Last week, entrepreneurs (or those wanting to become one) received at least two new tools to refine their ideas. Both Hackfwd, a European level pre-seed investment company and Plan2Biz, an Icelandic company, came out with simple web tools to help people define their ideas and take a step closer to starting a business.

Let’s look at Hackfwd’s tool first. They call it phase2generator.com. The tool can be used in two different ways – either to store ideas or submit them to Hackfwd for approval. Hackfwd helps entrepreneurs with a determined set of resources, including mentors and money, to take their ideas to the next level. Thus this works as a great way for them to build deal flow as well. For those wanting to become entrepreneurs (and why not for those who already are), it’s a great way to store your ideas and make sure you’ve answered each important bit regarding things such as business model framework, distribution, marketing, pricing and so on.

Before you get to work and enter your details for your tool, you’re asked to do a simple pattern matching test. The test tries to build a basic picture of you for Hackfwd so that they’re able to compare applicants between themselves.

Plan2Biz adds a social reach to all this. It helps you work on your business plan in a collaborative manner. You can invite your partners to be to work on different parts of the plan while you work on other parts. Plan2Biz doesn’t share a larger picture why they’ve built such a service other than their mission:

To become the no. 1 choice of online business plan solutions for students, business plan competitors and start-up entrepreneurs by creating a user-friendly, all-in-one, free online business planner.

While there might not seem to be any business in doing that – investors are willing to co-operate with organisations who are able to build a base for something such as Plan2Biz. You could look at it as the Twitter fire hose of potential startups. Plan2Biz also works in co-operation with Innovit, a local center for entrepreneurship.

These tools might not guarantee you success, but they’ll certainly help you validate your idea a lot better before going full steam ahead with it. There are people, such as me, who don’t value business plans a lot. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look at the problem/solution -issue from another more agile and actionable perspective. Both of these services aim to push you towards actionable todo-items, which you can later use as you go about building the basis of your startup.

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