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DiHubMT Consultation on “Test Before Invest”

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DiHubMT, the Malta European Digital Innovation Hub, recently held a successful consultation session focusing on the functionalities required for Maltese industries to leverage a Test Before Invest approach within areas of Internet of Things (IoT), 3D Printing, 3D Rendering, Animation, and Design. The session, held on February 28th, 2024, at the Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA), prioritized engagement with a diverse range of stakeholders, including representatives from local ecosystem, including private entities, public sector, and NGOs.

 

DiHubMT’s upcoming Test Before Invest scheme, run by DiHubMT, lets startups and SMEs experiment with cutting-edge technology, such as 3D printing and IoT, and test their ideas before taking the leap and embarking on significant investment. This program provides access to equipment, experts, and training to help entrepreneurs build prototypes and test their ideas, minimizing risk and enabling smarter investment decisions.

Engaging Discussions and Key Findings

 

The consultation employed an initial survey to gauge participants understanding of Test Before Invest methodologies. This revealed a well informed and knowledgeable group, with 58% of participants displaying an intermediate understanding, and 8% showcasing an advanced grasp of the concept. Following the initial assessment, the session delved into participant experiences with Test Before Invest within their specified domains, in which participants identified challenges and explored the significant benefits associated with adopting this strategy. 

 

The context of the Test Before Invest scheme was presented by DiHubMT team, who outlined the functionalities offered across various areas, including access to cutting-edge technology for startups, SMEs, and scale-ups. This innovative approach being proposed empowers entrepreneurs to create minimum viable products and test out their concepts prior to market launch or implementation.

Industry Feedback Shapes the Future

 

The interactive consultation encouraged participants to share their thoughts, experience, and relevant sector expertise in relation to Test Before Invest methodologies and its application. Key concerns highlighted by participants were financial constraints as the primary challenge (54%), followed by technical hurdles (15%), lack of stakeholder buy-in (15%), and other secondary concerns.

 

Respondents overwhelmingly recognized the value of Test Before Invest, with 39% acknowledging improved decision-making and 26% attributing the methodology essential to creating a minimum viable product in the technology sphere. Additionally, 17% underscored the benefits to product/service quality enhancement, and 13% highlighted cost savings advantages.

 

Feedback forms captured valuable insights, with key requests including:

 

  • Access to domain-specific experts that can support entrepreneurs launch their MVP
  • A “startup clinic” concept for early-stage ventures
  • A dedicated usability testing and prototyping facility
  • Integration of robotics, automation, and CNC technology
  • Training programs for startups in business operations
  • Regularly updated resources aligned with the semiconductor industry
  • Creation of a light-controlled environment for rigorous testing
  • Startup profiling for targeted support
  • Realistic and comprehensive business evaluation mechanisms
  • In-house dispute resolution frameworks
  • Founders well-being space within the hub

 

The consultation emphasized the importance of fostering a “fail-forward” environment where entrepreneurs can learn and grow through their experiences. Notably, additional to DiHubMT’s efforts, participants suggested integrating Test Before Invest methodologies into academia across all ages to cultivate an innovation-centric mindset from an early stage.

 

To conclude the event, a collaborative SWOT analysis was developed by participants to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats presented by the upcoming Test Before Invest scheme. An opportunity to minimise risks, democratising access to technology, presenting entrepreneurs with a diverse talent pool, fostering collaboration, an accessible dedicated testing environment, and offering a reality check to entrepreneurs were highlighted as the key strengths.

Meanwhile, participants identified the weak investor appetite and venture capital ecosystem found in Malta, the difficulty to keep up with emerging technology, and lack of entrepreneur commitment as significant threats.

 

Looking forward, DiHubMT’s Test Before Invest has the opportunity to bridge the gap between innovators and investors, encouraging strategic collaborations amongst entrepreneurs, fostering synergies, weeding out silos, and propelling Malta’s value added to the international market. Achieving these ambitions will require the embodiment of an abundance mindset in which collaboration and competition is natured rather than feared, one which supports entrepreneurs of all sizes, and turns local threats into opportunities to set DiHubMT apart.

 

This valuable information will guide the development and deployment of DiHubMT’s Test Before Invest services and outreach efforts across various industries. The insights gained from this consultation serve as a cornerstone for DiHubMT’s mission to foster a robust ecosystem of innovation and strategic investment in Malta and beyond.

About DiHubMT

 

DiHubMT, the Malta Digital Innovation Hub, is a one stop shop that provides access for businesses seeking to leverage digital technologies.  DiHubMT offers a comprehensive range of services and resources to support entities throughout their digital transformation journey.

 

DiHubMT is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.

 

Contact:

 

DiHubMT  – Mr. Bernard Montebello

 

Email: [email protected]

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