In this blog, we will try to explain what technopreneurship means, its definition, examples, importance and how can you become a successful technopreneur. The term ‘technopreneurship’ is the amalgamation of the century’s most powerful two words – entrepreneurship and technology. A person who identifies a gap or opportunity in any market, industry or process, converts it into a service or product, conducts market research, estimates probable profits and earnings and creates a successful business is called an entrepreneur. The entire process of doing the same is known as entrepreneurship. By definition, technology means the hands-on and pragmatic application or use of scientific knowledge. However, in context, it usually refers to what is known as Information technology (IT) or Information and Communication Technology. As quoted by a British inventor and futurist, Sir Arthur C. Clark, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
A person who begins by brainstorming ideas that challenge the traditional systems and practices and comes up with a better, more creative and different way of doing things is a technopreneur. A technopreneur defies the present economic order by ideating a product or service that uses technological solutions to change the traditional way of doing something. Generally speaking, a technopreneur is a tech-savvy, creative, driven, innovative and dynamic person who thinks out of the box. The Collins dictionary defines a technopreneur as “entrepreneurs who begin and manage their own tech business.” Technopreneurs, continually and persistently, look for scope of improvement in the ways of working of people, companies, industries and countries as a whole.
Now that we understand what the components of the term ‘technopreneurship’ mean, let us move on to the term itself.
Technopreneurship: Meaning and Definition
Largely speaking, technopreneurship is entrepreneurship in the domain of technology. It is a jargon used for entrepreneurs that are dedicated innovators in the information technology discipline. To be intensive, it is not the product but the procedure of improving as well as recreating a way of doing something. It is the process of unifying the power of technology with entrepreneurial skills and capabilities. It generally begins with a customer experience and is worked backwards to arrive at the technological solution to be provided to the customers.
In 2007, Blanco defined it as the following:
“Technopreneurship comprises identifying modern technologies and even creation of technological opportunities by the presentation of commercial products and services.”
Examples of Technopreneurship
Here are a few examples that have left a mark on the world:
Uber Founders, Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick came up with a brilliant idea of being able to book a cab with just a few clicks from any location. The technopreneurs also used the potential technology to build a GPS integrated application that entirely changed the economics of the taxi industry.
Tesla, SpaceX and PayPal
Needless to say, all are owned by Elon Musk. With SpaceX, Musk dreamed of building an aerospace company that could reduce the cost of space transportation and help in the eventual colonization of Mars. Tesla is an electronic car manufacturing company that aims at making vehicles using renewable forms of energy. Elon Musk is also one of the many founders of an internationally renowned online payments fintech system PayPal.
Microsoft is also a good example of technopreneurship. Other examples include Apple by Steve Jobs, Google by Larry Page, Dell Technologies by Michael Dell, Twitter by Jack Dorsey and Instagram by Kevin Systrom. So many other websites for online education via on-demand streaming and student-teacher interaction are also great examples. Online job portals and e-commerce websites such as ebay.com are also some benchmarking technopreneurial ventures.
Technopreneurship and Entrepreneurship
Technopreneurship is a new (and promising) breed in the entrepreneurship sphere. This type of entrepreneurship is suitable for an innovative person with a heavy tech appetite who is passionate and ready to take calculated risks.
Technopreneurship and entrepreneurship, both can’t be solo shows. Just like entrepreneurship, technopreneurship also needs team effort to get to a higher level of success. It includes getting people who are passionate, innovative and tech-savvy on board.
How to become a successful technopreneur
The question that arises now is, how to become a successful technopreneur. To explore this unexplored territory, experimentation is key. It is all about coming up with groundbreaking ideas, using cutting edge technology to solve the identified problem and finally, taking risks to make a mark. Here are a few steps to become a technopreneur.
Identify and develop your idea
It is going to take hours, sometimes weeks or months, of brainstorming to find an industry gap and a better, alternative way to do a thing. But once you do, the best way is to keep asking yourself the questions. Ask yourself why is this way better than the traditional way? How would it help the end consumer? Why would they consider spending money on this? Would they actually spend any money on the new technology? Is it too complicated? Would it make the consumers’ lives easier?
Think from a consumer perspective, always. Imagine, if you were the end consumer, would you want to use what you are creating? Once you start having answers to these questions, your idea will be developing into a product/service/process.
Hire the right people
Remember: It is not a one-man show, it is simply team effort. Yes, you gave birth to the idea, but it is best to build a team of talented people you can rely on for different aspects of your technopreneurial venture. If you’re not that tech savvy, hire someone who is. If you don’t know the right way to reach your target customer group, hire a marketing expert. Find individuals that can support you who can help you turn your idea into reality.
Solve problems that arise on a daily basis
As a technopreneur, you’ll be facing new challenges every single day, especially in the beginning. You may have to figure out operational blockages, raising funding, budget obstacles and other problems. To deal with what’s thrown at you, problem-solving skills are imperative. The best way is to take it one-issue-at-a-time and fix all that is within your control. Keep in mind that if your Plan A fails, you might need to come up with a Plan B.
Pick the best strategy
When trying to come up with a better way of doing things, you might end up with more than one alternative. If you do so, conduct an in-depth research of estimates, pros and cons of all the alternatives. At the end, try choosing the most cost-effective, commercially viable and feasible option that would also cater to the needs of the customers in the best possible way.
The Importance of Technopreneurship
Creates more employment opportunities
Hundreds of thousands of individuals, despites being well-educated individuals do not get a job and hence, an opportunity to prove themselves. As technopreneurial startups and ventures grow, they tend to create a pool of career and growth opportunities as they need human resources in different areas of function. By hiring individuals, these ventures help the nation combat one of its big concerns, unemployment.
Contributes towards technological advancement
When technopreneurs come up with brilliant ideas that could improve the people’s quality of life, they contribute significantly towards the constructive development of technology.
Promotes entrepreneurial spirit
When the young generation gets a chance and hands-on experience to work with technopreneurial firms, they learn about how to start and run a company from scratch. This may ultimately inspire them to grow and start up their business firms of their own too.
As the two are closely related to technology, some forms of technopreneurship can be addictive. A great example would be smartphones, everybody owns one (sometimes, more than one). Yes, it does keep you connected with your loved ones but its excessive usage can be a health hazard. The same can be said about the social media technopreneurial ventures like Twitter, WhatsApp and Facebook.
Wrapping it up
Technopreneurship is a procedure to brainstorm human innovations with the help of technology. It is basically all about finding the scope of and making improvements with the help of technology for a company, country as well as the whole world. It is a type of entrepreneurship that brought substantial benefits in reducing the business cost. Because of technopreneurial ventures, it makes it easier for organizations to develop, distribute, process, store and access information at a cheaper cost.