2.11 Bright Ideas Finale

Estimated reading time – 5 mins

After a week of hard work, it was the Finale day. The next big thing after the trade fair. We could not afford to lose this time, or else I know myself very well, I would have been depressed. So the whole team suited up – Men in Black and also the only lady in our team –  in black. We had rehearsed our pitch at least 25 times for this day. There were 7 categories in which all the ideas were sorted.

Our idea was in the Product’s category where we were competing with 9 other teams. Few of them were winners at the trade fair, so you could clearly imagine, the competition was not easy. We were 4th in line to pitch. We went in, performed our pitch, the judges asked us a lot of questions, one of them was really tricky. However, Hector tackled the question really well. The judges were very happy with our overall performance and luckily Alice, our lecturer got the chance to come in the judging room and shoot the entire pitching and Q&A video. Now, this allows us to look at it and find out our mistakes and also to refer to those questions and come up with an even better answer. Well, after this we just waited for the results.

After the networking event, all the finalists gathered in one room. The results started coming out, and the anxiety was building inside me but the way our pitch went, I was very confident on winning. And now the results for the Product Category……..Team Tyton. Yes! Finally, another award for my achievements! Also, we got 250 pounds to spend. This will allow us to get the prototyping sorted, the final prototype from our manufacturer. The team is working hard for the Dragon’s Den in March. Hopefully, we win that too. The team is also actively working for the production of our case. We have also hired a professional designer to make the final 3d design of our case. In my next blog, I will write about the Dragon’s Den.


2.10 Trigger

Estimated reading time – 5 mins

If you have read my previous blogs, you must be aware that our team had entered the Bright Ideas competition – one of the biggest Enterprise Competition at Kingston University which is not only open to Business Students but to all the students across all the campuses. We had entered Bright Ideas with our initial idea – The My PA app, however when we decided we are not going to work on it anymore, we immediately took steps and luckily got the chance to put the Tyton Holder’s application. So here we were, entered successfully again into Bright Ideas.

Due to previous experience, I knew what the most critical aspect of the competition is – the PITCH. Our team understood that very well and did not waste time on the things that did not matter. But before that, we got the chance to attend Trigger KU – a 2-day workshop to prepare for the Bright Ideas Finale. The Enterprise department announced only 150 entries made it to Trigger KU out of 500 entries, this was after the online judging round. Only 50 entries were going to make it to the finale. We were quite sure, we are going to make it.

On the weekend of Trigger, we learned??? Actually just revised all of the things which we already knew because of our business degree background. But on the final day, we got the chance of pitching our product to the judges, this was not a competition, but just a trial and feedback is always great. All the judges clearly understood the problem we are trying to tackle, they believed it is a real problem, and something had to be done about it a long time ago. They liked our pitch and guided us on the right path to ensure we are ready for the final day.

Even though this was not a competition, they still announced the best entries and again we did not make it. But I knew that we were definitely going to win Bright Ideas, only a week left from then, the team gathered together and started working hard for the Final. In my next blog, I will write about the Finale Day and how it went!

2.9 The Launch​

Estimated reading time – 5 mins

After working hard for almost a month, we got our initial 3d printed prototype ready for the first trade fair on the 25th February. Being the first big thing for the year 2018, our team worked really hard on this one. We had everything prepared to show our brand to the people, to show what we represent. We had our brand hoodies, business cards, a tablecloth of the branding colour. We partnered up with one of the biggest names in the Gym industry in the UK – David Lloyds. We held a raffle to give away two packages of 2-week trial membership at DL.

Now lets come to the most important thing, the product. Let me explain to you all how the product works, by using suction cups the case can be stuck on any mirror or glass surface which is ever present in the gym. The case is made of a silicon material which tightly secures the phone. In addition, there is a space for your cards, and better yet you can also dangle your keys.

The trade fair went really well, and was a big turning point considering the failure of our initial business idea “the MY PA app”. The lecturers were quite impressed that we took the risk of killing our idea, on which we worked for 2 months but the major thing we achieved was coming up with a plan, getting the market research done and the prototype ready within 20 days.

We met a lot of potential customers, people who were so impressed that they were ready to buy it on the day. Unfortunately, our manufacturing in China has not begun so we could not take any pre-orders. There were 4 categories to compete for – Best Product, Best Stand, Best Sales Team and Best Overall Company. We were really hoping to win at least one of it because we felt that we performed tremendously and we attracted a lot of attention. In the end, we did not! It was very disappointing however I before beginning the day had promised myself that no matter if I win or not, I will definitely go and congratulate the people who win and I could not lose against my own self. I brought myself together and went with a smiling face and congratulated all the winners.

Did not win the trade fair, but made new friends 🙂

2.8 Another Start – Titan

Estimated Reading Time – 5 mins

This idea was inspired by my personal experience, so one day I was at the gym really early, although it was around 8am, the gym was unusually very busy. So I headed straight to the treadmill to warm up, and I noticed something that I missed for so many years. All cardio machines have a pocket to keep your phone, however, once you are out of the cardio section and in the free weight area, there is literally no space or spot to keep your phone which leaves people with no choice but to keep their phones on the floor. I have experienced this, and it is a fact of my life that 75% of the time that I spend in the gym, my phone is always on the floor.

I thought it is not possible that it is only me who faces this problem, so I took a quick look around, and I saw at least 4 phones on the floor. I wondered if there was any product on the internet that could solve this issue and to my surprise, there was none. That is when I made a decision that this is the perfect opportunity to exploit the market. I discussed with my team, and everybody liked the idea. However, i gave them enough time so that the idea can grow in their minds and they can come up with more additions to it or find any critical issue with it. In the end, we all decided this is the idea we want to take forward, and we submitted another bright ideas application with our new product – the Titan, phone holder.

I will explain how the product works on the next blog, I prepared a business model canvas assignment for this product which helped me in researching the market. We have made some good progress with it, we are currently in talks with manufacturers in China. Hopefully, we will get the prototype ready before the first trade fair which is on the 25th of January. That’s all for today’s blog, I will keep posting every week from now on and keep the readers informed about the progress and also my journey.

2.7 Complete Demolition

Estimated Reading Time – 5 mins

On the 8th of December, we had our first mock dragon’s den pitch. The team was all prepared for it, we had a good number of practice pitching sessions done before the final day. As expected and as asked, we were first on the list to take on the stage. We delivered an exceptional pitch, and the class was quite impressed with our presentation. However, there were some significant concerns in all of the 5 judges’ minds.

First of all, our idea the MY PA app didn’t seem practical to them, they had concerns and questions for us regarding the legal issues that we could have faced in case something was to go wrong. The idea that we had in mind was too general and open that made the operation really difficult, they suggested that we keep a specific number of tasks that could be requested. The other major issues we were facing were the development costs, it was nowhere near what we calculated. To be really honest, it was over 10 times of our initial investment.  Well we got roasted for 20 mins, and I guess we were the only team that occupied the platform for that long, we pitched for 5 mins, but we were questioned and were answering for another 20 mins. All of this contributed to a mental dilemma in my mind.

Once we were done, I immediately stepped out of the class to take a breath and have a minute on my own. I was too confused and too broken because I could feel and I had already realised that the idea that we worked on for so long, the idea on which we put our energies and efforts on is not gonna work. After every team was done, it was time for us to decide as a team on the path that we wanted to go towards. I made it very clear to my team that I believed that MY PA is not gonna work and all of them agreed. We immediately took steps and informed our lecturers so that they could help us with bright ideas deadline extension, so we get time to submit a new idea, it was Friday, and we only asked until monday.

Next Monday, the team had its new idea, a much more practical and a much more useful idea that is actually sellable. In my next blog, I am going to write about the new idea and the progress on it so far.

2.6 Bright Ideas – The First Big Thing

Estimated reading time – 5 mins

As of 1st December, we have officially entered the bright ideas competition. Being a previous winner of bright ideas has maintained a spark inside me to win it again and win it even better this time. Bright ideas is the real deal which pushes your business forward, not only it gives you the capital required to run the company, the most beneficial thing according to me is the motivation and the belief that your idea is worth something and people believe in it. So Team One Minute has officially entered the bright ideas 2018 with the idea of the My PA app. Let me explain to you all what our app is.

My PA is an app that provides Users with a Personal Assistant on demand and at an affordable price. Our primary target group would be young professionals with disposable income who are comfortable using apps. We plan to begin in Kingston Upon Thames while we refine and develop our service, and ultimately move into central London towards areas such as Shoreditch, Canary Wharf and Soho where young professionals have more disposable income. We hope to acquire funding to market our app. We want to offer promotional code discounts for user’s first tasks on the app. We already have interest and an E-mail list of prospective PAs we have met on Kingston University’s campuses. Other market segments can benefit from the use of our App such as independent store owners, businesses requiring temp staff, and companies who do not need enough support to offer Part-Time or Full-Time positions. Our app is available for everyone to use and also provides a platform for people to earn money in their spare time.

So, that’s all I can reveal for now, however, once we are more developed and in the phase of launching our app to the public, I will talk more about the app and explain the operations in our company. Keep reading the blogs, in the next blog I will talk about our first presentation – the mock dragon’s den.

2.5 My PA – The App

Estimated reading time – 5 mins

Let’s talk about the most crucial aspect of our business, the idea! Well, according to me this is the hardest part of starting up. We held a couple of meetings with the team to brainstorm and generate ideas. The process was quite simple, the first aspect was to come up with a problem which can be addressed with an innovative solution. So, all of us, each member of the team was given a task, to come up with their everyday problems in life. As discussed, all of us came up with problems, and each problem was discussed at our next meeting, and we tried coming up with solutions for each one of them. However, no matter what we came up with, no matter if it was coming straight from our mind, it already existed. This is a major annoyance because literally come up with anything and I am pretty sure, something like that or similar to it already exists on the market.

Later on, we changed our minds and decided we would not address a problem but still try to innovate existing daily used products. For this, we came up with several ideas to modify things like backpacks, scarves, socks, jackets. None of these ideas clicked with our hearts and didn’t give us the inner satisfaction. I discussed an idea with my team about a towel subscription service. Initially, nobody liked it, and I was sceptical too, however, when discussed again in the next meeting, everybody loved it, and it started growing on us. However, with past experience, I knew that I should let the idea rest in my mind for a couple of days and if it stills sounds exciting the way it did when it came up then we will go forward with it. I asked all the teammates to do the same, to see if the idea grows on their minds. However, after just 2 days, the idea was out of my mind and without a doubt from everybody else’s thoughts as well.

A few weeks ago, we were having a casual discussion between ourselves and this idea of an app suddenly came up, and it stroked all of us at once. So, there it was. Our final approach – The My PA app. We have started working on the app and started the research, we have taken almost a hundred surveys. We have met our lecturers who are expert in this field and received valuable feedback. But wait, why am I not explaining the app, the idea? To know more about it, read the next blog which is the bright ideas submission, I will explain the whole concept of our app and also talk about the bright ideas experience.