Tag Archive | business

At the Footprints of Nobel Winners – Cambridge Venture Camp 2017

Hello,

We are three Master´s Degree students from Laurea Tikkurila where we are studying in a program called “Future Studies and Customer Oriented Services”. Last autumn we participated in a course ”Digitaalisen palvelun käyttäjäkeskeinen suunnittelu” and there we started to develop a business idea for a digital application called ”Big Steps for Little People”, and with that idea we won WeLive -designing competition early 2017. After that our teacher encouraged us to apply to Cambridge Venture Camp 2017 with our business idea. Cambridge Venture Camp is an international entrepreneurship boost camp by Laurea Entrepreneurship Society, LaureaES. We sent in our application and received invitation to be interviewed. We heard afterwards that LaureaES had received about 50 ideas/applications and only 8 of them were chosen to participate the camp. Guess what? We were one of them!

So that was a start of an interesting and motivating journey to learn about entrepreneurship and developing our business idea further. First there was a Finnish week at the end of March in Leppävaara campus which included lectures of pitching, team building, MVP (minimum viable product), external funding and finance. Week also included different kind of workshops for example regarding value proposition canvas. We also got to visit Microsoft Flux, where we had our first pitching competition. In our team it was Katri, who lost in lottery. Just kidding, Katri is a great speaker and for that reason she presented our idea.

The highlight of the Cambridge Venture Camp 2017 was the Cambridge week, that was organized during 9.-13.4.2017 in Cambridge. At the same time as we were there, Laurea´s BIB Bootcamp participants were also there. We had partly the same program with them. We stayed at Downing College in Cambridge University. Week included lectures from local professors and Finnish lecturers as well.

During the week we learned about Cambridge ecosystem, market research, marketing and business design, valuation, creating prototypes, funding possibilities for startups, lean business model canvas and also more about pitching skills. We had many workshops and we learned to use different kind of service design tools. During the whole week we developed our business idea further with help of all this. Days were very intensive and required 100 % attention the whole time. This was a great hands on way to learn basics about entrepreneurship and business idea development in a short time. All the lecturers were great and very professional. We also got realistic feedback about our business idea from lecturers and from other participants as well.

Trinity

Trinity College. Photo: Katri Rantanen.

But it was not just hard work and studying! On Tuesday evening we had a fine dining dinner at Trinity College (picture above) with all the LaureaEs and BIB participants and also some Cambridge professors joined us. Trinity College is a very rich and highly appreciated campus. They have 32 Nobel winners and for example Prince Charles has studied there. Dinner tasted excellent and we had many interesting conversations during the evening with other participants. After dinner we had an after party in Vodka Revolution Bar. On Wednesday we went all together punting on the River Cam (picture below). Luckily it was a great weather and we had some sparkling and strawberries with us. Yam! We also had some free time in the evening to see the beautiful city and do some shopping. It is easy just to walk around in the city because distances are short. We recommend Cambridge to all, it will make you feel very intelligent (or not).

Punting.jpg

Punting on River Cam. Photo: Katri Rantanen.

During the whole Cambridge Venture Camp 2017, we had great atmosphere and team spirit. LaureaES did an excellent job organizing everything and making sure that we could focus on the essential – learning and development. Did you know that they do all this on their free time?

In overall this was a once in a lifetime experience. We encourage everyone to apply to next Cambridge Venture Camp with your own business ideas, in case you are interested in entrepreneurship or just learning more. As Isaac Newton, one of Cambridge University´s famous alumni said “What we know is a drop, what we don’t know is an ocean.”

Mervi Kleimola, Katri Rantanen and Niina Rinkinen

#CVC17 #WeLoveBusiness #LaureaES

http://www.laureaes.fi/en/home/

https://www.cam.ac.uk/

https://www.downing-conferences-cambridge.co.uk/

An exceptional pharmacy

2nd of June Service Design Network Drinks was organized by Diagonal and a pharmacy Ympyrätalon apteekki.

Do you use pharmacy services only when you are sick or have a hangover? Traditionally pharmacy has been seen as a place taking care of sick people. Now the focus is turning also towards healthy people who want to take care of their well-being. The focus is on the well-being.

Mr. Mikko Koivisto a leading service designer from Diagonal told about the process how they managed to renew traditional business like pharmacy.

SDN Drinks

The project consisted of three parts: customer understanding, concept phase and design and implementation. During the customer understanding part many service design methods was used e.g. mystery shopping, interviews, observation, shop-along, customer journey map, personas and benchmarking.

Customers and employees of the pharmacy was involved at the ideation phase that produced new service ideas. The goal of the concept phase was to produce visualisations of the ideas and concepts discovered through research. The ideas were tested at pharmacies. The employees of the pharmacy were educated to a new service concept and they took it as their own. A manual was produced to summarize all the key elements of the new concepts and services. The manual was also a practical tool to communicate the concepts to the other apothecaries of the (YTA) Yhteistyöapteekit pharmacy chain.

hyvinvointibaari

palvelut

At the moment Ympyrätalo pharmacy offers over hundred different kinds of services. An apothecary Tiina Vaitomaa said that the most popular service at the moment is a salt therapy. It is especially common among singers who have to take good care of their voice.

SDN Drinks2Mrs. Vaitomaa told that the key to success is to do co-operation with other companies because alone it is difficult to succeed. Mrs. Vaitomaa is an exceptional brave and innovative apothecary. She advises to innovate and test new things. One of the most important thing is to find multi-talented and committed employees. In the future consume of the services increases significantly and Ympyrätalon apteekki is already ready for that change.

Text and pictures by Laura Rinta-Jouppi SID student 2014

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship

Innovation is all about making a difference in people life‘s, and it starts with an idea.

This idea needs to resonate with customer needs, create the appropriate market attraction, find the right value network to grow, justify its financial costs and last but not least have a potential return on the investment.

For that many aspects about innovative ideas need to be understood, starting with the person who take the idea from being an abstract idea to be a reality (AKA the entrepreneur) and what qualities he / she should have. What innovation means, and how it can create a real value for all of its stakeholders. What is the industry context we are going to work in and what are the market forces that we need to take for. How we are going to build a sustainable business model to support growing our dreams and business. Last but not least, how we are going to find a real market needs and get the appropriate customer understanding.

All these and more were the topics within this interesting course “Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies” which was named #1  Entrepreneurship Course on Coursera by CourseTalk’s “Top Rated” MOOCs.

This blog post is an attempt to go through the course material in a moderate way and provide the key insights and knowledge that you can take with you within your entrepreneurial journey! So I hope you find it useful.

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Design Thinking For Business Innovation

Innovation has always be seen as a myth, where genius is the main ingredient for it. Unfortunately this is not the reality!

Innovation can be a systematic process. The key to successful innovations is to understand where the process starts. The process starts by first understanding the current needs, the current obstacles the target audience want to overcome and then formulating insights that can guide the thinking about potential solutions.

This is against to what most of us think and do today, where we try to provide solutions without understanding the real problems. So, probably by passion, we try to jump to a future that we envision for our customers without involving them or trying to understand what are there needs.

The argument can be raised that “Customers don’t know what they want” as Steve Jobs said or following what Henry Ford said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. This can be partially true when it comes to what customers express literally, but the key takeaway from this is to see what customers don’t see by sensing, observing and noticing the signals than predict the future like “faster” (but not the horses) in Henry Ford quote.


Design Thinking: a means for innovation!

Design Thinking is a mindset and methodology to help businesses in problem solving, finding possibilities and securing innovations that are desirables by humans at first, viable as business offering second and finally feasible as an implementation.

In few words, Design Thinking is all about starting with the human and ending with the human. Design thinking is about the people but first you need to change your mindset for this shift.

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Besign Thinking: A simple framework for incorporating “Design Thinking” into the traditional “Business Thinking” for innovation!

Ever since I got introduced to the concept of Design Thinking, I had this feeling that this could be a game changer for how we do our business innovations. In a nutshell, because it starts with the customer as sole for finding innovations.

This may be obvious for anyone knowing about Design Thinking fundamentals, but it may be not fully true for people coming from a Business Thinking background, where the norm is how opportunities are projected to make money, not how it will solve a customer problem.

I will try in this blog post to bridge both worlds and suggest a framework for change when it comes to innovation. How can we introduce Design Thinking in a seamless manner in current today Business Thinking (at least in my company ^_^ ).

Lets start the story from the beginning …

ONCE UPON A TIME !

My company which works in the telecommunication field. As usual, its a very competitive environment and with saturation reaching very high levels. At that this point innovation has been identified as the secret weapon to solve this issue.

For that decision have been taken to create an innovation center in my company. The purpose of this innovation center is to pursue innovation opportunities that mainly brings Growth, Differentiation and slightly Efficiency to our enterprise.

It has been working for about two years, but what we figured out is that we have not yet made the IMPACT we were anticipating to do!

Why as an innovation center we did not make any impact?

To be honest, it’s all the fault of the Needle!

To understand this Needle, I will let you go through this short story that happened between me and the “Head of Innovation” one and half years ago…

BASED ON A TRUE STORY!

Once I had been assigned the task to find innovative opportunities that covers the domain of social media and advertising, for that I had like two days come up with ideas that are new to the market and would be valuable enough to our brand (financially, brand  value, social good, etc… or I thought so! )

Image

I took the diagram above and went to the Head, and here is what happened (I know you may say where is the Design Thinking here, but bear with me, please!)…

THE HEAD: This will not move the Needle!

Me            : Which Needle?

THE HEAD: We need something that generate 100 Million in five years time frame.

Me            : OK!!? But as I know, if we are looking for the social media domain for example it’s still too early to find results. We need to build a mass then figure out how to make money! Still Facebook and Twitter, they did not figure out how to make big bucks out of what they have..

THE HEAD: Not convinced, we are not here for causes, show me the money!

This story actually raised the question in my head, what is wrong?

What is wrong with the traditional business thinking approach for innovation?

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Service Design Breakfast #4: Work begins after the lunch by Janne Toivola, Futurice

In the 4th Service Design Breakfast talk on 31st of October, 2012 Janne Toivola from Futurice presented the concept of “Validated Design”. Janne is an experienced service designer and analyst having a focus on digital analysis and usability.

Figure 1: Validated design, Futurice

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