Design thinking for startup’s module required our group team to enter the bright ideas competition. This competition is for young entrepreneurs or people with start up ideas and offers some great cash prizes.
After entering the competition, we were invited to attend the Sprint weekend. This weekend was a workshop to help us develop our start up ideas and to help us refine our pitching skills. This workshop was excellent for a number of reasons. Firstly, we got to meet students and young entrepreneurs from other faculties. It was really great to hear the different ideas from the different faculties and to see their line of thinking compared to business students. Secondly we had the opportunity of talking to experienced professionals from industry about our ideas and to get feedback from them on how they thought our ideas could improve or be adapted. Finally we were able to pitch to these experts from industry and to receive feedback from them about our pitches and to hear their opinion on the strength and weaknesses of our pitches. The workshop was very helpful in that we went back to basics and were encouraged to start lean again and to look at our value proposition once again. Receiving feedback from the other students as well as industry experts was super insightful and helped my team to make necessary changes not only to our business idea but also our pitch .
My team was very happy to make it into the final 50 start ups. We practiced in the days leading up to the final. Although we had confidence in our idea, as well as our pitch, we got really nervous on the day of the final. We were in the products category but just before we were due to pitch we were told we would now be in the virtual panel category. The virtual panel category involved us pitching to judges who were not in Kingston on campus. We pitched to three judges online and the pitch went reasonably well although we ran out of time. Thereafter we were questioned by the judges about the Hugbuddy and dealt with the questions competently. My team was happy with our pitch and were confident that we had a chance of winning our category.
Before the prize giving and the announcement of the winners, there was a short networking session. In this session the goal was to network with the judges for all the different categories to stand a chance of winning a prize for best networking team. The prize giving went really well for us. We won our category and £1000. At the end of the prize giving the winners of each category had to give a 2 minute pitch and from this the overall winner would be chosen. Our two minute pitch didn’t go all that well as we were not sufficiently prepared. Even though we were not the overall winners we were only three votes off the eventual winner.
The bright ideas competition was extremely valuable for me. Not only did I get netwrok with other entrepreneurs but I also gained valuable knowledge and experience in pitching. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that i’m not comfortable speaking to crowds of people. But this experience helped me to overcome my shyness and to be a lot more confident when speaking to a big group of people.