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- The Art and Science of a Go-To-Market Strategy
In the start-up world, where numerous innovative ideas and technologies emerge, one key factor often determines a company's fate: the presence of a well-defined go-to-market strategy. By navigating commercialization complexities and effectively reaching target markets, start-ups can transform ideas into marketable products. Establishing a robust go-to-market strategy early on becomes the catalyst that pushes these ventures forward, ensuring they make a lasting impact on the world. But what is a go-to-market strategy? To put it simply, it’s a plan that outlines how a company will introduce and sell its products to the target market. It encompasses various elements such as market analysis, customer segmentation, clear value proposition, and defining a business model and sales strategy to generate revenue. However, having been through this multiple times, I understand that the initial stages of the exercise can often feel daunting. To manage the strategy effectively, breaking it down into defined sections is the key to success. From data to wisdom The first stage of a GTM strategy involves building a comprehensive picture of the market in which a business operates. This understanding lays the foundation for making informed decisions throughout the process. The objective is to gather relevant data and insights about the target market including its size, challenges, opportunities, growth trends, key players, competitors, and customer pain points. There are multiple ways to approach this task. However, in my experience, one of the most effective – though less well-known – is by combining research with expert calls. Research is what bricks are to a wall: it provides the foundational key pieces of information about the target market. However, research alone often lacks the context and nuances that exist in the market and therefore needs to be complemented with Expert Calls. Expert Calls are like the cement and paint on a wall. They allow you to engage directly with potential customers, industry experts, and key stakeholders offering invaluable perspectives not easily accessible through research. This allows start-ups to tap not only into the knowledge but also into the experience that these experts have formed over the years. It also enables them to validate assumptions and identify gaps and opportunities that might otherwise not have been evident. The business of success Once a start-up has built a comprehensive market picture, the next crucial step is identifying viable business cases and revenue streams. So how to know which opportunities are the most promising for generating revenue? Business cases can be simply defined as viable reasons for a business to exist. Start-ups must identify business cases early on by assessing the market appetite, needs, pain points, and customer demands, uncovered during the research phase. By aligning their product or service offerings with identified needs, and demonstrating a unique value proposition that sets them apart from competitors, start-ups can create compelling business cases addressing specific market gaps. Now, let's delve into revenue streams that can be interpreted as getting the most out of your business cases. Once a business case has been developed, it's essential to identify and diversify the revenue streams that will sustain financial growth. Start-ups should carefully analyze which revenue streams align with their business model, target market, and value proposition. By diversifying revenue streams and ensuring a steady flow of income, start-ups can reduce the risk of relying too heavily on a single revenue stream and enhance their financial stability. In summary, identifying robust business cases and revenue streams bridges the gap between an idea and an economically viable business venture. Adapt to thrive In a startup environment, agility is paramount, and a go-to-market strategy is no exception. We've discussed the importance of building a comprehensive market picture, identifying viable business cases, and establishing revenue streams, but the process doesn't end there. Instead, it evolves through continuous iteration and refinement. It’s essential to remain adaptable, leveraging feedback from early adopters, monitoring market trends, and incorporating valuable lessons learned along the way. Whatever you do, maintain an open mind with the ever-evolving needs of your target market. At Liquid Sun, we have developed a technology that transforms CO2 and water into e-fuels and chemicals using electricity. The sustainable fuels market, being in its infancy, has made the exercise of formulating a GTM strategy increasingly challenging. The limited availability of data and insights has created significant hurdles, requiring us to expand our efforts beyond conventional sources. As we move forward, motivated by our dedication to innovation and sustainability, we will continue to refine our GTM strategy, with the goal of making a lasting impact on a greener future. Arthur Romanet, Head of Business Development
- From Nanoscale to Net-Zero – the potential of nanotechnology to achieve net-zero emissions
Authors: Dr Said Said (Senior Scientist) Editors: Prof Mika Valden (Chairman of the Board), Panu Nordlund (CBO) and Sini Levisalo The urgent need to address the devastating impacts of climate change has been a catalyst for emerging technologies that could pave our way to a more sustainable future. Nanotechnology in particular holds the potential to enable innovations that bring us closer to achieving the ultimate goal, net-zero emissions. But what is nanotechnology? “Nanotechnology is the understanding and control of matter at nanoscale where unique phenomena enable novel applications. Nanomaterials can exhibit unusual physical, chemical and biological properties at the nanoscale, differing from the properties of bulk materials, single atoms and molecules” as put by the late Nobel Prize Physicist, Richard Feynman. Nanoscale is measured with nanometers, where one nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. For example, the width of a human hair equals approximately 80 000 nanometers. Nanomaterials often possess quantum confinement effects and high surface area that govern unique and enhanced physicochemical and electrochemical properties, such as distinct colours, semiconductors, magnetic, and catalytic properties. The small nature of nanoparticles in turn also means we’re able to exploit less materials and operate technologies at lower cost. Shaping Our Present and Future To this date, nanotechnology has observed 50 years of research and application with continuous expansion in almost every field of science. We have already observed impactful commercial applications of new nanotechnologies. Most recently, the biomedical field combated the spread of Covid-19 by using lateral flow tests based on antibody-modified gold nanoparticles with close to 3 billion tests delivered worldwide. In addition, more than 12.7 billion vaccine doses that are based on lipid nanoparticle technology were administered across 187 countries. In the context of renewable energies, nanotechnology has already led to significant progress in various areas. For example, improving solar energy through photovoltaic cells, enhancing energy storage with nanoporous zeolites, and nanocatalysts for hydrogen production. Each of these applications utilizing one or more nano-architectures. Catalyst for Change At the forefront of these technologies, replacing fossil fuels with green fuels is critical given the vast energy infrastructure dependency. Distinct from biofuels, which are produced from biomass, green fuels are synthesized from a combination of electrochemically driven reactions, namely, carbon dioxide reduction – at a cathode – and water oxidation – at an anode – to produce carbon-neutral hydrocarbons such as carbon monoxide or so called ‘e-fuels’. The best part is, the only byproduct of this process is oxygen. Adopting such carbon dioxide based electrochemical refinery technologies is critical to not only recycling carbon dioxide but also assisting in reducing and even potentially reversing emissions. The efficient generation of carbon monoxide has recently entered the market at a commercially competitive level with state-of-the-art performances - and efforts to ramp up to a gigaton scale in the near future. Carbon monoxide, which, for example, serves as an industrially valuable feedstock in syngas used to make liquid fuels via existing processes such as Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Targeting more carbon dense products such as ethylene and ethanol on a similar level is set to become the next revolutionary phase in e-fuel and e-chemical technologies. Hence, current research is heavily focused on nanocatalyst development to further enhance properties such as activity, selectivity of products, and as well as prolonging the overall stability of components used. In addition, the design and manufacturing of electrolyzers that host these crucial processes can also be developed to maximize overall efficiency whilst lowering cost. In turn, such emerging technologies are to be integrated with carbon capture plants and powered through existing renewable energy generation by solar cells and wind turbines amongst others as a form of electrical energy transformation processes, collectively termed as Power-to-X (P2X). There are also underlying challenges regarding nanotechnology. Understanding the nanoscale processes involved in energy applications can be complex, but the end result often brings us closer to new and improved systems. In addition, it is also critical to exploit the safety, life-cycle assessments and techno-economic and potential environmental factors before taking full advantage of the endless solutions nanotechnology is making possible and more importantly, could provide us in the future. Dr Said Said (Senior Scientist), Liquid Sun Ltd. References Y. Pei and F. Jin, A Brief review of electrocatalytic reduction of CO2-Materials, reaction conditions, and devices., Energy Sci Eng., 2021, 9, 1012-1032. L. Pokrajac et al., Nanotechnology for a sustainable future: Addressing global challenges with the International Network4Sustainable Nanotechnology, ACS Nano, 2021, 15, 18608-18623. A. K. Hussein, Applications of nanotechnology in renewable energies- A comprehensive overview and understanding, Renew. Sust. Energ. Rev., 2015, 42, 460-476. T. Randall et al, (2022) More Than 12.7 Billion Shots Given: Covid-19 Tracker. Bloomberg. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/covid-vaccine-tracker-global-distribution/ Nanotechnology Market Size And Forecast. (2023) Verified Market Research. (https://www.verifiedmarketresearch.com/product/nanotechnology-market/#:~:text=Nanotechnology%20Market%20Size%20And%20Forecast,14.5%25%20from%202023%20to%202030 )
- The story goes above the tech - why a brand story is so vital to start-up businesses.
In the fast-paced and ever-changing world of start-ups, standing out from the crowd and capturing the interest of customers, investors, and partners is mandatory for success. Business data and innovative tech are fundamental, but it is the unique story that can elevate the company's value to new heights. Especially in the case of start-ups without historical performance data, other elements become crucial. Business decision-makers want to connect with shareable values, enthusiasm, and inspiration. For us, it’s important to connect with our audience on an emotional level even if the commercialization is still in the early phases – we believe that by spreading our story, values and the problems we are determined to solve, we can collaborate with our partners and other stakeholders on a deeper level and create undeniable value. Building Emotional Connections In an era where markets and digital media are inundated with endless business opportunities and marketing noise, it has become increasingly challenging for any start-up to capture and maintain attention. By sharing authentic and genuine stories, start-ups can build trust and foster long-term relationships with their audience. In our case, the company's background lies in our founder's childhood fascination with nature's own mechanisms for growth, development, and self-repair. This inspired the search for explanations through science and physics. Through research, experimentation, and collaboration with experts in various fields, we were able to translate the knowledge learned from nature into technical applications. With this approach and mindset, we aim to solve problems that are bigger than any start-up or funding round. At the core of the company's long-term vision is to harness the sun's immense power as a sustainable source of energy: It fuels life on Earth but also has the potential to address the pressing challenges of environmental sustainability. In addition, the commitment to being carbon-negative powers us to create solutions that not only avoid adding carbon to the atmosphere but actively remove it. By incorporating carbon capture and utilization technologies, we aim to contribute to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and create a more sustainable future. Differentiating the Brand It is very clear that for start-ups seeking funding or strategic partnerships, storytelling plays a vital role in earning the attention and support of investors and potential collaborators. They are interested in more than just financial projections; they want to believe in the vision and potential of a start-up. And the team behind it. Looking ahead, Liquid Sun brand's future goals remain firmly rooted in our origins. Our story and business idea are one and the same, not a fabricated narrative born out of marketing fantasies. The brand's future goals are shaped by our commitment to nature and science. We as a team continuously seek to push boundaries and challenge the status quo. We want the story to be present in everything we do. The story is always told for people, which is why it needs to be evaluated and crafted by looking at the company from the outside to the inside. Not based on what we develop in our laboratory. Amplify yet clarify In general, brands are focusing too much on what to say when instead they should be talking and connecting with their audiences. A talkative person in the room is way more interesting than a quiet bystander. Although, there’s a but: A vision or a story should not be just empty words or a catchy punchline without substance. It should go beyond the surface and serve as a guiding principle that drives the company's actions and decisions. Simply put, we are driven by one vision. That is to be the best, safe and most easily accessible energy technology that eliminates the need for fossil fuels and balances the carbon cycle. In summary, our story is not just a narrative we tell; it is deeply ingrained in our approach to both technology development and commercialization. The story becomes the driving force behind our innovations, the foundation of our brand identity, and the key to connecting with our audience on a deeper level, ultimately creating value for the company, stakeholders and to our planet. Panu Nordlund, Chief Brand Officer, Liquid Sun Ltd
- Liquid Sun's CEO Samuel Thesleff on fossil-free future: Green energy made from water and thin air
A future fueled by fossil-free energy holds the key to building a better future for our planet. We’re committed to fighting against climate change by harnessing our innovative technology to replace fossil fuels with hydrocarbons created only from CO₂ and water. The consequences of climate change are being recognized worldwide, with rising temperatures, extreme weather conditions, sea-level rise and ecological disruptions amongst many others. Fossil fuels have been the backbone of our energy system for decades. However, their extraction, production and consumption contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, primarily carbon dioxide – a major driver of climate change. It poses a significant threat to the future of energy production and most importantly, to our globe. It’s time for a change By reducing our reliance on non-renewable resources, we can significantly mitigate the negative impacts. Harnessing technology to develop sustainable and renewable solutions holds immense potential in shaping a better future. Sustainable innovations help not only because they reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also decrease our critical reliance on fossil fuels, at the same time creating economic possibilities on a sustainable ground. We took on the challenge and began to create an alternative to fossil fuels that uses only renewable energy to turn carbon dioxide and water into clean fuels. Unlike conventional methods that solely focus on producing fuel, our technology goes a step further: it creates fossil-free hydrocarbons that can be utilized in the process of multiple synthetic products and chemicals. It re-engineers one the oldest energy sources in the world to create a pure source of liquid hydrocarbons ready for industrial applications. From an idea to a business plan It's been a long journey from an idea to execution, let alone forming a sustainable business model with financial potential. Behind every great project, there is a team of amazing individuals – and our team is no exception. We represent varied professional backgrounds but are driven with the same vision: a fossil-free future is something we all must commit ourselves to solving today and tomorrow. Committing to a fossil-free future is not just about mitigating climate change – it also opens new opportunities for sustainable economic growth. Going from a research project to a profitable business venture has its own difficulties and requires a lot of resources. At this point, we’re focused on bringing together all the elements needed to develop a scalable product. A good product is a start, but in addition it needs branding, strategy, core values, partnerships, and of course, clients. We have the expertise, passion, and unwavering belief in our technology to make it happen. We started our company just last year in November but are eagerly looking forward to sharing and celebrating our milestones along the way. As we continue to improve our technology, build partnerships, and create a prototype of a scalable solution, our commitment to innovation and sustainability motivates us to keep moving forward on this transformative journey. Creating a better future is not a matter of choice: we urgently need to take action to fight global warming and the first step from our point of view is the depletion of fossil fuels. Samuel Thesleff, CEO, Liquid Sun Ltd
- AFRY contributes to Liquid Sun’s technology development to enable the production of fossil-free fuel
AFRY had a pivotal role in assisting Liquid Sun to define the crucial steps towards the development of an operational hydrocarbon electrolyzer prototype. Through a collaborative partnership, AFRY provided support to Liquid Sun, setting the stage for the realisation of this ground-breaking technology to replace fossil fuels with synthetic hydrocarbons. Read the whole article here.
- Aamulehti, the local news media in Tampere, on solving the challenges of the hydrogen economy.
Aamulehti, the local news media from Tampere, wrote an article about our innovation and how to solve challenges within the hydrogen economy. The article introduces Professor and Chairman of the Board Mika Valden’s long-term scientific work within photonics and catalysis. Also, Dr. Pasi Keinänen (CINO) shares his views on the benefits of synthetic hydrocarbons in the transition to a fossil-free future. Both are co-founders of Liquid Sun Ltd. Read the whole article here: https://lnkd.in/d6A5XngP