Sunday, 19 March 2017 16:16

8 Basics to Get your Business Idea off the Ground

Here is what happened at Mini-Mashup on Saturday!

Twenty students, forming five teams, from three Tauranga secondary schools, got up on Saturday morning and, instead of heading to the beach, the mall or the couch, chose to come to Mini-Mashup. A prequel to Mashup the three-hour workshop is designed to help ‘finetune a business idea’, ‘discover who the customer is’ and practise ‘working well as a team’.

All five teams are currently working on a business idea, either as part of the Young Enterprise Team (YES) programme or to enter Mashup coming up on 6 and 7 May. They saw Mini-Mashup for what it is: an opportunity to get ahead with their business idea, to meet mentors and to practise using basic business tools.

Lily, a Digital Tech student from Mount College, came to this workshop ‘to think of ideas for Mashup and learn more about business processes’.

Jonathan, Mount College also, wanted to explore what problem his team can solve, while making money in the process.

Both Ben and Blake, Business Studies students doing the YES programme at Otumoetai College said their big goal is to learn how to run a business successfully, and wanted to dive in deeper than they could do at school.

Katya and Josh, also doing YES at Otumoetai College, came to ‘develop an idea around a problem worth solving’ for their YES company.

All brought copious amounts of energy, willingness to learn, and ambition to do well at either (or both!) the YES and Mashup competitions. Keen to meet other like minds, they also brought plenty of curiosity and passion The positive vibe and attitude didn’t escape the four business mentors in the room, who described each of the fledgling entrepreneurs as ‘highly coachable’!

So what happened was… three hours of laser focus on problem definition! Were thrown in a few team building activities, an introduction to the Lean Canvas, and opportunities to get up and pitch at various stages during the workshop Over thirty questions were written for customer development surveys and two dozen muffins and copious amounts of fruit got eaten to keep the energy levels up.

A first result: twenty young entrepreneurs equipped for the next leg of their business journey

Here are 8 things they learned:

Sam (1), who is entering an Aquinas College team for Mashup, said he learned to think about the foundation of the idea, and not go to far ahead before you know what the actual problem is, which was echoed by Callum (2), from a Mount Maunganui College Mashup team.

Natarsha (3), who is leading her YES team at Otumoetai College, made good use of the 5 Why method.

Jesse (4), her team mate learned that it is a good idea to start from yourself and what you have passion for when thinking up a business idea.

Katya (5) takes away that it is more about the production of the idea and the market research than the product itself, which is very useful for her YES team, also from Otumoetai College. The team is walking out pumped to have learned ‘their product has great chance to be successful’, as Blake (6) pointed out!

Leith and Sean (7)  from Aquinas College had already surveyed 100 potential users of their YES product idea and learned how to make their questionnaire evolve as they need to understand “why people need and want their product, so that they can fix it”

Lily (8) summed it up for her Mount College Mashup team, by saying they will now ‘focus on their target audience and the problem [their product] solve for them

Phew! Great start to the weekend all, and good to know you are taking learnings from Mini-Mashup and apply them to your project!


Here is a chance to test the next iteration of your project: Mashup is on 6 and 7 May!

Whatever your business idea, or current school project, put it to the test at Mashup! Open to all secondary school students from years 10 and up, the 48 hour challenge is free to enter.
Two days surrounded by business mentors to help your project along, and plenty others keen to make their idea fly. Come battle it out in front of the Judges on Sunday night and be in to win cash prizes!

Register your team now here

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