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Dragons Den

Listening to feedback fro the judges.

Presenting is an integral part of the Design Thinking for Start Ups module. Our class is being equipped with the best tools for effective presentations that have the intended impact on the target market. From when we started the model up until now, it has been wonderful to see how a lot of our classmates have come out of their shells and feel a lot more comfortable speaking in front of the class.

As part of out start up project, we were very lucky to have an imitation of Dragons Den to further improve our presenting skills. After our last class our start up team had to come up with a new idea for our start up. This was quite challenging as we did not have the luxury of time and we experienced some difficulties agreeing on a product to pursue. But after much back and forth, we decided that ‘Hugbuddy’ would be our start up idea. ‘HugBuddy’ is an accessory that substitutes a human hug and creates comfort for people experiencing high levels of anxiety or stress. The accessory can be used for flying, sleeping or just for general anxiety relief. ‘HugBuddy’ is portable and incorporates soft fabrics and warmth to alleviate anxiety attacks when they happen.

On the Friday before we presented to our ‘Dragons’, we had rehearsal session in front of our class. Janja brought in a presentation expert to give us feedback and advise us on how to give the best presentation possible in the ‘Dragons Den’ environment. We watched a video of one of his previous presentations. We were also timed to prepare us for the time restrictions we would have in our Dragon’s Den the following Friday. We were also given marking sheets which listed the criteria with which we would be marked in our Dragon’s Den class.

Firstly, you need to begin presentations with a clear ‘Elevator Pitch’. This is a brief yet crystal clear explanation of your business idea and what you hope to achieve. It needs to be direct and absorbing. Secondly, one needs to identify the need or problem you aim to address as well as the target group.  Key information about the problem or need you have identified, and the market or group of people who experience the problem need to be described as they are ultimately the people who will buy your product or service. Thereafter a concise description of the product or service is required. How does your product or service meet the identified needs of your market segment? How does it work? What are its key features and how does it benefit the target market? Alternatives & Competitors always need to be acknowledged. Thus part of the presentation needs to be focused on products or services similar to your start up idea and what sets you apart from your competitors. This should be followed by how you plan to enter the market. Attracting customers and distribution of your product or service need to be communicated to the judges. It also helps to forecast growth and how you hope to achieve this growth in this part of the presentation. Finally, you get marked for the overall presentation. It’s important for your entire team to display strong presentation skills and ensure that the judges will remember your presentation. The rehearsals were very helpful in getting my team prepared for the following Friday.

Our presentation to the judges went well. Although we ran out of time, the team performed well together and we got a promising mark from the judges. We also received constructive feedback for future presentations as well as ‘HugBuddy’. We now have time to develop our samples and fine tune our ideas for our product.

Fabric samples and notes from our presentation.
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Published by fortysomethingrebirth

I am a South African from Jo'burg. I love football, music (mainly from the Caribbean) and design. I am currently studying a Masters of Managing in the Creative Economy at Kingston University in London.

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