Session 1 of Launchpad began with our 15 teams splitting into two groups and presenting their customer research and feedback. In the last few weeks since our bootcamp day the students have all collected some great feedback on their ideas; getting out and about and speaking with real potential customers.

After presentations finished the dividing wall was opened up, allowing all the teams to regroup and got ready to meet their mentors.

Before breaking off with their matched teams to get to know each other, the mentors gave a quick introduction of themselves, their businesses and backgrounds.

After lunch the teams discussed how they got on with reading and implementing Talking to Humans, working through the business model canvas to work out who their customers are, and nailing down what they want and care about.

Understanding that it’s takes time, we gave the students a 3 week lead in this year to approach and contact businesses. This time is a process of discovery for the students, and a search for honesty and truth. If you’re nice to someone, they’re nice to you, it’s human nature.

However the students found that they had to ask open ended questions to get meaningful and useful insights of what value they’re giving them, and what they get out of it.

Students worked through several case studies to see the do’s, do not’s and the never’s of launching a new business. We also touched on the concept of the five whys; in order to dig into and find the root causes of problems.

It’s been an amazing first session with some very positive feedback. We cannot wait to see what the students discover and bring back to Accelerator next week.

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