Voice your opinion

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Hi All,

Thank you to those who came to our demo Voice your Opinion meeting this last Tuesday night. We were lucky enough to have three guests from a local start-up, MedPilot, speak with us about their venture. We met to open dialogue about Innovation and Entrepreneurship on campus, and these gentlemen fit the bill for the night’s dialogue. Here’s a quick plot of the conversation:

1)      Mike and Jordan (left and middle) started out of a school in Vermont. Coming to the city to engage the resources available here, they found their way to the human capital of Poly. Their company now employs their technical team almost exclusively from Poly grads

2)      They started with a problem, like any good entrepreneurs, and built their business around a vision.

The task: provide a service to medical patients falsely charged for procedures.

The solution:  use a non-profit company to assist patients dealing with debt from incorrect and exorbitant hospital charges.

3)      The team now works out of the medtechspace united by their mutual passion.

More than any interview, however, there were many significant insights made along the way. And more than any interview, the passion, the strength, and the raw emotional power of their convictions emphasize how a product design can become a human-centered solution.

For our prospective entrepreneurs out there, nothing can beat meeting company leaders in early development when the pain and struggle is daily. Nonetheless, here is a recap of just a few of the insights they provided in their not-so-spare time:

·         “The best way to solve a social problem is to build a business around it”

·         You aren’t selling a product; you’re selling the vision behind the solution.

·         For certain services it is good to be hyper focused and dominate the smaller markets. Once you dominate your niche, you gain a competitive edge.

·         Orient your product towards the customer, spending any more time or money is simply guesswork.

If you haven’t caught up on your videos, they suggested you catch up on Simon Sineck “Start with Why” and Peter Thiel’s “The Stanford Startup Series.” Also, watch The Shawshank Redemption. Not just because there’s a fantastic quote that’s relevant to I/E, but because it’s also a dang good movie.

Other helpful hints:

·         Always leave on good terms. Jordan told a touching tale about his previous boss who taught him everything he knew. Because of good relations, he was able to talk to open channels again after leaving their company and now his previous boss serves as one of their most spirited mentors.

·         Don’t worry about profit in the beginning; you won’t be getting any.

Disregarding that last pearl of wisdom, it was exciting to have them there to speak with us! They opened the topic for us and provided some lasting impressions for those who attended. While there wasn’t as much time to discuss our perspectives, we enjoyed learning from our fellow entrepreneurs.

For those who didn’t make it, you missed some good face-to-face time, but come for our next event! Keep posted on the Greenhouse Stories site for more information.

Thank you and see you all again soon!

Noah, Jay and John, the Spring 2015 University Innovation Fellows

Ideation Framework with Eli Bozeman

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Hi All,

It was wonderful having you at the Ideation Framework workshop yesterday. It was great having Eli Bozeman from Originate to give us excellent insights about ideation and the steps to be taken thereafter. Indeed great ideas can have impact only if you can bring them to life. And with Eli, this was a fun thing to do. This was truly a great way to kick-off the prototyping month!

Here is a quick summary of what we went through during the workshop:

Eli took us through the process of starting from a simple idea and taking it to the stage of prototyping and thereby ensuring successful implementation of the idea.

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The process was incredibly simple yet very thought provoking. It starts with a simple problem that we might encounter in our daily lives, like losing our keys. The next step is to express the problem in simple terms, like, if you lose your keys, you cannot enter your home! Then you describe solutions and understand the positive aspects of the solution and to the segments of people the solution might cater to.

Eli then introduced us to the concept of creating personas and narratives for the solution. This will help us in tackling the specific issue in hand and takes us a step closer to making or even sketching a prototype. This framework we felt is an absolute fun thing, and a powerful tool too!

The participants all enjoyed the workshop, which was interactive with everyone keeping up the conversation. Here is what some participants shared with us:

I enjoyed how the prototyping process goes through practical examples of problems we encounter everyday” – Camela Logan

The workshop was very good and informative” – Samana Naqvi

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For those of you who could not make it to the event,  you really missed a great ideation workshop. The good news is: we have many more interesting workshops coming up. Please check our Prototyping Month Blog for details and register at the earliest.

See you all again soon!!

Cheers

The GreenHouse Team

 

 

 

Looking for skills: Web developers and industrial designers / engineers

Here is a project by an NYU recent graduate, who is looking for skills to help take it to the next level. In particular, they are looking for help  with prototyping a physical product and an app: 1. an app developer and 2. an industrial designer/engineering student. More information below.  If you are interested, contact chelsea@doglocker.nyc

If you reply by February 18, there might an opportunity for the team to participate to Inno|vention.

Dog Locker is working to build cities organized for dogs.

We believe you and your dog deserve to be together. So we have built pay-by-the-minute neighborhood doghouses for use outside of stores and restaurants.

 

Dog Locker provides secure dog parking outside of businesses where you can’t bring your dog. We partner with businesses to place Dog Lockers in front of stores and restaurants. We sell to dog owners who want the convenience of running all their errands with their best friend in tow. With Dog Locker leave the guilt at home, not your dog. www.doglocker.nyc

Needs: 

1. App Developer/Software Engineer: to help prototype the mobile app (iOs and Android mobile app development experience required)

  • Locker locator
  • Reservation and “dibbs” system
  • Real-time sanitation reporting and user feedback form
  • Timetracker/usage tracking (by the minute)
  • Emergency calling system to HQ 
  • Send data in real-time to HQ for monitoring 

2. Industrial Designer/Engineer: to help prototype the locker itself (physical product design and manufacturing experience wanted) 

Locker specs/features:

  • Keycard/wireless communication/ID reader on Lockers. Only open with registered user keycard, credit card or phone app if not reserved. Will only open a second time (to get dog out) for the person who originally started the reservation period. 
  • Locker features: Dog camera, cooling fan, insulated, touchscreen, temperature display, soothing sound machine (all wifi and powered wirelessly/solar)
  • Weatherproofing and NYC sidewalk-friendly materials
  • Easy-to-clean materials
  • Dog-friendly, ergonomic environment

Where collaboration is born and ideas are nurtured.

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