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Recap: Pathways to a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) at the University of Pittsburgh Big Idea Center


Recap: Pathways to a Minimum Viable Product

By: Alex Gindin | June 7, 2019

Home > Blog > Presentation: Pathways to a Minimum Viable Product

Last week I had the opportunity to present at my alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, at the Blast Furnace student accelerator program. It was an incredible experience being around young entrepreneurs inventing new things.

My presentation was on the topic of creating minimum viable products (MVPs). Entrepreneurs have a limited runway-- and the constraints of time budget and scope are always nipping at their heels. The concept of a minimum viable product is about figuring out how to work those constraints to create something that will prove value and allow continuous expansion through feedback.

We talked about rabbit holes and speedbumps along the path to a minimum viable product. It all came down to using people, process, and tools strategically. The process discussion included an overview of the Agile Methodology, helping the entrepreneurs think through building a vision, breaking it down into manageable pieces, prioritizing those pieces, and then executing through sprints.

The 3 key takeaways for entrepreneurs were:

  • Time is everything, so make sure you use your time and your team’s time strategically to accomplish what you need for a minimum viable product.
  • Get feedback early and often because it will be more expensive down the line, and if you have unhappy customers, they will breed more unhappy customers, exponentially.
  • Although a minimum viable product has “product” in the name, the concept is applicable to all activities that are involved in launching products and services, including marketing and sales.

Blast Furnace is part of the University of Pittsburgh Big Idea Center. It is an eight-week student accelerator program that provides emerging entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills they need to form, grow and develop their business. Check out the the Big Idea center on Facebook.


About the Author: Alex Gindin

Alex Gindin is the VP of Operations at fivestar* and brings more than a decade of experience in launching technologies and adaptive strategies that enable business growth. He works closely with his teams to create solutions to business challenges using human-centered design, iterative development, and a strong focus on user-engagement. Alex holds an MBA and a Masters in Information Systems from the University of Pittsburgh.

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