Understand 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! 

Understand your own motivation


Who curated this Module

Anna Jordan

  • Head of Operations, CAR

  • Previously material science researcher

  • Start-up strategy analyst



In whatever format you decide to take your idea forwards, you need to do it for the right reasons.

Committing to starting a company is a risk - your innovation (even if it's a good one) might needs more time in development before you make the leap. Knowing why you want to develop your innovation further is incredibly important.


Write down why 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!


Know how much time you have

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? This article can help you get into the right headpsace.

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.


Understand how much money you will need

Can you afford it?

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 cover this in more detail during 'Develop your Commercial Strategy' this 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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