Ability to Execute

This is a snapshot of the current status of your project; if there are gaps, work through the toolkits provided to develop and validate your innovation potential. It's important to capture the outputs of the various actions that you are performing somewhere safe - these will feed into key documents later on (like your business plan and pitch deck). 

Highly effective teams

Having the right team around you is crucial to the success of taking an idea forwards - it's better to have a Class A team with a Class B idea than the other way around. Spending time now building that group will be invaluable later down the line.


Knowing who you want to join your team means that you know what you bring to the table yourself. The Myers-Briggs personality test is great to give you insight to your own strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing who you want to join your team means that you know what you bring to the table yourself. The Myers-Briggs personality test is great to give you insight to your own strengths and weaknesses.

Note down your strengths. Now your weaknesses - be aware of them as you move forwards.


Balanced perspectives, complementary skills, prior experience.. There are many combinations of people who can build a great team. Have a read of this article with a pen and paper on hand to think about who you have on board and who you might be missing...

What are the roles that you need help filling?


Having the right kind of people on the team is priority number one. A close second is having the right combination of skills on board.

A useful way to find these skills is to look at the key activities and key resources you have to deliver on your idea. These two lists happen to be part of a Business Model Canvas which we will look at later. There's a great explanation here.


Write down the key activities you will undertake to deliver on your idea and the key resources you need to do so (this means access to facilities, support and people). You need to balance what you need to do with what expertise you have on the team. Is there a huge gap? Another person on board could be the perfect solution!

Missing someone? Create the profiles of the people that you need

You know yourself, and you know the team you want to work with. Now who are you going to get to join you? Write down what kind of person that is and keep an open mind: never underestimate the importance of a great team!


This isn't a problem that you need to fix immediately, but it's never too early to start thinking about where to find people. Sign up to cofounderslab and reach out to entrepreneurs looking for co-founders near you. This is less relevant if you intend on licensing your idea.

You can search both by location and skills required to start interviewing for the right person to join your team.

Understanding your drivers

I am here to help you, but there is no denying that taking forwards a new idea is a tough path. Understanding what is driving you and your team forwards, and being pragmatic about how much you can deliver is a great reality check to confirm you are going down the right route! 


Committing starting up a business can be a big risk: maybe your idea needs more time in development before you make the leap. Maybe it will always be a part-time project. Knowing why you want to push your idea further and reminding yourself along your way is incredibly important.

Write down the reasons you want to develop your idea

Write down a list of the motivations that you have for taking your idea forwards. In times of crisis they will be motivating, in times of confusion they will be focusing and in times of triumph they will be rewarding. Stick them up on the wall if you want: don't lose sight of your motivation!


It's worth thinking about how much time you can really commit to the venture - have you got evenings and weekends or would you be willing to go part time? Full time?

At the beginning, evenings and weekends are enough to start validating your idea, but be aware of the moment where more time will be necessary. As a rule of thumb, weekends will likely be enough for the first 3 months. Pretty soon after, you will need to put in more time. If you aren't able to, sharing your idea with someone who can may be the only solution.


Building a new idea into a commercial venture isn't free - at some point you will need a cash injection to keep your idea growing.

Let's start with a pragmatic analysis of where you are so far - how long can you keep working on your idea without more investment? 


Make a first-pass now using this tool. We will come back to it later when we talk about fundraising.

This project was joint-funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Brain Injury MedTech Co-operative based at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Cambridge. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

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