Mines (A): Searching for the Right Nail

By Peter Reiss, Jeffrey Conn
2019 | Case No. E661 | Length 8 pgs.
This case examines the founding story of machine learning-enabled lending platform Mines and CEO Ekechi Nwokah. The case focuses on Nwokah’s exploration and initial analysis of the different potential verticals and geographies his team could target to solve business problems using its proprietary cloud-based data platform. Students will be confronted with numerous entrepreneurial issues including founder partnership, fundraising, initial industry analysis, vertical-agnostic vs. vertical specific go-to-market strategies, developing products and operations in emerging markets, and hiring engineering talent.

Learning Objective

Students will discuss the analysis and conviction required by Nwokah in his quest to find the most appealing end market for his team’s groundbreaking platform technology, examining what makes a good industry to enter, and how to judge/rank industries based on multiple industry attributes. They will also discuss Nwokah’s choices of geographic markets and operating models. Teaching goals include frameworks to analyze commercialization options for core technology, how to examine different potential industries and product development paths, and how to analyze the costs and benefits of different geographic markets and operating models.
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