etopiei's blog

A blog about minimalism, programming, productivity and happiness.
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Startup Sprint - Reflection

This weekend I headed into Melbourne to participate in the Wade Insitute's Startup Sprint (this was our prize at Unihack, read more about that here). I wasn't too sure what to expect coming in to the weekend, but I was defintiely suprised on Monday night at the mixer night with the amazing diversity within the people there. Lawyers, Engineers, Business Gurus you name it, there was such a range of people there, and they all had such intersting ideas and perspectives due to their different backgrounds.
On the car ride home with my Unihack team mate we weere talking about how all our ideas are in tech, and hearing these other ideas was really interesting and challenging. This got us really excited for the weekend to learn as much as possible and make use of the variety of people attending.

Soon Friday arrived and the first afternoon kicked off, we began by forming temporary teams and sharing some ideas, the teams picked two of their favourites and these were pitched to the larger group. From these we would choose half to work on to become our startups for the weekend.

I was pleasantly suprised that my idea was picked by my team so I had the opportunity to pitch it to the whole group which was pretty fun. I really enjoyed hearing everyone's ideas and it was hard to choose when it came down to nominating our weekend startups.

After we had our startups we broke into groups and could pick which idea and team we wanted to work with. I chose to work on 'abodal' which aimed to connect home designers/rennovators with architects who can help them. I really liked this idea as I think it has good potential as well as being quite different to anything I've worked on before. As well as this I enjoy working with visually creative people as I'm not very skilled in that area and thought it would be a good fit. The team we had in the end had lots of diversity of experience and background and I was really keen to learn as much as I could from everyone in my team and help out however possible.

Later on that night Mads and Georgia (from Wade) took us through some team work skills as well as introducing Business Model Canvas. I learnt quite a lot from this, as my business knowledge was little to none coming into the weekend, so it was intersting learning about what sort of mental models can be used to think about things. This concluded the first day and then we headed home to get some well earned rest.

The next day we focussed on the customer and learnt more about the customer discovery process, in doing so we hit the streets and talked to real people about their problems, and understand where they were coming from. My biggest takeaway from the weekend came during this sessions as we talked about asking questions without sugeesting your solution or idea. This was an intersting moment for me, as I realised this forced you to flip your thinking and ask questions to understand how the customer really behaves, and ensure you are making something that can truly help.
I had to head home for a dinner that evening so I unfortunately missed the session on marketing, but I plan on reviewing the slides soon and learning what I can.

Heading into the last day we worked really hard to create the ideal pitch, taking into account feedback from the mentors the night before. In the end I think our pitch was succesfull and the business is really taking shape. It was amazing the work we were able to do in just a weekend with sufficient guidance and support from the team and Wade themselves.
Overall it was a really exciting weekend, and I really enjoyed meeting such driven and motivated individuals. I got some great insight, podcast tips and have a much better idea how to begin with a startup. I'm really looking forward to whatever I build next, as using the apporaches I learnt in this weekend I think it could be developed really nicely. Not to mention the network of support and awesome people to bounce ideas off I now have.

Last but not least, massive thanks to Wade Institute for inviting us, it was invaluable exprience and the effort and care that went into the weekend was excellent and a huge thanks to May, Mads and Georgia for all their hard work.

- etopiei (19/11/18)

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