Entrepreneurship & Business Development

What is business development and MVP and what does this have to do with horses? In episode six of How to Entrepreneur, Reno Yeh and Anders Grytnes are interviewing Mona Skisland. She is the CEO and founder of EquiConnector, a company that makes horses and riding accessible for everyone. Tune in to get some tips and tricks about entrepreneurship and business development!

Mona Skisland, CEO av EquiConnector

CEO and Founder of EquiConnector, Mona Skisland

EquiConnector is a platform where you can book riding lessons and horses. They want to lower the threshold for riding by making it easy and accessible. 

– Airbnb for horses is what we say to make people understand our business quickly, says Mona Skisland. 

Just like Airbnb, they don’t own any horses, they are the middleman that makes horses available through their platform. 

Skisland is passionate about horses and has been riding since she was six years old. Already when she was a kid, she knew that she wanted to make a horse related business. She saw a gap in the market, and wanted to do something about it. 

– Ever since I was a kid, I saw that there was a lot that could be done differently in the equine industry. It’s very traditional, and when it comes to digitalisation and marketing, the industry is far behind, she explains. 

She developed the idea from a gap in the market to EquiConnector. 

EquiConnector logo

EquiConnector is a platform for booking horses

Business development

How to turn an idea into a company, and how you further can grow your business  is about business development. 

– Business development is finding strategic opportunities to develop your business, says the CEO. 

For EquiConnector, partnership is an important part of the business development. The partners have horses that EquiConnector can use on their platform so customers can book the horses. 

– We have a business model that is based on partnership with equestrian centers, so partnership is one of the most important parts of our business development, she explains. 

Skisland does mentoring in the equine industry, and uses her experience to help other startups in the field. Business development is an important part where they go from idea to startup. She explains that she helps other entrepreneurs by mapping out the market and looking into how they can turn the idea into a business. 

– You have to find the gaps in the market. So we look at how we can use our resources and find resources to fill in the gaps.


MVP - minimum viable product

When Skisland is helping other entrepreneurs, they identify what the idea needs in order to make it into a business. Testing is also a part of the business development, and minimum viable product is something Skisland values in the process. 

– There are a lot of people who spend way too much resources on something before they actually test it, and when it comes to the market, it’s not exactly what the market wanted, she says. 

She explains the importance of MVP by an example of a farm who wants to sell riding lessons. The farm builds a cafe, buys lots of animals and other equipment. 

– Without testing the idea first, you may use the resources in the wrong place, she argues. 

She says that the MVP in this example could be renting a pony from a local equestrian center and having catering instead of building a cafe. By doing this instead of using too many resources, you get a chance to test the market, and look at what is working and what is not. 

If you want to learn more about entrepreneurship and business development  make sure to listen to episode six of How to Entrepreneur!