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Developing Entrepreneurial Insights with Pimento Maps

By Cedric Donck, SEE Alumnus

Pimento Map (www.pimentomap.com) is a free methodology that enables users to analyze and validate business models. Based on a series of 18 questions, it allows entrepreneurs, coaches, or investors to evaluate the true interest of pursuing a business idea. By means of a specific algorithm, the method generates a personalized, 18-page report with a significant amount of insight and advice on how the business model can be improved.



Pimento Map also provides professors that teach entrepreneurship courses with teaching notes that enable them to present this methodology as part of a university curriculum.​ These notes can be requested by email at cedric@pimentomap.com. You will receive a slide show and all the information needed to teach this method.In our experience, Pimento Map also is a highly useful tool for entrepreneurship teachers. For example, it is an ideal complement to courses in Business Model Canvas. After summarizing the entrepreneurial concept with the Business Model Canvas, Pimento Map assists the project developers in determining whether they should pursue the idea or change their orientation. It highlights the business model’s strong and weak points, analyzes market timing and emphasizes the short-, mid- and long-term opportunities. Moreover, as a breakout or homework exercise, it only takes a few minutes for students to complete.

The Pimento Map methodology is articulated around four angles of analysis: market, sector, financial aspects, and team. For each of these elements, there are three questions to which the project manager or the professor responds by attributing a color—green, yellow, orange, or red—according to the level of strength or weakness of the aspect in question. The method uses extremely clear and easily filled-in graphics, and the results produce a map that provides a visual overview of your business model as well as an overall score that allows you to obtain a first impression of whether you should go ahead with your idea.

In an academic context, it also is interesting to use the Pimento Map to take snapshots of the idea as it evolves, for example once a month. These snapshots will allow students and professors to follow the various changes that will have been made in the idea throughout its growth process. This will produce a sort of log of the entrepreneurial development. Pimento Map already is being used by dozens of professors all around the world to discuss and provide feedback on projects proposed by students and entrepreneurs. It also can prove to be a highly useful tool to assist juries in reaching an objective and harmonious consensus when attributing awards to business plans during competitions.

To learn more about the methodology, you might check out the e-book available through Amazon.com. The book is currently available in French and in English, with a Spanish edition to be published in the near future.

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Cedric Donck

Cedric Donck is an experienced entrepreneur who, during the last 20 years, has launched various startups in the Internet and communication industry. He is a member of Solvay Business School where he teaches entrepreneurship.

He is the author of the book Pimento Map, published in 2013, which presents a model that enables entrepreneurs to assess their business model’s chance of success.