Thursday, 4 July 2013

New Directions: Day 2

It's probably about time I got on with this entry!

The first activity of day two was right up my street. The challenge was to build a tower using only paper. The fewer sheets we used, the more profit, the quicker we built it, the more profit and the higher we built it, the more profit. We had some time to prototype our tower and then we had to build it. I was part of the design/building team while some of the other team members calculated how much profit we were going to make. Our tower, although only reaching 2 ft (ish), contained very few sheets and was fast to build. Consequently, we came third. I think the main lesson learn here was that you don't always have to come up with the biggest idea, just a good one. Great things come in small packages and all that!

The main part of the day followed from Monday's brainstorming session. We had to come up with a product that would help people reduce the amount of energy they use. At the end of the day, we would then be pitching our ideas to a panel of judges made up of entrepreneurs. 
It felt a little bit like The Apprentice again, but this time I was determined not to be competitive and we came up with a great idea and we worked really well as a team.

When it was time to pitch, we ended up going last but this did however mean that we could look at other people's pitches and see what we were up against. One thing that I did realise was how much my public speaking had developed since coming to university. We have to present our work on a regular basis so talking to large groups of people no longer fazes me in the way it used to. As well as not being nervous, I know how to make a presentation. This was something I took for granted but I saw that there were some groups that didn't present as well as the other. It was really interesting to see and a bit of a motivator.
Our turn soon came along and although we didn't win, I felt that we performed really well as a group and we did a good presentation. Everyone got involved with speaking and making sure that we told the panel all the information about our product which left time for some more in depth questions which we also managed to answer really well to back up our idea. 

Overall, it was a really good couple of days and as well as giving me the chance to network and chat to other people like me, I think it's also given me the confidence to go ahead and take the next step as a small business: registering. This is something that I will be doing when I get back to Manchester, where I can get support and advice from Innospace and the Business School. It may not be a new direction but this workshop definitely gave me a push in the right one.