Have a business idea, but need help organizing an actionable plan? There is now an app for that.
The app, called Elevatr, is the brainchild of David Spiro, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan who studied entrepreneurship and became frustrated with traditional business-model development applications already on the market.
"I was working on a startup, and no matter how hard I focused on that idea, I couldn’t help but focus on other ideas," said Spiro, founder of Elevatr. "For each of those ideas, I would use some form of a note-taking application and do the rest of the plan in my head. I tried using business-planning tools taught by the University of Michigan College of Engineering, like Business Model Canvas, but they seemed slow and outdated, and that seemed like an opportunity to mold an app into a better tool."
"Entrepreneurship is way more than people just studying entrepreneurship at schools, and I saw it as a great opportunity to take what I was interacting with and create a product that applied to this group of people inspired by the startup revolution," Spiro said.
Spiro's tool aims to make the business-development process easier by forcing aspiring entrepreneurs to focus their ideas. Immediately upon opening the application, users are prompted to come up with an elevator pitch for their business idea in 140 or fewer characters. Users can then work on coming up with and perfecting their business ideas.
"Once you get the idea out of your head, you are brought to the main page of the application, which is essentially a note-taking application that takes the structure of a business plan," Spiro said. "But it makes it more accessible to design and develop the idea than a free-form note-taking application."
Users are forced to answer essential questions about topics including features, customers, the business model, the market and how the company differentiates itself from the competition. When users note down such information, they will have thought more about their business idea and be better able to flush out their business plan, Spiro said.
Elevatr Screenshot Credit: Elevatr
"Currently, it is totally for personal use, but the next feature is sharing — so that people can get feedback about their ideas," Spiro said. "We are hoping that we will eventually become more than just a place to organize your business, but a place to start a business."
Currently, the free app is only available in the Apple App Store and is compatible with iPhones and iPads. Spiro said the app is meant for aspiring entrepreneurs with business ideas from a variety of industries.
"I spent a lot of time making sure that the template we created applied to any idea," Spiro said. "That came from my studies and a lot of other business-plan techniques."
Spiro has plans to improve the app, which launched last Friday (May 10), including adding the ability to allow users to eventually collaborate and share their ideas with others who they choose to consult with. Elevatr was developed by app developer Fueled.