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I run my own small creative business; crystallised , specialising in architectural 3d visualisations. Business was good but I felt it needed a fresh input to gather some traction & diversify my portfolio. I approached Startdoms, intrigued, having heard good things, but a little unsure whether they could help a more traditional non-tech business like mine: From what I heard, Incubate specialises in developing, testing, growing & scaling novel innovative, tech internet based ideas into a fully-fledged funded backed start-ups. I Had no new ideas, so the first event I attended “where do business ideas come from” was my attempt to deal with the fact that if your competing with other business (like me), there’s always going to be someone who can deliver faster and cheaper. This got me thinking on a new wavelength making sure to keep my mind open to how I could adapt my business, innovatively to beat the competition, utilise my expertise to find a gap in the market or even create one! Having wandered about new possibilities I decided I signed up to a few more events; I was able to meet lots of people & spread the word of my business. I picked up quite a few contacts & felt that I was starting to integrate into the community well. I was even able to offer my own insights, which I felt, were appreciated & valued. I even met a Start-up up group that hired me to do an architectural animation to promote their product! Having now met quite a few people, worked with them & familiarised myself with the community and their teachings I decided to attend the startdom weekend, which I heard was very intense. I was right & glad I was prepared; It started on Friday night and continued first thing on Saturday & Sunday mornings right through until the evening where we continued to brainstorm into the evening over drinks. During the daytime, everyone got a chance to pitch & pick the best ideas, forming groups with the help of the multi-disciplined experienced mentors. Lectures & assignments were given along with advice & feedback really streamlining & accelerating the process; so much so, that by the end of the weekend, our team was made and offer to form a partner ship with the founders of Incubate! Notebits was born. We are now going through an intense 3-month process of customer development; we will have interviewed 200 people by Christmas with 20 Early Adopters. The help of the mentors has helped direct the start-up along an accelerated, user-centric path, generating results quickly, providing feedback on the viability of our product & how exactly to adapt/pivot. Looking back, less than 3 months ago now, unsure if Startdoms would be compatible, I’m glad I made that decision. The skills and expertise I’ve picked up are transferable to my business. Ever since Google campus was built in London I’ve always thought “wouldn’t it be great to have the equivalent in Leicester” I really Appreciate the initiative of Dr Constantina Katsari and recommend it to any small - medium sized business even if your not predominantly tech based.
I attended Startdom in Athens Greece. It was a great experience that gave me a deeper understanding on the Lean away, and get hands on right away. One of the most interesting things for me was the pitching part of the course, I got to test my pitching skills in a short time, and with real people and to see that I need to work more on that part. I learned also other practical things on to develop further the idea to a product, and on costumer development. Overall a great weekend, and you the get the opportunity to meet also lots of interesting people on the business.
The startdom was a good experience for creating and implementing ideas into real scenarios of starting up a venture. The two days were filled with an exciting feel of developing an idea from pitching to further developing the idea even after the startdom program if successful in the team progression. The best part of the program was to receive ideas from the mentors and enhancing skills of pivoting within the projects.