So to finish off, I’d like to share my top five things I learnt from the weekend.
- It’s important to have a well-prepared 1min pitch, to get across everything you need.
- It’s important to get the right people in your team. And that doesn’t just mean skill sets, but also personalities so you don’t clash.
- Get out on the streets and talk to potentials customers to see what THEY want.
- Take a step back and breathe, don’t get too caught up in the moment.
- Rehearse your final pitch, so the judges get every bit of info on your business that they need.
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The pitch. Throughout the weekend you are building up to this big pitch. The closer pitch time comes, the more nervous you become. Before going up, 5 mins seemed like a long time, but once you are up there, it feels like you don’t have enough time. It showed me you really need to hone in your pitch, to ensure you get everything you need to over to the judges. Because if you don’t, it could be that one vital piece that they miss and means you either win or loose. The feeling after the speech is a bit like emptiness, all this built up nerves and anxiety is suddenly dropped, and you don’t know where to go from there. It’s important then to take a step back and enjoy the rest of the night and other pitches. And perhaps learn things they did well that you might have missed on.
The final product. It really settled in that we had something, and had achieved something when we were able to physically look at our product. It also made it easier to get our business idea across to the judges. I think however, you can spend too much time on the physical product. The goal of the weekend is not to hand a product to the judges, but to express your business model, the mock product / prototype is just an aid.
Relax, and enjoy the time. This pic isn’t just about having a beer. But it’s about taking a step back from what you are doing, taking a deep breath, and just enjoying the weekend and what it has to offer. I saw a lot of people seem to get so stressed about their business pitch that surely they couldn’t be enjoying it. The weekend for me was about being exposed to the experience, and trying to learn as much as I could. And sometimes that means removing yourself from the scenario for a bit and just taking in what you have gone through. It also provides a good time to talk with team mates, and other teams about where you are at, and if you’re on track.
Wet and miserable, but you still need market research. To form your business into a profitable one, you need to find out just what the customer wants. It was a high priority of ours to get out on the streets, talk to consumers and talk to businesses. This showed us a lot on where we needed to change, but also areas where we were doing well and could maintain.
Brainstorm! Having a pin board wall, and large pieces of paper made it so much easier to brainstorm as a team. And brainstorming is a great tool for the team to do. It allowed us to all get our ideas out on paper and let each other know what we were thinking. It also allows you to come up with a plan of attack.
A good workspace produces good work. We arrived late Saturday morning and weren’t left with much space to work, so to me I felt it was important to set us up. We set about making an office space and I think for the mind, it helped keep us focused. Having somewhere, where you can talk with team members, and make a plan is really beneficial. If I was to do the weekend again, I would definitely get in early to get a good workspace. This is something I will take on with me for the future, and always try have a clean workspace.
Not our receipts, but it was our problem we were set out to solve. Really working out the exact problem we wanted to solve can be tricky. We had, and still do have high goals for Receipt lock, however we needed a goal that was achievable by the end of the weekend, something we could hand the judges.
And there it was, the team had been formed. We had three engineers and one journalist. I think for me this was a good blend. What we hoped to get “started” for the business over the weekend was achievable with us. I knew how the other two engineers would operate, as we are all like-minded, and I was stoked to have someone with another mindset, that could look at things from another view on the team. This would prove itself valuable over the weekend, with input from another viewpoint helping shape the business canvas.
Once speeches were over, and voting had finished, we needed to form a group. However it wasn’t about just jumping in with anybody, it was about finding the right people for the right positions. I recall having hesitations about others joining us for a fear of personalities crashing. But we seemed to attract the type that we all got along well. The other thing we had to be mindful of was having the right skill set in our team.