The annual Business Model Canvas Mixer on November 13th was a bustle of activity as participants and mentors collaborated on participants business model canvases (BMC). 28 participants and 10 mentors took part in the event. The Business Model Canvas Mixer is part of the Develop stage of the 2021 Startup Challenge, the second of four sprints. The Develop stage focuses on participants potential customers and their values.
The day started off with breakfast and mingling as everyone arrived. Before getting down to business everyone joined in a massive game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Most LEC events include a stoke, the purpose for each stoke is unique, in this case the game of Rock-Paper-Scissors is a stoke meant to build energy and nurture comradery between participants, this helps to get everyone in the right mindset before beginning. Then participants heard from Startup Challenge Director Nathaniel Stern and LEC Startup Challenge Faculty Fellows Jennifer Kibicho and Portia Cobb. The participants were released to work on their own BMC’s after learning about the various parts of the BMC.
While the participants worked on their BMC’s, mentors mingled and found participants to work with. Each mentor spent time with the teams helping them to think through their BMC’s and providing industry or specialized input.
Each participant or team or participants prepared a statement identifying their customer, what they would pay for, what pain or gain is addressed by the service or product being paid for, and why it differs from the current products or services that exist. Once teams had completed their BMC they gave a brief report out to the collective group on their findings – and got a taste for pitching their idea.
The first half of the day concluded with participants and mentors partaking in a mindfulness exercise led by LEC Well Entrepreneur-in-Residence Amelia Coffaro. Mindfulness exercises are a recent addition to the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center’s programming, aimed at and dedicated to giving entrepreneurs the tools to help take care of themselves and their mental health.
In the second half of the BMC Mixer participants learned about using “Lean Launchpad” methodology. The lean launch method challenges students and local entrepreneurs to interact with others to build to framework of their business. In addition to the lean launch method, participants learned key skills for conducting customer interviews, and WHY customer interviews are so crucial for human centered design and building a startup that provides a solution to pain points.
Want to learn more or join in to see what all the excitement is about?
Check out the next upcoming Startup Challenge events and boosters!
Every Wednesday Office Hours | 12pm – 1pm | LEC 203