The Hypothetical Entrepreneur – Research Tools of the Trade

From Adam Scouse:

As a current student, research represents a significant portion of my time as I fight to complete writing assignments.  As a student of Virginia Tech, I have the opportunity to use powerful research tools made available through the university library.  These tools, which consist mostly of database search engines, allow for material-specific searches through books, images, e-journals, and scholarly articles.

Did my need for research change as a result of being a hypothetical entrepreneur?  It certainly did not.  Information about competitors and markets is essential to finding a niche where I can compete and succeed as a business. 

Adam Scouse using competitive intelligence software AttaainCI Through my current internship at Handshake 2.0, I was offered an opportunity to use a unique web-based software program which offered a new approach to market research, AttaainCI.

AttaainCI’s power as a research tool came from its simplicity and its ability to track user-specified topics.  What made researching even easier was AttaainCI’s capacity to categorize searches by topic, companies, people, and markets.  The company and people specific searches act much like a regular search engine would.  The market search, however, offered a combination of articles, news announcements, and even blog posts which made for a useful conglomerate of information sources.

Through using AttaainCI, I found The Appalachian Ginseng Foundation, news stories about ginseng as an an anti-cancer agent, and blogs mentioning topics related to the Appalachian region. 

Not only did AttaainCI allow me to research markets, but I was also able to find information about partners and competitors.  With the available people search, I was able to locate local Non-Timber Forest Product professors like Dr. Tom Hammett and Dr. Jim Chamberlain where I could follow recently published peer-reviewed articles related to ginseng. 

Long story short, AttaainCI offered research power much more extensive than your typical Google search.  With the possibility to find and track recent changes in markets, competitors, and partners, small business owners who typically conduct their own research piece by piece have the opportunity to use a tool that compiles market information.  Happy hunting!

You can follow the full series of posts by Adam Scouse for Handshake 2.0 at The Hypothetical Entrepreneur.

Adam Scouse is an intern for Handshake 2.0, a member company of business acceleration centerVT KnowledgeWorks, located in the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, a technology park, a research park, and a science park on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Virginia.  The research park provides high-technology companies access to university faculty, university facilities, university equipment, and business-related support services.  The Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center fosters commercialization and technology transfer of university research for both high-tech start-up companies and established technology businesses.

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