I think it is safe to say that we all know what to expect when we signed up for this course. I knew the module Design Thinking for Start-ups was expected to be tough and challenging. The module conceptually is expected to expose the learners to identify how creativity and innovation can be combined to help create new processes, new products and new business. I have been instructed several times that we, as individuals and groups, can have an ability to think differently and may find ourselves generating novel ideas, but without a clear commercial outcome.
In Design thinking for Start-ups, we, as team that grouped voluntarily from the very first semester, would have to develop a product/service that we will develop it step by step, day by day, week by week, month by month in a “life lab” under the guidance of our module leader.
We, as a group, went to Kingston town centre to search and scan the external environment in order to filter and evaluate potential opportunities/business idea. A major challenge for us at the time was that we were pretty much unfamiliar to pick up relevant trigger signals that may potentially could be transformed into a business idea. Additionally, I think it was fair to conclude that we did not have enough time to enhance our creative cognitive capacity to recognise serendipity to translate ideas into new processes, products, services, or businesses, given how much of knowledge we have gained and how much practices we have done so far.
Stage 1: As we all have different schedules outside university, we agreed to shoot our ideas in a group chat. 3 weeks passed and we came up with 2 business ideas: a silicon-made pad to help ease the shoulder pain resulted from wearing heavy shoulder bags and a smart tray that is foldable and reusable for those who cannot secure a table/place to eat after purchasing their meal during busy hours at a food place.
Stage 2: We had an opportunity to present our business ideas we had in mind alongside with its challenges during the class. Janja advised us to go ahead with the idea of our smart tray and encourage us dig deeper our potential customers and how we should vision the product on the market. We had our phase 1 Prototype of the smart tray at this time thanks to the talented Sarah. We named it Easy-out.
(Sarah is in her process of making our very first prototype)
Here is our finished phase 1 Prototype:
A closer look:
Stage 3: We officially introduced our story of Easy-out and phase 1 prototype to the class and an external member named Sanif Momin who is excellent finishing the module “Design thinking for Start-ups” in the previous year and have triumphed several entrepreneurship competitions with his team. The feedback for us after our presentation primarily focused on our fidgeted presentation performance; certain phrases that we should make change to avoid ambiguity.
Stage 4: The most important and anxious day has arrived – Dragons’ Den-style pitching day! Our judges included Fazl Hasnain FCA – Chairman of the Governing Board of the Tiffin Girl’s School, Amanda Baker – Project Manager, HackCentre at Kingston University, and Dwain Reid – Entrepreneurship Project Officer at Kingston University. Prior to the date, our group practiced and practiced and practiced until we knew everyone’s bit by heart. After pitching our business idea, we felt glad that it was approved! Judges Amanda shed some light on a new customer segmentation that we did not think of!
Look at us pitching our idea!
Here is a YouTube video of some techniques you may want to employ to proactively produce your Aha experiences: The Science Behind Eureka Moments – The Art of Improvement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVdnt1wQSOg