So here we come to an end of our entrepreneurial journey. there are so many things I would love to share. My experiences in design thinking module overall were very nice, I got to learn so many new things which I wasn’t really expecting. Today, the module has taught me how to start a business from scratch. how to build your company from nothing to something was a big task and How to start the company from the bottom. This was a great experience I could achieve in Kingston University as I was a Masters student from innovation management and entrepreneurship I was really expecting something new something different. As I was absolutely naive about running a business this gave me a great opportunity and today we are professionals having our own company. Going through all the steps as a start-up company. faced all ups and downs, all the pressure of making profits and a successful company, testing your product again and again until you’re sure you can launch it in the market. Overall, I would say it was a rollercoaster ride where we experienced and learnt things. And we are surely going to remember this for our entire lives and who knows all of us would someday become great entrepreneurs in life because of this beautiful course. Thanking my parents for giving me an opportunity to go and study this course and very grateful for having Alice comi and Janja for teaching us.
I was new to London i didn’t know anyone here. I Had never studied abroad before this, and soon in mid-September, we had our first Induction week were we would be told about a particular module which we would be sharing with the MACE students and that is Managing in the creative economy. On the very first day, I was very nervous about how I would deal with everything in class. As I entered the class there were hardly 10 students. I was pretty shocked as I was expecting more students but as they were less it was easy to get along with the students in the class. We had Alice and Janja to give us a brief about how the module is going to be how we will be learning and opening the door of success. Learning design thinking as a creative approach to Start-up a business. By putting design thinking into action, and will undergo all the stages required to bring an innovative product or service to the market. It was a different and challenging and rewarding module. and this would be based on real-world experience and rather than simulation. We could be even getting an opportunity to take part in high-profile competitors for our young entrepreneurs. It was such a beautiful class, They explained to us everything in detail how it will look. they started with introducing us about themselves and then we introduced ourselves telling them about why we chose this subject and why Kingston University what is our goal after studying this course. it was a fun session as on the first day we just got introduced to each other. And also we were fewer students on the first day as it was day 3, we had 40 students in class. Later to give us an example of how the module would look they made us do a 2-day session on how to start your start-up. Each one of us got a number and then later we had to match the same number and make a team and know each other. Then we had to think of an issue from our country and share it with the teammates in your group. knowing who has the worst situation and finding a solution on it together by coming up with a Creative idea.
We came up with some ideas and discussed with each other and then we understood some ideas wouldn’t work and then we ended up on one more idea which everyone agreed to and then we started to work on it. we were supposed to design how the product would look and the who would be our competitors and what all materials you need and where would you go to bring and etc. and then after we decided everything we had to make a prototype of our product and we were given LEGO’S. As it just an example of how the module would look was done in the induction week.
Here comes the main day when we started with our classes we had 5 different modules we got to know about each module in detail in each class told by our professors. then it was Friday and I was waiting for the design thinking class as this was more of practical basis and other classes were more of theory. On the first day, Alice gave us another example of starting a business but choosing the correct choice by making your customers happy. we were given a booklet of 5 pages and make drawings and write down what gift to give your close partner. it was quite interesting in the starting as they were giving us examples to get prepared before we start with our main business. before we start preparing for our business idea Janja took us to a Design Museum to show how and when were the logos and some particular things been invented. It was really a fabulous experience to visit that museum and see so many things which we just heard on the news or saw it on our computers. Also, after every class on Friday our professor used to take us all to the bar so we could have some drinks and food and get to know each other more, it was really a nice idea for her to do this as the students who would be shy could get along with everyone. It kept going like this for a month until they kept telling us about the module by giving examples. And then after a month the main lectures started.
So here we are almost good friends with everyone in the class and now we were informed to form teams of 4 people being two students from MACE and two from IME. it was a little hard on me as I wasn’t so close to everyone so fast, it took me some time. Later, with a friend of mine, we chose 2 students from MACE and formed our teams. And together we decided our team name would be OMNI.
I formed my team as well and we were four members of the team namely :
1. Dishant sheth
2. Karansinh Chudasama
3. Kristen Womble
4. Jonas Kniel
After forming our team we were told to decide who is going to be the Managing director of the company and who is going to be in sales, management and finance department. then we decided who would be what and continued with our process. Next, we were supposed to understand each other and figure out a problem and getting a solution to this by getting a great innovative idea. It was really hard to understand what everyone’s likes and dislikes are and how would we make a great product by giving competition to our classmates. I and my team decided to meet twice a week to discuss more about our product. I really had great partners I took us some time to come and finalise a product. we were given a value proposition canvas to figure out what we want to do. which looks like this
This is how we were working on our ideas by checking the basic details on the canvas. first, we had an idea about an electric bag and then we did all the research and discussed with our professors and understood it will take some time to do such kind of a product. so we shifted our idea to another one which was about a portable sofa-chair which could be easy to carry anywhere. Even this went flop as it had some issues. while working like this I realised one thing that a person might have 100’s of ideas, but not every idea clicks or works out for you. This was a good lesson I learnt while I had so many ideas of business and all of them were falling down. one day while discussing amongst our group we came up with an idea of writing a book about Being together. This was really a cool idea but the only problem was that I am not good reading or writing. But I was fine with it because I would get to learn something new. Continuing about this we had to decide everything about this product like for example:
who is going to be our competitor? how much are we going to invest? where will we get investment from? how much will be the costing? the material? expenses? sales? and so on.
Days passed and we kept researching and developing and improving our product to make it the best. I learnt to brainstorm on each idea helps you improve your thoughts on your idea and gives you a better understanding. We were pretty much ready with our products ideation of how its going to work and more research was going on but before we launch it in the market we had to present our idea to the judges in our university for the bright ideas competition were they would suggest to us what all changes we should make in our products and how will it be better. It was in December 1st week when we had to present it to judges.
which went really well and we got some feedback on how to make our book better it was really a very good experience to present the idea to the judges and know more about it as we still were not ready with our products.
the next step was to prepare on your product and start making at least an MVP (minimum viable product). for the first dragons den which was going to take place next month by then we had to be really well prepared and at least get the MVP so we can sell in the university and make more awareness about our product before we launch it in the market. We worked really hard by this time and we were almost ready with our product and also for the Dragons Den. We had a booklet of how our book would look along with it we had some posters to sell and some feedback forms and some flyers we attracted some customers to know about our books and to tell them about the main trade fair which is going to take place in Kingston upon Thames near Eden walk. We had judges on this day too. to see how well we have made our stand ? is it attractive? do we have only the necessary things on the table and not unnecessary. As we didn’t have our product ready we couldn’t sell much. this was just a hint of how it would look. But well, here is how our table looked.
we got some suggestions here as well and we made sure we make a good improvement in our final trade fair. and here comes the day when we were ready with our products to be sold. The final day. it was held in Kingston near Eden walk we had to sell our products on the street this time to actual customers Here we didn’t have too many of our products but just 5 books to sell and then later it would go on pre-order depends on how the demand is increasing. It was a successful trade fair, we could sell all our book within 5 hours of our first business day and we were sold out and made some profits as well. We had done it great i was really happy with our performance and that we could sell our books here are some pictures of our book and stand.
later we had final rounds with the judges in private to showcase our products again and win the competition to move forward and compete the other university and getting the product in sales. And this was almost the end of our journey. we didn’t really win the bright idea competition but overall we have got a lot of experience and learnings which was great overall. Today I know how to make a product and how to do the research and also how to sell. I will try to move ahead in life and bring all my learnings to use in the future and hopefully, I am able to become an entrepreneur someday.
Thanking Kingston University our professor, Alice Comi and Janja and all the fellow mates from class and my wonderful Team at last for the immense support and help throughout the term time.
A PICTURE FROM DESIGN THINKING FOR START-UPS.
Comi,A. (2018) Design thinking Week 2. (Power Point Presentation), BS7708: Design thinking for Start-ups. Kingston University. 5 October.
McCarthy, N. (2017) The top Reasons Startups Fail (Infographic), Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/11/03/the-top-reasons-startups-fail-infographic/#3fafc5434b0d (Accessed: 19 April,2019).
Ries, E. (2011) The Lean Startup How Today’s Entreprenuers Use Continous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Penguin London, pp.149-150.
Brett, J. and Goldberg, S. (2017). How to Handle a Disagreement on Your Team. [online] Harvard Business Review. Available at: https://hbr.org/2017/07/how-to-handle-a-disagreement-on-your-team[Accessed 22 Apr. 2019].
Eppig, M. (2017). How to Frame Your Design Challenge. [online] Tools for Social Innovators. Available at: https://toolsforsocialinnovators.com/2018/11/27/stage-2-of-design-thinking-define/ [Accessed 21 Apr. 2019].
McKinsey & Company (2016). The power of design thinking. [online] McKinsey & Company. Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/the-power-of-design-thinking [Accessed 20 Apr. 2019].
Rocheleau, J. (2012). Benefits of Teamwork in a Startup Environment. [online] Speckyboy Web Design Magazine. Available at: https://speckyboy.com/the-benefits-of-teamwork-in-a-startup-environment/ [Accessed 21 Apr. 2019].