More and more entrepreneurs are breaking into industries that historically lack tech innovation, such as education, the built environment, supply chain, and healthcare. I call these the "not-so-sexy" industries -- the result of rejecting the motion to modernize outdated business models.

If you aspire to launch a tech startup in one of these industries, it is essential to tackle the underlying issues head-on and push for "out-of-the-box" solutions that speak to market needs.

Here are four ways you can develop your technology startup use case in these large industries and set the tone for enhancement:

1. Present a standout proof of concept.

Business concepts can be attractive as long as they are realistic, viable, and have the potential to pick up steam, which is the epitome of a powerful proof of concept. As a startup founder, you must first identify that a problem exists in the industry and needs to be fixed.

Next, do your research on current industry behavior and create your theory off of hard facts. This allows you to backup your product's sustainability and prove that your solution meets consumer needs.

2. Clarify your use case.

Have you ever pitched to a large enterprise in an unsexy market? It can undoubtedly be challenging, but it doesn't have to be.

When you have your audience's attention, avoid confusing them by presenting a clear use case on how the proposed system can be implemented in a pilot program. Once you have successfully developed a strong pilot, you can then reuse the formula for future business models, solutions, and ideal use cases.

3. Keep industry insiders on your team.

Following a solid proof of concept and completed pilot, the next step is to scale your business. In order to accomplish this, strategically place "industry insiders" in the fold to join your board of advisors, and sales, marketing, and product development teams.

These experts can show you how to perform well in an environment with greater demands and eliminate obstacles that can generate increased costs. They can also speak the right language to your enterprise counterparts, boost sales, and shorten the typically long sales cycle.

4. Create a clear product map.

A common mistake that Silicon Valley founders make when addressing un-sexy industry issues is introducing an innovative product while ignoring the current constraints that product users are experiencing.

Focus on what's relevant by pairing your ambitious solution with a roadmap that outlines how the product will solve an existing problem and ultimately grow customer loyalty. This makes it more attractive in an un-sexy market because the end goal resonates with the enterprise and describes your vision for the future.

When developing your next use case, I encourage you to incorporate these four steps into your process. You will be more confident about the delivery of your product and prepared to present a pitch that leaves a positive impression on the enterprise.

Published on: Sep 13, 2017