Alex’s Reflective Report
I always wanted to be businessman even when I was a kid, I majored in computer science I loved it but my heart lies in business technology, innovation, design thinking. Being an entrepreneur is what I want to do initially but first I had to learn what it needs to be one. Unfortunately we came to an end with ‘My Journey to Design Thinking’ and coming to think of it I enjoyed it and will miss it. In my reflective essay I would like to contribute and summaries the main elements of my startup journey, and the education that was being placed and taught. In this essay I would like to address how my journey was during the time I started the course until the end. I have had a wonderful journey with the programme and Mace team, I have learned a lot with Mace and there are more entrepreneurs like myself and that has patched me up, which I got different views from them and learned new aspects. We have met many public speakers, design workshops at other facilities during our term with Kingston University It was another experience for the entrepreneurs to come and talk about everything and having all the case study slides structuring the key points of business. That also helps with my startup as a business structure or development sheet. I did not have the knowledge and guidance at the beginning but thanks to Innovation management and entrepreneurship I have learned to establish many new endorsements. It is based on empathy, participation and engagement, tolerance for failure and risk taking (Brown, 2009). I was nervous to pitch but know I’m not because I have rehearsed by myself and with my teams for Chop Plus. I have learned about management, time keeping, and this topic is important because we had to work on certain assignments with deadlines during group work. There was the dragons den pitch, coursework submissions where management had to be reinforced in full action. I learned how to pre plan ahead and just to get one day out and think of what needs to be done first for the team.
Chop Plus was developed with my team this helped me learn and elaborate towards my business startup. After forming with the team of 3 more members in my class we came up with Chop Plus!
Dragons Den Pitch- Silicon Valley Pitch
I with my team members pitching our business proposition to judge’s mix of successful entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists.
Pitching and Presenting
Pitching my innovative product and the mechanism behind it as I did for Chop Plus.
By using the concept of the “Elevator Pitch” an entrepreneur should be able to catch the attention of the potential investor that I was presenting. Our aim was to Develop and communicate a clear rationale for actions and practice; such as pitch rehearsing, develop further self-awareness and self-confidence; take informed action; clarify assumptions and beliefs given by lecturers, YE etc. Allowing us to become more emotionally grounded; and, focus on continuous growth and improvement. There are rules for developing a strategy. As with all rules, following them is not enough; have to work hard and make them come alive in order to stand a chance of achieving success. (Jonathan Kettleborough founder of Ten CORE)
The mains rules I followed are:
- Starting from the outside in- (I have networked in another region now)
- Maintain growing and supporting the startup business-(I’m still trying to accomplish this objective).
- Clear value propositions for the customer- With Osterwalders theory we have used a value proposition canvas where we followed certain aspects of the customers’ needs. Such as making it easier for the user to use them instead of chopsticks. It encourages consumers to try far Asian cuisine.
- Marketplace- Restaurants, canteens, Sushi stores
- Communicate clearly with Angels, such as my Pitch to Dragons Den, and Barry O-Brien.
I have achieved 4 rules which was keep growing and supporting the startup business. Business is originated in the U.K there are other places for expansion in other regions that are not covered. Different countries are certainly a growth expansion for any business.
Team work Journey canvas
Working with my team into designing chopsticks where it was easier to use. We designed and created a prototype called chop Plus. In business failing is normal, it’s what gets you going and keep on being innovative successful. As mentioned Einstein failed over 100 times in one problem, but his 101 he got it right, so for me it was to never give up. . Failures are just experiments and, as Rob Fitzpatrick wrote,‘What’s best sometimes is learning, not selling’ (2014)
Challenges we had to face as a team was time coordination and not able to find a U.K manufacturer because it was to expensive and outsourcing was not allowed because of young enterprise policy.
Young enterprise taught me the needs into establishing a successful business and the tools that’s needed. An example for that can be opening a specific account with HSBC bank and have different people running the organisation as in terms it was my classmates. This was conducted also and we learned how to use it in the future with my startup journey. Attending trade fairs such as Kingston Town Center, Kingston Business School has been a very good experience it was quiet fun speaking and communicating with people. Communication was very important to us. That’s what keeps the relation going between business and the team, and the people you deal with. In our trade fair in Kingston business school we have created questionnaires so we could get customer feedback regarding our product etc.
When I first started to blog I never have blogged in my life. I’m actually really glad I learned how to blog because it opened up my horizons and made me more aware of events that has occurred and is like a journal for me now. Another main impact using blog wordpress was that blogs are great ways of gaining confidence, practicing writing, and participating in networks of other learners. WordPress blog is a effective and a powerful marketing tool and platform. I have seen many of my classmates’ blogs and I find it interesting because we all have things in common such as the same course and masters. I have discussed regarding Silicon Valley bank on my blog and the organization has read it and liked my blog because it was connected with my wordpress, and twitter account. I would like to thank the course lecturer for design thinking because I have learned new skills. Blogging and pitching where that’s very important for me in my life because I’m pursuing VCs, Angels. These skills all helped me implement my future for the next big step and be ready and aware of what you need to be done.
My last blogs vs. my first blogs are very different as you can see I learned more during the months passing and learned my way into getting better and I enjoy it. I wish we had to do 20 blogs because it would have been more exciting in terms of what needs to be blogged and how important it was for me.
As For marketing, communications plays a big role as in terms of using twitter and headlining certain updates for Chop Plus. Consumers might have a question via twitter; communicating back with them using that platform is a strong marketing tactic. It enables more sales and awareness of the company and product. For Chop Plus we used mainly Twitter which worked out pretty good. I never used twitter before the course and I’m active on it always, and again it was a right choice for me to have because its one powerful marketing tool.
Cycle of critical reflection.
That’s the cycle that shows my Reflective essay in terms of the critical reflections I have experienced during design thinking and how it will benefit me and my classmates in the future. (image included in turnitin)
I have made new friends, met some very great interesting people here in the course and for our university trip, I am more opened and connected to the world. I done a bit of networking during my stay there in San Francisco and made a contact who owns a warehouse and I wanted to expand the business for growth and new opportunity. We have came to a conclusion to work together and partner up where he will give me access to his warehouse to send the goods and from there he will dispatch. Kingston University made this happen with our master program. They have organized our bus, hotel, admissions to Alcatraz etc, and meeting big campus such as Google. I was very impressed by the connections the course had in terms of contacting all these big company’s and agreeing into seeing us. It was really nice seeing all the tech firms along the way to Palo Alto we saw Amazon where that’s associated in Silicon Valley too. It was amazing to see how innovative all these organizations can be and they are constantly being more innovative which I am amazed of. I have experienced another side of business and innovation in Silicon Valley which I admired. I have written 15 blogs so far and it’s getting more interesting for me to continue and carry on writing. I’m thinking of staying with word press and blog more in regards of my startup business and ventures. I think some people could use it as a reference for startups as I have learned during my academic year with Innovation management and entrepreneurship. I blogged about all sorts of activities, I have done design thinking for shoe designs to pitching ideas to judges like dragons den, where it then it happened for real. This is why I think my journey was a ride from learning to traveling is something I love doing. I’m still growing my startup business in ceramics but that’s normal in any business. Since I’m working by myself there are more responsibilities and it takes time. I was focusing more on my studies rather than working on my startup more. I am glad I chose to focus more on my education rather than working without knowledge, expertise, and guidance the module helped me and made me more knowledgeable of business, finance, diversity, design thinking, the growth of business and how to grow a business in design thinking.
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