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Creating a Start-up

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During the Start-up module of Hyper Island we worked together as a start-up team for a period of 6 weeks to explore and launch our idea. This deck includes our reflection of the entire journey and the start-up idea.

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Creating a Start-up

  1. 1. Team The Leans StartUp / DMM7 INSHIFT Aksha Sachdev, Antoine Ballif, Gabriela Triffiletti, Howard Mijares II, Marco Candi & Patrick Turchin
  2. 2. Hello we are The Leans We as a team, knew from the beginning that working in a big team is a huge challenge. Even more when lots of different cultures and ages are been considered in the equation. On the other hand, we also knew we had just one month to build a business from scratch and this would require a great amount of work. Then having six members could help us to achieve our objectives in a more effective way. That's why the name “The Leans” came to place. To enable us to work effectively in a lean way, with the lema “dividing to conquer”. In that way transforming our challenge of working in a big team, into our strength to achieve our goals. Marco Candi - 23 - São Paulo, Brazil - Sales management - Bachelor in Social communication - Dog - Israel. Patrick Turchin - 24 São Paulo, Brazil - Business developer - Bachelor in Social Communication - Lion - People are more important than places, I can be wherever is possible just being with the right ones. Aksha Sachdev - 29 Digital Marketer, Group Head, Isobar, India. Favourite animal tiger. Favourite place in the world is my car and wherever it takes me. Howard Mijares II - 34 Otsaw digital, Singapore. Bachelor’s of Arts in Multimedia - Dog - The Beach 011 Antoine Ballif - 34 - Paris, France, 12 years experience in advertising. Proud father of a lovely son.Antigua, Guatemala Gabriela Triffiletti Argentina - Spain. 
 I am a doer, a strategic and creative with a diverse background in business, theatre and education. I love cats. Sunny mountains.
  3. 3. Coming up next… This presentation is a critical reflection on our team journey throughout the Start Up module. It documents our learnings and understandings on how to create a Start Up business. This document also underlines our approach and ways of working from the beginning to the end of this project in order to overcome the different challenges we faced. In this deck, we have drawn out collective conclusions as well as personal reflections of the process. 012 • Why we Teamed up together • Defining our team canvas was our first challenge • Using Scrum as our managing project tool helped us to divide and conquer • Aligning on our StartUp idea was the second challenge • Research confirmed that we were addressing a real need • From that point our value proposition became obvious • Elaborating our Business Canvas led us to a clear business plan • Evaluating the market size was not that easy • Working on a business plan that is viable and scalable • Defining our traction channel framed our communication plan • Prototyping our idea made it tangible for potential clients and investors • A critical issue occured during our last sprint • Pitching day was the outcome of all our efforts • Personal reflections • Conclusion • References: Tools
  4. 4. Why we teamed up together? This is actually a good question and reflecting on our team journey it seems that it was not clear for everyone at the very start. But before explaining why is that, it is worth giving the reader a bit of background on how the teams were formed. For the first time we could choose the people we wanted to work with. And although it sounded easy, in fact it turned out to be difficult for many people from Crew 7. To a point that some persons said they felt tension in the room. Amongst everyone, few people had first ideas for a Start Up business. Antoine was one of those who pitched their ideas, his being to create a pop-up team which could develop innovative solutions to help Advertising agencies address their clients briefs. So this is basically how we teamed up together, around a common idea. We first decided to celebrate that by drinking a beer. Then the first thing we did when we started working was to define our team canvas and this is where we faced our first challenge. 013
  5. 5. Defining our team canvas was our first challenge As explained in the previous slide we had teamed up around Antoine’s initial idea. But when it came to defining and aligning everyone on our “Purpose” we found ourselves discussing and arguing for hours. We found out quickly that we had not the same goals as one another. It also appeared that most of us had a different understanding of Antoine’s thought starter. Therefore in order to move forward we all had to make compromises to come up with a common purpose. It took us a while to figure it out but it was definitely the building block of our team. Once we had a solid Team Canvas it was time to decide how we would collectively work. 014
  6. 6. Using Scrum as our managing project tool helped us to divide and conquer 015 In our first week working together, we decide to use the Scrum method as our time management tool. Almost all the team had good and different previous experiences working in an agile way, but not all of us were familiar with a Scrum board. Then our first step was to create a sync in regards to how we would apply the tool. Thus, firstly Marco Candi, took the role as the week one scrum master and taught the basics strategies to the team. Later on every week we had a new scrum master, so everyone could learn the process. Also during the process, Agile specialist David Draper came to Hyper Island and gave the crew great insights and agile techniques that we could use further in the process. Secondly, we as a team, created a fun way of evaluating the level of the each task. To weigh efforts of each task we decided to create a correlation similar to clothing sizes (XS, S, M, L, XL) to simplify the alignment internally. We then assigned numeric values to the sizes starting from 5 and going up to 30. Furthermore, we created four sprints during the process. The sprints were planned based on our industry leader Jon’s, weekly coaching sessions. It was very apparent that the use of the scrum board, truly helped our team to divide and conquer tasks. Also the idea of having different scrum masters, engaged the group in multiple ways every morning and conclusion of the day, the scrum moments. Finally One thing we could do better, is that sometimes we divided too much the group tasks to become individual ones, so it felt that the group was not united. Based on that, we understood that scrum can really create a distance between team members, thus one of the ways to avoid this would be to divide tasks in pairs and to shuffle the pair often so everyone has an opportunity to work with the others.
  7. 7. Aligning on our StartUp idea was the second challenge Dismissing the original idea was a process, it started with aligning our expectations and commitments of every member of the team. To realise on how each of us had a different interpretation of the same idea was a critical moment. Finally planning how to make the pop-up agency happen connected us to the realistic timeframe that we had available. All these lead to a clear group decision to explore new options. We met on a Sunday afternoon to brainstorm new ideas; it was hard to focus. We decide to create a mash up brainstorm session with all the personal problems that we had encountered since we arrived in Manchester. We discovered in our parking lot area on the scrum board a question that had been haunting us: How might we solve the IRP? And recognised that it was an obvious pain point worth addressing. The next step was to pitch our new born idea to peers and industry leaders and the positive feedback collected made us vote and make a final decision. 016
  8. 8. Research confirmed that we were addressing a real need Viktor - "Our problem is opportunities and access." Tim - "I’m not getting responses until I got someone as reference." Dalma - "It’s not easy to reach out to companies." We as a team, knew from the beginning that working in a big team is a huge challenge. Even more when lots of different cultures and ages are been considered in the equation. On the other hand, we also knew we had just one month to build a business from scratch and this would require a great amount of work. Then having six members could help us to achieve our objectives in a more effective way. That's why the name “The Leans” came to place. To enable us to work effectively in a lean way, with the lema “dividing to conquer”. In that way transforming our challenge of working in a big team, into our strength to achieve our goals. 017 We validated that Hyper Island Masters Graduates struggle to find sponsorships for their IRP. It's one of their primary concerns, and they had difficulties to find and contact companies, the situation generates stress and fear of a purposeless project. To understand the needs of business, we conducted a Hybrid research, it was blend between interviews and survey form. Which was targeted specifically to senior professionals. We received responses from 23 senior professionals in different organisations across diverse industries and results were very supportive of our assumptions. Almost 85% said they had a business problem or opportunity they wanted to tackle but didn’t have the time or resources to do it internally and also found it monetarily infeasible to engage with research partners or consultants for in-depth studies.
  9. 9. Research confirmed that we were addressing a real need 018 As a part of our Primary research we also interviewed Industry leaders and coaches who work in companies to receive feedback on the idea. “Finding talent is always hard! As a rule of thumb, we’re always interested in knowing/hearing from talented people - maybe their skills will inspire us to think of skills that would add to our team? I’m interested in well-rounded applicants that could influence many roles - strategic, UX, culture etc…” Matt Kendall - Retrofuzz. To go a step further we also pitched our idea to directors of Hyper Island to understand their point of views as clients or future owners of our product. The positive feedback allowed us to understand the perspective of the University and the way to deliver our value proposition to engage them, and acknowledge that they are an essential part to create a bridge between students and companies. The clear need for both targets was validated.
  10. 10. From that point on our value proposition became obvious 019 After validating our assumptions that supported the idea we went over to the next step of formulating a value proposition. We went through four different iterations of the proposition and the elevator pitch before we reached the final one. Each iteration was tested with our coach Jon and with other industry leaders we met during the week. Some of the tools that helped us craft the proposition were as follows: WHY, HOW, WHAT method that helped us focus on the sensitive details of the product first, starting with our purpose and the core need that we were addressing for both our audience. Which in our case were the businesses (senior staff in companies, department heads, business owners and other decision makers) and the students (masters graduates looking at conducting an in-depth research in a specific area of their choice). Going further to explain the technology and the experience that would help us create the magic. And ending with the actual service and mission of the product. Tom Bradley from Code Design, introduced us to another format, that was a guideline for filling empty blanks that helped us work out a pitch that focused on the Target Group, then the functional use, later the differentiation from competitors and ending with the purpose. The product differentiation angle in this format was unique which we adopted and used it in our future iterations.
  11. 11. From that point on our value proposition became obvious 0110 In a coaching session with Gareth Lymer, Former MD of Sense Worldwide, we looked deeper into our positioning, that helped us narrow our value down to three keywords that would direct a searching prospect to our product. It helped us rethink our offering for the businesses as we took time to understand what they were looking for and customising our product tonality. Our final edit: InShift, a digital platform that connects companies with talented digital Masters graduates from Hyper Island, to explore future opportunities and find innovative solutions for business needs. An engagement that is short, focused and customised to the needs of the both the parties involved.
  12. 12. Elaborating our Business Canvas led us to a clear business plan 0111 Where should we start: Business Canvas or Business Plan? This was one of the big issues when our startup idea began to take form. After some lectures, coaching sessions and research, we agreed that the best alternative was to initiate by the Business Canvas (OSTERWALDER, 2010). Starting with this framework, helped us to work together, sync and develop a summary of the business that led us to a clear Business Plan and a further marketing strategy. To highlight the the main points around this task, we have: negotiation about current market and expansion phases, benchmark from competitors (Fresh Minds and Match-my- thesis), definition of the revenue stream and the role of the platform for companies and students. Therefore, to our learning process, we strongly believe that the Business Canvas is a great tool to set business expectations and definitions and contributes a lot to the team’s transparency, understanding and alignment.
  13. 13. Evaluating the market size was not that easy Secondary research of industry data provided these insights: - The market size of Masters students in the UK is a total of 530.000 in 2015 according to HESA Higher Education Statistics Agency. - The digital consultancy market in the UK is growing every year reaching a total of 1,4 bn pounds in 2015 according to MAC. We identified a business opportunity to scale up in the UK by involving others Universities and to become global by reaching in the future years other countries. Furthermore, we studied about the current practices of the companies to understand our market competitors. We found that companies employ various methods to find answers to their business needs, ranging from business consultancies to research specialists to hiring experts, that all of which prove to be very expensive. They also access research portals such as WARC & HBR but these studies are not customised to their unique company needs. We looked deeper into the behaviour of students to understand their existing methods and we found that Masters Graduate Students use referral and social portals like LinkedIn and Twitter which are not effective since it doesn’t precede same intent of both parties. There were a few market successful players in the market from whom we drew learnings - MatchMyThesis and Freshminds. MatchMyThesis connects companies with medical and engineering masters and PhD students in Denmark while Freshminds which is a strategic consultancy agency taps into Oxford university students for short term projects for their clients. 0112
  14. 14. Working on a Business Plan that is viable and scalable After setting the Business Canvas, we started to develop our Business Plan, a more in depth and detailed content about our startup, which could be sent to investors as a summary material of our product. The importance of developing the Canvas before was proved and led us to a simpler way to work on the plan since the key points had already been discussed and aligned. We had many options for the business plan format but we decided to use the one by Gareth Burton. Below are the steps and our usage guidelines to each step: Executive summary: Definition of a brief summary of the plan with value proposition of InShift. Founders and team: Presentation of our team and skills. Product: Explanation about the InShift platform, details of quality assurance and promise by us to companies, defining tracking levels for repeat engagement and company satisfaction, payment terms, legal contract between both audiences to protect student effort, issue of Intellectual Property and Unique Selling Proposition. Commercial model: Defining how we will make money, during the development of this part we researched different revenue streams but we agreed the commission was the best alternative. Market analysis: Fixing of market size, growth rates, how we will enter new markets and different service levels for each audience basis who brought more monetary value to the business. Sales and marketing plan: Setting the business strategy to contact and promote the solution to our audiences and how will we make it scalable. 0113
  15. 15. Working on a Business Plan that is viable and scalable Operational plan: Definition of what needs to happen internally to be able to deliver the product to the market. Financial forecast: One of the main points of our plan, this part consisted of numbers that will make our business viable and profitable. This part took us most time, because a depth analysis and search about each cost and revenue forecast was needed. Due to some changes in our provisions, the numbers were changed a lot until we reached an agreement between our team. Risks: Drawing out for the SWOT framework we summarised all the potential risks and also highlighted some potential opportunities for our business. Funding requirement: Grounded by our financial forecast, we set the amount we will need to start and sustain until we reach break even, we created both optimistic and pessimistic numbers to support our funding requirement. Exit strategy: We included an exit strategy and also discussed with Hyper Island stakeholders to understand interest levels of ownership amongst them. 0114
  16. 16. Defining our traction channel framed our communication plan Jon kept referring to the book called traction in order to define our distribution channel. We used the bullseye framework to identify what was the best traction channel for our business. Due to the absence of budget we decided to go for viral marketing, then we elaborated the communication strategy 1990 and the message to deliver to both targets. Reaching the 9. InShift will use Hyper Island official social media channels (Slack, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) to reach Hyper Island Masters Graduates and promote our solution to address their needs. Their will be a call to action inviting Hyper Island Masters Students to spread the word toward the 90 which are the companies. Reaching the 90 Indeed the whole approach is to turn Hyper Island Masters Graduates into our brand ambassadors. As they have a clear interest in doing the promotion of InShift. Knowing that the more companies are using our platform, the more chances Masters Graduates get to find sponsorships for their IRP. So the idea is to leverage their personal professional networks (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) to reach the 90. 0115
  17. 17. Prototyping our idea made it tangible for potential clients and investors Preparing a prototype was the most disputed and yet a very productive topic for all of us in the group. The reason why it was disputed was because we all had different intentions and purposes for the MVP which led us to understanding different views and uses of a prototype in this scenario. We needed to brainstorm the product features and user interface and test it, especially for the student audience. On the other hand, we also needed to test the traction for our product with the companies who wouldn’t interact with the platform the same way as the student audience. Hence we decided to separate the two requirements at hand and agreed to create 2 prototypes that would be tested with 2 audience differently. Prototyping our idea made it tangible for users to identify the user experience of the product which led to unique insights and direct user feedback. We had gone through 3 prototyping methods, for testing and developing the initial platform which lead to the team’s MVP and pitch presentation. Firstly we created pen and paper user interfaces simulating the core user interaction and functionality of our product. Secondly we created and used a low fidelity prototype of platform on balsamic creating a interactive balsamic screens to begin understanding usability and user experience flow. Thirdly for the company users we created a product concept landing page that emphasised on offering the value and asked user to feedback if they would be interested. http://in-shift.weebly.com/ Lastly in preparation of the pitch presentation for the investors the grouped agreed that we had to take it to the next level in terms of story telling the user experience and thus we created a tutorial video of 1 minute to ensure better comprehension through visual communication. 0116
  18. 18. A critical issue occurred during our last sprint On June 12th Antoine took an unexpected decision to go back home for personal issues. It took him a long time to make that call but we all believe he made the right move. Antoine felt bad for the team and proposed us two options: 1. Continue working all together with him remotely 2. Develop his start up project on his own. Although the rest of The Leans were surprised to hear such news we decided to give him support in this tough moment and be united rather than splitting up. So we then continued to divide tasks and made regular Google Hangout calls to check in with him. After all, one of the lessons we learnt at Hyper Island during our Masters Programme is that team is everything. Remote working was something we had all experienced during our first brief with Mural but we took further inspiration from a form alumni who did her IRP on this topic. 3. We managed to work quite efficiently and asked Antoine to record the video of our prototype since he could not present on the pitch day. That was the best way to engage him in the presentation process. Antoine skyped in on the D Day to give us inputs on our rehearsal. He gave us the team back all the support we had offered him. And finally it all turned out well. 0117 On June 12th Antoine took an unexpected decision to go back home for personal issues. It took him a long time to make that call We managed to work quite efficiently and asked Antoine to record the video of our prototype since he could not present on the pitch day. That was the best way to engage him in the presentation process. Antoine skyped in on the D Day to give us inputs on our rehearsal. He gave us the team back all the support we had offered him. And finally it all turned out well.
  19. 19. The pitching day was the outcome of all our efforts The Pitch day was the outcome of all our efforts. But it all started four days before. When we started planned and brainstorming on engaging ways of pitching our product. Also during the whole module, we had gone through many elevator and final pitch coachings with different industry leaders, and we decided, as a team, to pitch our idea as many times and as many people as possible, to familiarise with it. That’s why we say, the pitching day was the outcome of a whole process, it was definitely not just one day. Thus, when we were approached the great day, our team thought about dividing the pitch process in four, the deck, the script, the magic and the empathy. Firstly, for the deck structure, we made a deep research about what investors really want to hear in the real world. After researching we found the Kawasaki pitch structure was very good for presenting our idea and also highly recommended by Jon. (http://guykawasaki.com/the-only-10-slides-you-need-in-your-pitch/). According Guy Kawasaki, “I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a pitch should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points”, and this was the pitch structure that we used. Secondly, we divided the script according to what each person was going to present, so we could write with our own words what we would say. After that it came the magic. Our team wanted to have a memorable but simple thing during the pitch that would engage the crowd, at with that making the investors to remember us later one. Then as we had, Patrick Turchin, one of our team members with talented skill on drawing, we decided to do a video sketch during the elevator pitch that visually explained our idea. As the last thing, we wanted to create empathy with the crowd. And as our idea involved companies and master students and they were both going to be present in the room that day, we decided to do a live prototype, and created a match between a masters student and one company in the crowd with common interests. Finally, in the actual pitch day, all the team presented our idea to the investors and hyper students, and we believe because of the intense preparation and rehearsing our team did a great job, presenting in a clear, engaging and fun way. 0118
  20. 20. Personal reflections Aksha - This module helped me find some of my leadership energies back, it may have occurred from imbalanced efforts and distribution of work but it was a great learning experience to have taken the lead on important parts of the process. One of my regrets during the process was always knowing that my team was not going to consider bringing this start-up to life in the real world. Hence though the process was very close to real it felt like a short simulation and not the real deal. Antoine - Looking back I think I have learnt how to « kill my darlings » which was one of my weaknesses that my former teams gave me as a feedback. It has not been easy, but I feel proud that I opened up to everyone’s else idea. I believe it was my mistake anyway if we did not pursue my initial idea because I did not pitch it clearly enough. I also feel guilty for having let my team down during the last sprint but lucky of all support they gave me. It definitely shows how great people and professional are my team members. Even though we did not win I believe it’s been the most enriching journey I have been through at Hyper Island. Gabriela - Team is everything, the challenge of designing a startup is only possible with teamwork, each member aligned and committed to the idea. And the ultimate test is to co-create an environment where everybody is 100% engage. Howard - For start up module I had realised that developing a start up business is not like producing any other business models for brands because it had a unique structure and strategy to it. Simply it was to be developed to a point to be sold in an exit acquisition. Such as working to develop a start up business is also very weighted on the numbers inputted into the start up and the potential numbers that it is forecasted to output in value. working to produce it did not only require knowing design thinking, innovation strategy but also business strategy. Marco - I feel ready to the world now. The experiences of building a business from the scratch was fundamental for my life. It was a mixture of many intense feelings that made it real. And with this realistic approach our group gone through a lot, and because of that now I know that creating a startup is far from easy, but is an experience that I will definitely have again in my life. I feel ready to the world now. Patrick - This project enabled me to reach a new level as a business developer professional. Leading the business plan, I understand what investors looks for, their main points and how to present to them, as well, it prepared me for potential and real entrepreneur initiatives in the future. During the development of this project I improved some critical thinking capabilities and this empowered me to ask more questions about the process and lead innovative solutions and decisions to the most efficient business results. Finally, based in the team development and reflections, the exercise clarified some new behaviours that I needed to start practicing, like being strong when defending an idea and express my uncomfortable moments. Feedback received, I adopted a new posture that was felt through the project’s next steps. 0119
  21. 21. Conclusion Overall we all agree that it has been the most exciting project we have been working on throughout the program. Like in every journey there has been ups and downs but in the end we succeeded to overcome all the challenges that crossed our path which represents our biggest success. Once again we learnt by doing and this the reason why we all came to Hyper Island. Everyone played an active role in our team and gave his best to deliver best in class work. Sadly it was our last group work but we would have definitely teamed up again all together if we have had the chance to. If there was one key take away to summarise our experience it would be to always be supportive and united no matter what. As we said previously team is everything and this what made us stronger. One very last thing, failure is part of the learning process, we all made mistakes but this is what enriched us all. 0120
  22. 22. References Tools • Team Canvas - Team Canvas. (2016). Team Canvas - Bring Your Team on the Same Page. [online] Available at: http://theteamcanvas.com • SCRUM - Scrummethodology.com. (2016). An Empirical Framework For Learning (Not a Methodology). [online] Available at: http://scrummethodology.com/ • Value Proposition - Startwithwhy.com. (2016). Start With Why. [online] Available at: https://www.startwithwhy.com/ • Business Canvas - Alexosterwalder.com. (2016). Alex Osterwalder. [online] Available at: http://alexosterwalder.com/ • Business Plan - Gareth Burton (2016). Hyper Island Class June 2nd [talk] • Marketing Model - GRAHAM D BROWN. (2014). The 1-9-90 Rule (The Most Disruptive Ideas in Marketing Today) - GRAHAM D BROWN. [online] Available at: http://www.grahamdbrown.com/1-9-90-rule-disruptive-ideas-marketing-today/ • Pitch Format - Guy Kawasaki. (2016). Guy Kawasaki. [online] Available at: http://guykawasaki.com/ Other references • Anon, (2016). [online] Available at: https://www.freshminds.co.uk/ • Mca.org.uk. (2016). Consulting sector outpaces economy – with MCA members passing £5bn | Management Consultancies Association | MCA. [online] Available at: https://www.mca.org.uk/news/press-releases/consulting-sector-outpaces-economy-with-mca-members-passing-5bn/ • Match My Thesis. (2016). Students page - Match My Thesis. [online] Available at: http://matchmythesis.com/ • qualifiers, F. (2016). HESA - Higher Education Statistics Agency - HESA - Higher Education Statistics Agency. [online] Hesa.ac.uk. Available at: https:// www.hesa.ac.uk/stats • Survey results: http://bit.ly/28Iwc41 • Prototype video: https://youtu.be/9SUWKMVtojI • Elevator Pitch sketch: https://youtu.be/YBo5COVffrU • Landing page: http://in-shift.weebly.com/ • Icon references: https://thenounproject.com/ • Artworkbean, Kelcey Hurst, Xela Ub, Marta Ambrosetti, Meaghan Hendricks, Hugo Alberto 0121

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