Introduction to Design Thinking: 31st January

On the 31st of January 2018, 13 students from a range of disciplines and areas of study gathered in a room in the FASS building for an exciting session, led by Amanda Brooks of the Enterprise Team. Inspired by her trip to Stanford University’s d.school and the Crash-course in Design Thinking hosted by Humera Fasihuddin from the d.school last year, Amanda was excited to lead her own Design Thinking session. The aim of the session was to help students try out a human-centred design approach to problem-solving, whilst developing their 21st century skills – creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication.

Human-centred design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions, tailor-made to suit their needs. It involves a five step process – the students worked through each stage to design a wallet for a member of another team.

 

1. Empathize. The process begins with empathy – understanding what the customer’s needs are. This was done through interviewing the customer, first on a broad level and then digging deeper to fully understand their requirements.

 

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2. Define. This stages involves making sense of what was learnt from the interview and identifying opportunities for design. Teams identified the goals and wishes of the customer and then worked to re-frame the problem into a point-of-view statement.

 

3. Ideate. This stage involved many a post-it notes and free flow of ideas relating to the design of the wallet. Following the free flow of all kinds of ideas, teams sketched out a few potential solutions.

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4. Prototype. This stage began by presenting initial designs to the customer for feedback. Then, armed with tinfoil, card, pipe cleaners, glue etc., the teams set about creating a prototype solution.

 

5. Test. Time to present the prototype to the customer and take on their feedback, has it met their needs?

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Overall, the session was very well received, some of the elements people expressed that they really enjoyed included:

“Engaging with people who share similar attitudes but have different methods of approach to ideas”

“Working with people from different backgrounds”

“Exercising creativity”

“The group discussion vibe”

“Working through a process with an end goal “

“The flow and ease of the process”

To see all of the photos, please visit our Facebook page. 

To find out more about Human Centred Design, check out this short video on IDEO’s website which gives a great overview.  The Enterprise Team are will be hosting more sessions like this in the future – so keep your eyes on our website, social media and newsletter!

Win £25,000! Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards info session next week

One of the UK’s largest student and graduate business pitching competitions, is HERE!

How can I find out more?

Come along to our information drop-in on Friday 23rd February in Pod 4 in the Learning Zone.  We’ll be there throughout the day, ready to answer your questions and help you get off to a flying start. It would be great if you could email us to let us know if you are planning to attend.

Can I read anything in the meantime?

Yes!  Please visit our competition information page here.  You’ll be able to get an overview of the competition and download the information pack.

What other support will be available?

We will announce dedicated workshops on completing your competition Business Model Canvas, and producing a 2 minute video pitch, and offering 1-2-1 support with your individual application before Easter.   Watch this space!

T1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Information Session

Are you an international student looking to start a business in the UK after graduation?

In order to start a business in the UK following graduation you will need to hold a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa allows you to stay in the UK for up to 12 months to establish and develop a business. This can then be extended for up to 12 months, provided satisfactory progress is being made.

Lancaster University is able to endorse a limited number of new T1 Visa applications each year from students interested in this career path. Each applicant is required to submit a strong business plan, outlining how the proposed business idea will operate in the UK. The Enterprise Team are able to support you in the production of this business plan.

It you would like to know more about the scheme, including details on the process, requirements and top tips for making a successful application – The Enterprise Team and International Registry team will be hosting an information session next week, please come along to find out more and ask any questions.

When? Tuesday 20th February 1:30-2:30pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

Let us know you will be attending by booking through Target Connect.

You can read more about the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme here.

Open discussion with entrepreneur Kelly Anne Sharp

Expert voice tips and business start-up advice

This week’s entrepreneur in residence is Kelly Anne Sharp, founder of Voice Work. Kelly Anne will be coming in on Thursday (8th Feb) to answer your questions!

Kelly Anne is a voice and speech coach, empowering people to improve the quality of their speaking voices for presenting on stage/in a boardroom, use their voice more effectively and deliver confidence to the individual and results for organisations. She works with a range of clients from businesses to individuals, educators and singing students. She has for example, worked with directors to help them become more effective leaders.

Not only will Kelly Anne have lots of expert tips to share in relation to using your voice more effectively to make a positive impression, having started her own business, she will also have start-up tips for any budding entrepreneurs.

When? Thursday 8th February, 1-2:30pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

If you would be interested in attending the session, please sign-up via Target Connect

Play It Labs

Play games to enhance your enterprise skills!

Next week we will be hosting the first ever ‘Play It’ Lab. Play It Labs are facilitated sessions that aim to help you learn more about enterprise  and develop your entrepreneurial skills through playing games. We have a whole stash of games, covering a range of topics from IP to cashflow, to scaling up your start-up. The games are designed to convey transferable real-life concepts in a fun way for those who don’t necessarily have a lot of experience or knowledge around business.

Sessions will be fun and relaxed and an ideal opportunity to meet other like-minded, enterprising students from across the University.

In you would like to attend a session, please book on via Target Connect.

WEEK 14: The Big Idea Tuesday 6th February, 1:30pm-3:30pm (Target Connect Booking)

This game is all about coming up with crazy ideas from a set of cards and pitching them to the group as through they were venture capitalist looking to invest. The game will get you thinking on your feet and is a great chance to practise your pitching skills in a safe and fun environment.

CREATIVITY – QUICK THINKING – PITCHING – COMMUNICATION

WEEK 15: Black Swan Wednesday 14th February, 2-4pm (Target Connect Booking)

Developed by student and staff at the University, Black Swan is a board game which will help you to get your head around the basic principles of Intellectual Propery – how it is created, it’s different forms, legal complexities and factors that affect its value and people’s behaviours around it.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – STRATEGIC THINKING – NEGOTIATION

 

Enterprise Nation Student Start-up of the Year

Win £2,500 for your business

Following a successful launch last year, Enterprise Nation’s Student Start-up of the Year competition is back! The competition is supported by the Enterprise Trust and offers young people and recent graduates the opportunity to win a range of prizes including, a top prize of £2,500 for your business.

Applications close: 25th February 2018

To find out more about the competition, the prizes and how to apply visit Enterprise Nation’s blog.

 

Campus Capital Launch Event

Looking for funding to help your startup?

Campus Capital is working in partnership with a number of UK universities to deliver on-campus venture capital funds, part-run by students!

The Lancaster team will be hosting their first event this Monday the 29th of January, 6:30-8pm in The Hub, Lancaster University Management School. This event will provide the opportunity for entrepreneurial students and alumni of the University to find out more about potential funding for their startups. With Campus Capital being able to provide investment of up to £350k to startups – this is not an event to be missed! Anyone who attends the will get the chance to meet the Students VCs and receive advice for securing funding.

Please visit the event page for further information and you can find our more about Campus Capital Lancaster here.

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop

Workshop: 31st January 1-4pm

As more employers call for graduates with 21st century skills like creativity, innovation, collaboration  and communication, we’re testing new ways for you to actively learn these competencies with fellow students from all disciplines.

 Design thinking is relevant to all as a life skill and is transferable potentially in all contexts, disciplines and organisations.

Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building simple prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.

Human-centered design consists of four phases. In the Empathy Phase you’ll learn directly from the people you’re designing for as you immerse yourself in their lives and come to deeply understand their needs. In the Define Phase you’ll make sense of what you learned and identify opportunities for design. In the  Ideation Phase you’ll learn to generate loads of ideas and build possible solutions in the Prototype Phase. With your prototype developed you  bring your solution to life to test in the Test Phase with real users or customers for Iteration or Launch!

Anyone can learn and apply Human Centred Design to any challenge to find innovative solutions. It’s a valuable life skill and a process for collaborative problem solving.

The Enterprise Team will be hosting a short taster session allowing you to experience the process of human centred design. For more details and to register, visit the event on Target Connect. 

You can also check out the Facebook photos from the Design Challenge we ran last academic year in collaboration with and to learn from Stanford d.School’s University Innovation Fellows Programme.

If you find you like what we do you can develop your skills beyond the session  e.g. develop your commercial awareness or develop that idea that’s been lurking in the the back of your mind, register with the Enterprise Team to hear about future sessions –  and explore our website at  www.lancaster.ac.uk/enterprisecentre

 

Why you should start a business in 2018…

Five reasons to start a business this year

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation shares five reasons why you should consider starting a business this year. Reasons include:

  • You can start without quitting the day job (or study!)
  • Gaps in the market remain
  • Technology has opened up a world of opportunity
  • There is plenty of support available
  • Freedom and flexibility is yours

To read more about each of these reasons – read the full article on Enterprise Nation’s Blog.

Drivers for Change

‘A journey to creative social action’

Drivers for Change are looking for young leaders aged 18-26 who are motivated to create social change within their communities, to join a 10 day journey across the UK this Summer. The 10 day learning experience aims to inspire future leaders through exploring how the arts, social enterprise and business can come together to create social change in UK communities.  Through taking part in the programme it is hoped that participants will:

  • Build their networks, connect with like-minded people
  • Receive practical advice and support to create their own social action or enterprise plan
  • Be inspired by social leaders from across the UK
  • Access mentoring opportunities
  • Develop an understanding of a diverse range of social challenges around the UK

Applications close: 26th March 2018

To find out more about the programme and how to apply, please visit the Drivers for Change website.