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10Oct 23
Startup Sales

Business Planning Needs an Agile Approach

Planning has held a foundational role in management for years. Back in the early twentieth century conventional thinking  outlined the key functions of managers as planning, organising, commanding, coordinating, and controlling. Throughout the century, the capacity and willingness of managers to plan evolved significantly. Large corporations established specialised units for…

01Aug 23

Unveiling The Secret To A Thriving Ecommerce Business

Introduction Ecommerce has become an integral part of modern life, with countless online stores offering a wide range of products and services. Over the past few years, this rapidly growing industry has witnessed significant advancements and new trends shaping its future. As a result, businesses must continuously adapt and evolve…

25Jul 23
Xpinnovates Export Planning

Breaking Borders: Strategies for International Business Growth

In today's global economy, businesses must be prepared to scale beyond their own borders in order to maintain a competitive edge. Breaking into international markets can open up a world of new customers, opportunities, and revenue streams, but there are many challenges to navigate. We explore the secrets to successfully…

22Jul 23

The Rise of AI: How Business Will Never Be the Same

Artificial intelligence, also known as AI, refers to the development and implementation of computer systems and software that can perform tasks typically requiring human intelligence, such as problem-solving, learning, reasoning, perception, comprehension, and decision-making, among others. AI systems can adapt and evolve their behaviour over time, often through machine learning…

01Jun 23

Angel Investment Northern Cyprus

A big thank you to our hosts last week in Cyprus - NI-CO and  AB İnovatif Girişimcilik / EU Innovative Entrepreneurship, who we are assisting in developing the entrepreneurship ecosystem and improving the innovation culture in the Turkish Cypriot community. We explored the opportunities for a private angel investment network…

11Apr 23

The Power of Planning: Why a Solid Business Plan is Key to Success

Organisations need a business plan for several reasons: Clarify goals and objectives: Planning helps businesses clarify their goals and objectives. By defining what they want to achieve, businesses can focus their resources and efforts towards achieving those goals. Identify potential challenges: Planning helps businesses identify potential challenges and risks that…

01Mar 23

6 Strategies to overcome risks in business growth

Six approaches to deal with risks in business growth For business owners who are feeling tired of inconsistent growth… You're not alone. Every entrepreneur faces challenges on their path to success, and while you can do very little about the external drivers of business growth, there are plenty of levers…

06Jul 22
Growthsprint Canvas

Accelerate Your Business Growth: Mastering The GrowthSprint Canvas

The GrowthSprint Canvas is a new and unique business innovation tool. The canvas combines a series of steps to help you think through and build out a carefully crafted and collaborative growth strategy plan. This is the result of an XPinnovates lockdown project. Who can use the GrowthSprint Canvas? The…

29Jun 22

Deliverable Impact in 90 Days – GrowthSprint

We need to get from A to B.  How do we do it?  Our consultancy framework GrowthSprint™ is a unique framework to help you deliver measurable impacts on your business in just 90 days.  We work with you over a 3 phase program to explore and execute your growth possibilities. …

08Mar 22

Start-up Sales: Understanding Your Buyer’s Mode

When selling complex solutions to organisations it is imperative to understand your buyer's mode. Not all potential buyers are in the same ‘mode’. All buyers are not in the same position or share the same outlook.  As a sales professional, you are likely to be trained to positive and sell…

04Mar 22

Driving Change: How Empowering Individuals Can Shape Our Future

While much is written about frameworks, finance, and technology when talking about growth strategies and start-ups, so much is down to the people involved. Business leaders make the difference happen, people drive change. Skills and Attitudes Entrepreneurs are the driving force behind creating and growing new businesses. All too often,…

17Jan 22

InterTradeIreland – Elevate Programme

Specifically aimed at Micro-Enterprises, we are authorised service provider for Elevate offering specific expertise to help you to identify and capitalise on the significant cross-border sales opportunities that exist on your doorstep. Up to £5,000/€5,750 (Including VAT) worth of consultancy time is available to you. You choose the Advisor that…

04Jan 22

Maximizing Growth: 4 Proven Strategies for Business Success

A growth strategy is a plan to increase a business’s size and value. It defines how you will win a race against your competition and identifies the most efficient way of reaching your strategic objectives. What’s more, it will apply to many areas in your business, from sales to finance,…

18Aug 21

Boost Your Online Business: Strategies for Accelerated Growth

Since 2007 we have built up a mass of experience, stories and friendships. The  companies we have mentored and developed have gone on to export goods and services across the globe, from digital tools to life sciences, to fintech to agritech. Most of the businesses were started from a simple…

19Jul 21
Startup Sales

Start-up Sales: Understanding Different Buyer Roles

There are broadly five ‘roles’ people play in the buying process. In start-up sales, you need to understand the different buyer roles. The roles defined here are not necessarily part of their job title, rather it’s the role they play in the potential purchase of your solution. It is imperative…

04May 21
Startup Sales

Start-up Sales: Set A Single Sales Objective

Your purpose as a start-up sales executive, client acquisition manager, or even as the CEO is to acquire new clients. Your role is to sell your services to organisations in your target market. In start-up sales, you need to set single sales objectives. Too often we engage with a prospect,…

29Apr 21
The Startup Way Eric Ries

When to apply Design Thinking and/or Lean Startup

Design Thinking and Lean Startup are part of the innovation portfolio. These methodologies are being used by corporates as well as startups to structure and de-risk their innovation activities. Inspired by success stories such as Uber and Airbnb companies are increasingly looking to Design Thinking and Lean Startup for answers. To…

05Dec 20
Challenges Of Business Growth

Navigating Growth: The Scaleup Challenge for Startups

Starting a business is easy, but getting a venture to a state where it can trade successfully, on a profitable sustainable basis is difficult. Even after taking in rounds of investment, haveing a venture you can IPO or sell, the toughest task for anyone.  For the leadership team to take…

24Nov 20

5 Ways Selling Makes The Difference To Scaling Up

We’ve long understood the concept of ‘crossing the chasm’. The task of established start-ups who have found the repeatable business model, but can’t get to that next step – the step of scaling up. Great products, cool brand, nice looking website. You’ve even got customers, an office, some staff, a…

10Jul 20

Startups are not maximising R&D tax credits

Business innovation in startups and small businesses is often high risk and cost intensive.   In many countries, governments put in policies to support technology innovation.  If you are actively carrying out business innovation projects you need to invest some time to find out if your business can avail of R&D…

28Jun 20

5 Reasons Why A Great Story is Needed to Sell Innovation

Engaging an audience and looking for support for your business idea is easy, but gaining funding or a green light to take your idea forward is the challenge in which so many fail to achieve. Good slides, nice numbers, and great delivery is never enough. What you have to do…

10Jun 20

Connecting Start-ups With Corporate Innovation

Over the past few years, there has been a shift in the way mainstream companies regard innovation. Innovation within regular companies is endless meetings, financial approval, and various different stakeholders. All, of course, slow down innovation. When these companies look at startups, they see small teams creating a mass of…

27Nov 19

Examining the Risks and Rewards: A Comprehensive Look at Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding has taken the start-up ecosystem by storm. Companies like Kickstarter, Seedrs and Crowdcube have become a funding choice for entrepreneurs. What may have seemed slightly risky or too unconventional for a mainstream business, have now become established and a clear alternative route to get funding into your business. If…

22Nov 19

HBAN Hits £100m. Where do we start?

As true startup people ourselves, we look back with pride and gratitude at our role in working with InterTradeIreland in establishing the HBAN investment network in Ireland. Back in 2010 our programme team led by Diane Roberts started with a blank sheet, and with the support of the funders set…

21May 19

The one day startup accelerator. What did we learn? #XP1

We took a chance and followed our own advice and tested our market with a lean approach. Was the market ready for something different? Could we sell enough tickets to make the idea viable? Is it possible to run a one day accelerator? Yes, yes and yes. Welcome to XP1.…

26Apr 19

10 Innovation Initiatives To Kickstart Your Business

We’ve put together 10 innovation initiatives to take look at. 1. External Startup Accelerator. An external startup accelerator is a company initiative to support, grow and evaluate external startups over a defined period of time (say 3-12 months). The aim here is to garner ideas and technologies that may fit…

06Apr 19
Sales Management

Sales Management – Funnel versus Pipeline

Sales management of your opportunities requires different attention and investment by you, dependent on where you deem them to be in the sales funnel. The incorrect sales approach - at the wrong time - will damage your chances of moving your prospect down the funnel to from initially being a…

07Mar 19


We had the honour of hosting our first networking event this week. We coined it the 'CoffeeClub', not because we have any real passion for coffee, but its usually a reason we use to meet up with contacts and share stories and see how we can help each other. Peer…

16Jun 18

The A-Z Modern Jargon for Business Innovation

Business innovation managers and startup entrepreneurs beware, the following 26 pieces of jargon are here with us to stay. Enjoy. My first experience of business jargon was back in the early 1990s, where I was asked to run an idea up the flagpole, to see who would salute it’. After…

04Jun 18
Business Innovation

Finding Product Market Fit In Business Innovation

Finding a product/market fit is the most important task a new business idea has.  Forget branding, marketing, selling, or getting press coverage - that means you are simply spending money and time you cant afford to.  A central part of our startup innovation bootcamp and our business modelling approach is idea…

30May 18
Idea Generation

16 Idea Generation Techniques

Ideas are things that come and go too often. Without a framework to capture and develop ideas in your business you are possibly losing out on potential new products or new ways of operating. The really great ideas usually spring unexpectedly in moments of inspiration. It becomes easier to come…

30May 18
Successful Ideation

The Three Stages of Successful Ideation

Ideation is the creative process of generating, developing, and communicating new ideas, where an idea is understood as a basic element of thought that can be either visual, concrete, or abstract.  Ideation comprises all stages of a thought cycle, from innovation to development, to actualisation.  Ideation can be conducted by…

28May 18
4th Industrial Revolution

Managing Innovation In The 4th Industrial Revolution

We are all hearing about the fourth Industrial Revolution, but what exactly is it? If you are a startup or managing business innovation should we care? It's definitely a topic that has been talked about over the past few years but gained even more prominence The first Industrial Revolution was characterised…

26Apr 18

6 Things Big Business Can Learn From Startups

What’s the key advantage that start-ups consistently hold over big businesses when it comes to innovation? We take a look at 6 ways startups innovate, and see what they can teach big companies.  1. Agility. Start-ups have to be agile to survive. Since they aren’t sure what will work in…

24Apr 18
Startup Accelerator

Coworking Space vs. Startup Incubator vs. Accelerator

Incubator, accelerator, and co-working space are three common terms in the startup world. However, if like me you have ever felt you don’t really understand the difference between them, then we are not alone. The difference is not always as clear. Because of this confusion around definitions, it can be challenging…

24Apr 18

Do Startup Accelerators Really Work?

At the very early stage of entrepreneurship there is a real gap between the first time entrepreneur, who lacks the experience to steer their business in what will be choppy waters – and the usually inexperienced friends and family who offer 90% of the initial funds to get ventures off the…

17Apr 18
Corporate Accelerator

Corporate Innovation Doesn’t Work!

When large firms attempt to move quickly it doesn't always work and they run into problems. A large number of companies are slowly dying, as parts of businesses are being attacked by other companies and in particular startups. The decline of large corporations has increased in the last decade, perhaps not…

24Mar 18
Grant Funding

8 Tips For Startups to Secure Grant Funding

There has never been more avenues to secure grant funding from regional and national state bodies. Yet they are not simple to get.  Your startup business might be entitled to apply for a grant if it carries out eligible projects or operates in a particular area (for example R&D funding, market…

17Mar 18
Design Thinking Chart

Design Thinking for Corporate Innovation

Eight out of ten entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months, accounting for an incredible 80% failure rate. But why is this the case? Why do startups fail at such a high rate? The number one reason why startups fail, which accounts for 42% of failures, is…

24Feb 18
Motivational Quotes

21 Motivational Quotes

We all need some inspiration in order to improve ourselves and there is no better alternative than the motivational quotes to inspire our corporate innovation projects. 1. Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. - Steve Jobs 2. “Whether you think you…

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