and success metrics will help you stay focused, track progress, and inform planning and decision-making.

Resource Management

Managing your resources (e.g. staff, funding, materials, spaces) responsibly and ethically will significantly influence your ability to maintain and acquire resources in the future.
The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Acquire and improving industry knowledge and technical skills specific to your venture may seem like an obvious step to take. However, there are other, more general capabilities that may be less obvious, but are critical to successful entrepreneurship and innovation.

For example, capabilities related to communication, working with others, how you deal with ambiguous or difficult situations are just some of the skills that can make or break a new venture.  Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.

Capacity area 3: stakeholder engagement

Engaging your stakeholders

Stakeholder Engagement encompasses identifying and connecting with individuals and organisations who may be interested in, involved in, or affected by your venture in some way. This group of stakeholders is often referred to as a network. The earlier you start identifying and establishing relationships in your network, the more likely your venture is to succeed. Building a strong network can be very valuable – both for you and for the stakeholders – but it takes time to navigate and nurture those relationships.

How well you can lead, plan and manage projects and resources plays an important role in the long-term success and reputation of your venture. Being able to project future cash flow can help with managing resources. Establishing a clear vision and goals for your venture will help you stay focused when making difficult decisions. Staying organised with projects, communications, and deadlines all play a role in providing good customer service and will help you establish a good reputation. There are many local and online resources and groups that can support you in developing these capacities.

Resources are required for any venture to operate and can be tangible (e.g. funding, infrastructure, office space, equipment, etc.) and intangible (e.g. other peoples’ knowledge and skills). Some of your resource requirements will be easily identified, but some, particularly intangible resources, may be less obvious. Take the time to assess what you need and how it can be sourced. Developing your resources can be as simple as making sure you have the right help and expertise to deliver your venture.

The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.

Nice name

Industry Ecosystem

Build a network with key stakeholders who are already active in the space you want to operate in: Industry associations and institutions, local government, competitors, suppliers, distribution channels, marketing agencies.

Market & Customers

Clearly identify your customers and users – failing to do this can break a venture. Engage with them to gain insights into what they need, how they work, and what motivates them. Find people who are willing to give you honest feedback on your venture idea or prototypes.

Partnerships

Partnerships bring together people and organisations with shared interests who seek to combine their diverse array of skills and resources in a way that benefits everyone involved.

Local Community

Reach out to local businesses, individuals, and organisations who may be interested in or impacted by your venture and engage with them. Getting buy-in from your local community early can give you a leg-up later on.

Friends & Family

Creating a new venture can be challenging, stressful, time and resource consuming – this can indirectly impact your friends and family. Discuss with them how they might be affected and what you might do to ensure you maintain a good relationship.
The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Acquire and improving industry knowledge and technical skills specific to your venture may seem like an obvious step to take. However, there are other, more general capabilities that may be less obvious, but are critical to successful entrepreneurship and innovation.

For example, capabilities related to communication, working with others, how you deal with ambiguous or difficult situations are just some of the skills that can make or break a new venture.  Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.

Capacity area 4: resources

Finding your resources

Stakeholder Engagement encompasses identifying and connecting with individuals and organisations who may be interested in, involved in, or affected by your venture in some way. This group of stakeholders is often referred to as a network. The earlier you start identifying and establishing relationships in your network, the more likely your venture is to succeed. Building a strong network can be very valuable – both for you and for the stakeholders – but it takes time to navigate and nurture those relationships.

How well you can lead, plan and manage projects and resources plays an important role in the long-term success and reputation of your venture. Being able to project future cash flow can help with managing resources. Establishing a clear vision and goals for your venture will help you stay focused when making difficult decisions. Staying organised with projects, communications, and deadlines all play a role in providing good customer service and will help you establish a good reputation. There are many local and online resources and groups that can support you in developing these capacities.

Resources are required for any venture to operate and can be tangible (e.g. funding, infrastructure, office space, equipment, etc.) and intangible (e.g. other peoples’ knowledge and skills). Some of your resource requirements will be easily identified, but some, particularly intangible resources, may be less obvious. Take the time to assess what you need and how it can be sourced. Developing your resources can be as simple as making sure you have the right help and expertise to deliver your venture.

The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.

Nice name

Space & Infrastructure

You’ll likely need some sort of physical space for you to conduct your venture (e.g. office space, retail premises, events area, manufacturing facility), and any infrastructure to support operations (e.g. telecommunications, energy, transportation).

Materials & Equipment

Identify what materials, equipment, digital and professional services, and platforms are essential for putting your venture into action.

Funding

Determine how and where you can get financial support for your venture. This could include: debt, venture capital, angel investment, and government grants.

Experts & Support Professions

Consult with professional groups and associations who can provide expert advice on various elements of your venture (e.g. Legal counsel, accountants, technical experts, advisors, mentors).

Human Resources

You may need more than one person to run your venture. Determine what kind of people to bring on board, what skills they’ll need, where to find them, and how to manage, support and retain them as an engaged part of your venture.
The level of knowledge and skills of the people involved in your venture will set the foundation for the venture’s success. Acquire and improving industry knowledge and technical skills specific to your venture may seem like an obvious step to take. However, there are other, more general capabilities that may be less obvious, but are critical to successful entrepreneurship and innovation.

For example, capabilities related to communication, working with others, how you deal with ambiguous or difficult situations are just some of the skills that can make or break a new venture.  Fortunately, many of these things can be learned and developed with practice and/or training. Identify your strengths and weaknesses in each of the “Knowledge & Skills” Capacity Areas and then create an action plan for developing priority areas utilising relevant resources. You don’t need to be an expert at everything but you do need to know how to acquire the knowledge and skills for your venture, by involving other people who do have the right skills.
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