The Problem Identification Series (Part 2): A How-To Guide on Finding Your Startup’s Problem (Featuring Our Portfolio Company OMNIO)

The Problem Identification Series (Part 2)

Stepped into the world of ‘The Problem Identification Series’ and found yourself pondering the essence of startup success? Great! In Part 1, we explored the critical terrain of identifying the right problem, reminding you WHY it’s the cornerstone of building a successful venture. We also shed light on the common pitfalls that entrepreneurs face on this quest, armed with insights and real-life lessons from Sia Hristova of Allatra (part of Ocean Investments). But that was just the opening act.

Now, in Part 2, we’re rolling up our sleeves even further. Ever wondered how to sift through the noise and find the problem that’s not just a problem, but your problem to solve? Well, wonder no more. We’re about to do a deep dive into the art and science of discovering those elusive issues that beg for innovative solutions. We’ll dig into everything from leveraging your insider knowledge to tapping into your deepest passions, all in the pursuit of uncovering the problems that resonate. This is where the real detective work begins, and it’s actually quite fun.

And, keeping the tradition alive, we’ll bring another tale from our portfolio to the forefront with Stoyan Lozanov of OMNIO, showcasing the transformative power of problem-solving done right. Ready? Let’s dive in.

Finding the Problem: A How-To Guide

Ok, you already know what mistakes to look out for (from Part 1), but how exactly can you find the right problem for your startup to solve? We know that navigating the brainstorming sea to anchor on a solid startup idea can seem like charting unknown territories. So, here’s a map to guide you through these waters.

1. The Insider’s Advantage: Start With What You Know

Begin in the sectors you’re intimately familiar with. This is about leveraging your direct experiences and the insights you’ve gained from past roles or personal challenges. Ask yourself: What inefficiencies have I come across? What process or product could have been better, and how? This internal audit is your first step toward uncovering a problem you’re uniquely positioned to solve.

2. Personal Pain Points: The Seeds of Innovation

Next, consider the issues you face in your daily life. What service or product do you find yourself wishing existed? This method ensures you’re solving a problem you understand deeply, which often translates to a broader market need.

3. Change as a Catalyst: Spotting Opportunities in Shifts

Look for changes in technology, society, or regulations that open up new possibilities or create new problems. These shifts can reveal gaps in the market that weren’t apparent before. Asking “What’s different today?” can lead you to innovative solutions that address emerging needs.

4. Passion Meets Market: Balancing Desire and Demand

Reflect on what you’re passionate about working on, even in the face of potential failure. While passion is crucial, temper it with a critical eye to ensure there’s a market demand. It’s about finding that sweet spot where your interests align with a genuine need.

5. Beyond the Surface: Crowdsourcing Deep Insights

Engage with a diverse range of people, from industry experts to everyday consumers, to gather problems they encounter. This approach helps surface needs that may not be immediately obvious but have the potential to drive significant innovation.

6. Reimagining Successes: Inspiration from Recent Wins

Consider the landscape of recent successful startups and think about how these models can be adapted or extended to new contexts or industries. This strategy requires a delicate balance to avoid falling into the trap of simply cloning ideas without addressing underlying problems.

7. The Fixer’s Mindset: Identifying Broken Systems

Finally, direct your attention to industries known for inefficiencies, customer dissatisfaction, or high costs. Such sectors are ripe for disruption. Your mission is to pinpoint where you can make the most impactful change, drawing on any relevant knowledge or expertise you have or can acquire.

Spotlight on Innovation: Stoyan Lozanov and OMNIO’s Compliance Revolution

Stoyan Lozanov, founder & CEO of OMNIO
Stoyan Lozanov, founder & CEO of OMNIO

Moving from the “how” to a live example from our portfolio, meet Stoyan Lozanov, the force behind OMNIO. His story hits right at home with what we’ve been talking about: using your own experiences and spotting big issues that need fixing.

OMNIO is tackling a big headache for financial institutions: slow and clunky client and transaction checks. These cumbersome processes are a thorn in the side of efforts to fight fraud, money laundering, and funding terrorism. Leveraging advanced machine learning, OMNIO introduces a revolutionary integrated Financial Crime Compliance CRM solution, streamlining these processes to offer not only faster but also significantly more accurate analyses. This innovative approach dramatically minimizes resource costs and virtually eliminates human errors, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of financial organizations in combating financial crimes.

Stoyan zeroed in on this problem, drawing on his firsthand experience with regulatory compliance software. He was aware that merely stitching together existing tools and practices in compliance falls short of addressing the critical challenges at hand. Recognizing the pressing need for effective software to combat financial crimes and fraud, Stoyan launched OMNIO—a platform designed not just to meet today’s standards but also to pave the way for future innovations. As you can see, this is a classic case of seeing a problem you’re uniquely ready to solve.

OMNIO’s commitment shines through its impressive advantages: reducing false positives by 75%, saving up to 70% of the time spent on compliance activities, speeding up customer service by 50%, and ensuring 100% regulatory compliance. In essence, OMNIO embodies the quintessential example of identifying and resolving a critical, industry-specific problem with a targeted, impactful solution.

One nugget of advice for entrepreneurs Stoyan shares is to dive deep into your industry and really get to know what your customers are struggling with. This is how you pinpoint a critical issue.

“Kick things off with an extensive market analysis, chat with experts, and listen to your customers. Don’t shy away from shifting gears based on what you hear. You’re on the path to success when you’re solving problems that genuinely make a difference in people’s lives or their work,” Stoyan concludes.

Chapter Close: Knowing How to Find the Right Problem is Your First Step Towards Startup Success!

And just like that, Part 2 is in the books. We walked through an actionable how-to guide on finding problems, and we saw problem-finding in action, thanks to Stoyan Lozanov and OMNIO. Yet, there’s more ground to cover.

In Part 3, we’re getting practical with frameworks for solving problems, how to figure out which challenges are worth your time, and a step-by-step guide for evaluating your startup ideas. And yes, there’s another real-life story on the way—this time from Marko Simeonov of AMATAS.

Stick around as we gear up to give you the tools and insights you need to tackle the startup world. Let’s keep the momentum going.

About the author

Snezhana Simeonova

In a digital universe far, far away, Snezhana stands as the Jedi Master of content marketing at Ocean Investments. Armed with the wit of Han Solo and the strategic mind of Princess Leia, she navigates the galaxy of digital content with a lightsaber of humor and a shield of authenticity. Snezhana is not just keeping up with the latest trends in security, health, estate, food, and education; she's in a TIE fighter chase with them, staying ahead and bringing the latest insights back to the Ocean Investments' starship. Her goal? To ensure that every founder feels like they've got the force of a Jedi council behind them, minus the long robes and cryptic advice. Because let's face it, in the world of startups, it's less about 'Do or do not' and more about 'Do and then do some more.'

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