After another successful #MashupWeekend in the books, it’s time to reflect on the thrilling experience that was felt in the room. Plenty of ideas were shared, market research done and those little light bulbs on the top of people’s head, definitely had some spark!
So, we’d love to share with you how our #MashupWeekend runs and why people in the room feel so inspired and eager to work together with people they never met before, on business ideas completely new to the majority of them!
After pleasantries and ambiguous small talk that always comes up when people that aren’t too familiar meet each other for the first time we dive right in to the meat of the weekend.
To start, you share three words or things that inspire you and put it on the inspiration board. This reflective exercise allows people to share what it is that they work for. Whether it is freedom, learning, travel, music, art or even family. With this, people quickly get put on teams and pick three pieces of inspiration from the abundant list of buzzwords to develop a quick business idea from the words selected! This is fun way to introduce people to the focus of the weekend and keep them on their toes!
Once the creative juices are given a quick shock from that, the real business ideas for the weekend are shared! Past #MashupWeekend business idea topics have ranged oceantech, mental health support and even, energy efficiency!
After being placed on teams and hashing out some details, it’s time to actually lay out the groundwork with a Business Model Canvas; a tool that helps you focus on the specifics of the business. You map out your value proposition, to customer segments and the relationship they can expect from your business and any sort of key partnerships, activities or resources your proposed business would need to thrive.
At #MashupWeekend it’s interesting to see how folks interpret this tool and watch how it can be used to either, divide the work and have each aspect delegated based on peoples’ strengths or, tackle each individual piece head-on as a group.
After working on the Canvas for a few hours we call it a night! However, this overnight period is typically when the most work is done as ideas are mulled over in the back of people’s heads! So, when we start back up in the morning over breakfast, the chatter in the room is electric as fresh new perspectives are shared!
A few cups of coffee and a team-brainstorm first thing in the morning and people are excited to get working at their ideas again and really trying to get their business ideas into action!
After the Business Canvas is hashed out and made more concise to ensure the business can flourish, it’s time to put those assumptions to the test!
So, teams do all that they can to engage potential customers/clients or industry experts. Whether it be Googling as much information as possible, phoning up folks from their network, or even hitting the streets and trying to get some questions answered from the general public. The point being, whatever you may think works easily as a business model or potential product, the fact of the matter is you need to have someone eventually make a purchase in order for your business to thrive.
With as much market research that can be done to ensure your business is as sound you believe it is, it’s time to present what it is you and your team was working on over the weekend! We bring in a panel of judges that are either business leaders or experts in the area to offer feedback and advice that is grounded in their own entrepreneurial experience. As folks ignore the nerves and present their kick-ass business ideas, the inspiration of the weekend comes to a full peak as you get to watch what great ideas can come from just one weekend!
After hearing about what happens at our #MashupWeekend we hope that you’ll take the plunge and #GetInTheRoom! We know once you do you’ll feel the inspiration that happens when folks share ideas and work together on some really interesting and innovative ideas.
Hear about what Andrew has to say about the magic that happens during our Mashup Weekends and what its like when that entrepreneurial spirit is felt!
Working with over 1,000 Entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses from rural communities gives you perspective. Here is where I share the things I'm learning through my work with Mashup Lab. This is my Rural Perspective; I'd love to hear yours.