This technical note presents the concept of “pretotyping”, that is to say, a way to test an idea quickly and inexpensively to help validate the real potential of it. Throughout the text, the entrepreneur will be able to realize that by making one/several pretotype(s), it is possible to avoid spending time and money unnecessarily and to prevent the risk of failure. In fact, pretotyping makes it possible to gather concrete data to help the entrepreneur to develop the right product / service, to the right people and in the right way. Over the pretotypes, the entrepreneur is thus led to find his Product Market Fit and to find concrete hypotheses to face the investors and other project stakeholders.
In this note, we will first talk about the concept of pretotyping, namely its definition, the reasons for integrating it into the entrepreneurial process, the data it collects, the best practices for setting it up and mistakes to avoid.
Answers will then be given to questions raised by young entrepreneurs having experienced pretotyping. These will allow new entrepreneurs to prepare this step for their own project. We will discuss questions such as “Is the pretotype suitable for any type of project?”, “How long does it take to test the idea?”, « Must we say that it is a test?”, “What are the possible risks of pretotyping?” …
Finally, a section containing examples of pretotypes made by young entrepreneurs and their results will help readers to illustrate the various points discussed and assimilate them with their own project.
A final point will be presented with various biblio / webographic references and contacts of start-up coaches in the area of pretotyping to allow readers to know more.
Perrine MERCENIER student at HEC Entrepreneurs 2017-2018