Develop ideas based on insights.

Whether you’re expanding a business, innovating your industry, or aspiring to be an entrepreneur, the Idea Factory powered by Startup Virginia helps you build solutions people want based on insights, not assumptions.

Idea Factory logo

Applications open August 1 – September 6, 2024

Fall session runs October 7 – November 18

Idea Factory

Creating a new business or product is an exciting journey, but having a great idea is not enough. Ideas must be based on insights, not assumptions, to ensure you build solutions people really want. At the Idea Factory, you’ll learn about customer discovery – the entrepreneur’s secret weapon. It’s the process of uncovering customers’ needs, wants, and pain points before building the product. It’s about getting out of your own head and into the minds of your potential customers.


Increase Your Chances of Success

Startups that actively engage in customer discovery are twice as likely to succeed as those that don’t.


Become a Better Communicator

Learn to ask the right questions, listen actively, and build customer relationships.


Develop Products Customers Love

Identify the problems your customers are struggling with and create solutions they want.


Gain a Competitive Edge

Understanding your customers is what sets you apart, giving you a significant advantage over competitors.

  • Anyone in Virginia with an innovative idea for a new or existing business
  • Considering building a new product, service, or way to scale your business?
  • Working on an innovative solution to a problem and considering starting a business?
  • Passionate about solving a particular problem and don’t know how to begin?

  • Attend six Monday evening sessions, 6-8 p.m. (two in-person in Richmond and four online)
    • Spring Cohort: March 4 – April 15
    • Fall Cohort: October 7 – November 18
  • 5 hours weekly of independent work
  • Interviewing and surveying strangers

  • Learn the customer discovery process
  • Identify your potential customers
  • Build a target customer database
  • Hone your interviewing and surveying skills
  • Gain customer insights and identify the best business ideas
  • Receive guidance for the next steps for your idea

Still have questions about the Idea Factory?

Get in touch with us and let’s get started.