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Life after inspiration – three tips to help you turn your good ideas into reality

Anna Pino

At Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre we see hundreds of people each year who have an idea for a business.

However, only a small portion of these ideas ever make it to the launch stage. Although,  statistics that often claim business operations as the reason for the high failure rate of small business, often it’s actually due to the individuals involved.

Business intenders can usually be divided into two groups: ‘idea lovers’ and ‘idea actioners’. Idea Lovers will often refer to themselves as ‘ideas people’ and they have great ideas for all sorts of things not just business ideas. However, when it comes to follow-through there’s always a better idea on the horizon and they just don’t seem to be able to focus on getting the one idea off the ground. Idea Actioners on the other hand, are great at implementing ideas, but often need a little guidance when it comes to evaluating which ideas are the ones worth pursuing.

No matter whether you’re an Idea Lover or an Idea Actioner, here are three tips to help you turn your good ideas into reality:

Determine whether the idea is worth pursuing

There are a number of useful books and articles written about evaluating business ideas, but if you’d like something a bit more interactive then the Bizlab online diagnostic tool is based on 40 multiple choice questions and provides you with a 20 page report on the strengths and weaknesses of your business idea. Visit for more information.

Identify capability gaps

Investors are generally wary of funding individuals working on their own, and for good reason. No one person has all the skills and knowledge needed to launch a high growth business. If you’re an Idea Lover then having an Idea Actioner as a co-founder will go a long way to ensuring your idea leaves the drawing board. Events like Start-Up Camp Canberra 2014 are a great opportunity to experience what it’s like to put together a team and launch a business. The great news is there are still a few places left at this year’s Start-Up Camp happening this weekend, from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 July. For more information visit

Ensure you have sufficient capital to get to the prototype stage

In Canberra we have a number of options beyond friends, family and equity in the home loan to get to the point where you can test your idea in the marketplace. The ACT Microcredit Program provides small no-interest and larger low-interest loans and mentoring programs to get your business idea off the ground or growing. The program is currently taking expressions of interest for the next funding round. There’s also the ACT Government’s Innovation Connect grant program as well as Capital Angels to consider.

If you’re not sure which option is right for you then come and see one of the case managers at Lighthouse. Our initial appointments are free of charge and that’s often all you need to point you in the right direction. Visit

Anna Pino

Anna Pino is the CEO of Lighthouse Business Innovation Centre. Lighthouse has a strong track record of supporting entrepreneurs, researchers and inventers on the path from concept to commercialisation. Since July 2008, Lighthouse has worked with over 990 distinct enterprises and provided group and peer based services to over 3400 enterprises and individuals. For over five years Lighthouse has successfully delivered business advice, education, mentorship and networking opportunities to help these businesses commercialise their ideas and grow their companies. Lighthouse also delivers programs for the ACT Government such as the ACT Microcredit Program as well as Canberra BusinessPoint (jointly with the Canberra Business Council). Visit for more information. More about the Author

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