Do You Know the 5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid!

Discover How to Make Confident Asks with Eric Smith, Executive Director of the UA Center for Innovation

Eric Smith has over ten years of experience in Technology Commercialization and a passion for entrepreneurship. Eric came to the University of Arizona Center for Innovation after serving as the Commercialization Network Manager for Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the University of Arizona's office responsible for moving UA research and technological innovation into the marketplace. 

While Eric was at TLA, he focused on building and leveraging a network of domain experts and business leaders who consult on university technologies to help reveal their commercial relevance. He also managed the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps grant program, or NSF-I-Corps, which teaches inventing teams about Lean Startup methodology and customer discovery. 

An entrepreneur in his own right, Eric started, developed, and sold his first company to embark on a career in various technology startups. He holds a BS, BA in Business Management, B.S. in Entrepreneurship, and an MBA from the University of Arizona.

       

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • Eric Smith plays the speed round with Stephanie Sims 
  • The best ask Eric’s ever heard 
  • Should your ask be more specific or general? 
  • Preparing for your ask: how to carry out a better customer discovery 
  • How the Tucson startup ecosystem is supporting new entrepreneurs
  • Why you need to get comfortable asking
  • Common mistakes entrepreneurs make when preparing a pitch 
  • Eric talks about the value of doing your research before an ask 
  • How the UA Center for Innovation is serving scalable science and technology companies 

In this episode…

First-time founders are always eager to pitch even before figuring out who their customers are and what they want. According to Eric Smith, Executive Director at the UA Center for Innovation, these founders often have one thing in common: they fail to carry out useful customer discovery. The result is an ask that does not inspire confidence in the customer or a potential investor. 

How, then, do you carry out useful customer discovery? Eric says ultimately, you need to have a clear understanding of what exactly you're asking for and why you're asking for it. Armed with that information, you should ask your prospects questions that’ll help you discover their pain points and identify who's giving you the money.

Learn more about making confident asks in this episode of the What's Your Ask show with Stephanie Sims as she hosts Eric Smith, Executive Director of the UA Center for Innovation. Stephanie and Eric discuss what to do before you ask, how to conduct better customer discovery, common mistakes made when preparing a pitch, and more.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode...

Finance-Ability is a boutique consulting firm dedicated to helping business owners and startups find their best options for growth funding. Founded by financial strategist and transaction expert Stephanie Sims, Finance-Ability can help any business owner identify the right funding partners and get through fundraising as painlessly as possible.

Visit their website to take their online assessment test to help you find out which kind of funding is the best fit for your business right now. They also have a ton of resources to help you understand business processes and financial decision-making that can help you start and build your own empire so be sure to check them out.

Stephanie has over 20 years of experience having worked with companies like Goldman Sachs and CSFB. If there’s anyone with their heart in the right place when it comes to championing the dreams of small business owners and startup companies, Stephanie is that person. Let Finance-Ability help you get the funding you need and deserve to get your dreams soaring high towards your own brand of success.

Close

50% Complete

Give me more What's Your Ask?

Sign up here to ensure that you get a heads up in your inbox each time a new episode of the podcast is published!