Hi friends, hope we’re all keeping well.
Welcome back to the second instalment of the TES EduProgram post series, where I share all the insights I gained during a 5 week program about the key pillars of entrepreneurship. In this post, I’ll be going over the topic discussed in week 2-ideation. The panel included:
- Saoirse Kelders, Founder’s Associate at ProtexAI. I was initially confused about the role ‘founder’s associate’, but she later clarified it as a ‘general secretary’ role for the founders, and essentially did all the ‘housekeeping’ for the business. She likened it to being a ‘generalist’ for the business, which actually sounds pretty cool. The company itself, ProtexAI, is really interesting and uses software to monitor existing cameras in the port, logistics, and manufacturing industries, and ensures health and safety compliance is being followed, as well as helps identify potential safety threats before they occur.
- Matthew Coffey, Co-Founder and CEO of Squid, which is a customer loyalty product used by stores and businesses.
- Mark Hughes, founder and CEO of GradGuide, a company that connects mentors with new graduates who don’t know what their next steps are.
The topic this week was definitely one of the most intriguing, since having an idea is basically where everyone starts, regardless of skills.
Here are the insights I gained from this talk:
- Start as soon as possible. Find and join any idea accelerator program you possibly can, and you will also get to meet some amazing, amazing people.
- When actually trying to come up with ideas, it’s often really, REALLY good if you can come up with something completely new, that hasn’t been invented before and is useful. However, it’s also just as good if you can combine some really good technology/product that’s already out there, with some untapped industry. For example, with ProtexAI they combined AI recognition software, with health and safety programs (which according to Saoirse, was a hugely untapped industry that’s been heavily neglected by technology booms).
- Mark’s advice on this topic was simply straightforward: just copy someone else and do it 10x better. Okay maybe not that extreme, but the core advice is the same: you don’t always need to reinvent the wheel; there’s always people who achieve success by heavily improving on a previously built product.
- It’s really important to have a good work culture. Here are two litmus tests Mark and Saoirse gave for hiring people at the start:
–2 Pints and a Puppy Test: would you be okay with having 2 pints with this person, and also let them look after your puppy?
–Waiting at the Airport Test: If your flight was really delayed, by like 7-8 hours, would you be okay waiting with and hanging around this person during that time?
- To try find an idea for a business, first try and see if you can solve any of your own problems. Then try solve others’ problems. Mark’s idea for GradGuide came because he apparently had that problem of not knowing what to do next after graduating from college, hence he came up with his own solution.
Another really good week, with plenty of good conversations and insights gained.
Thanks for reading if you made it this far, I’ll see you hopefully in the next post!
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