Three UW-Green Bay students are in Cascais, Portugal studying at the European Innovation Academy to learn about global entrepreneurship. Here’s a summary of recent activities that the students completed with their teams that were formed before Day 2.
UW-Green Bay students on three different teams are going through customer development exercises to prepare themselves for Day 4. On Day 4, the students get to go on the streets, shopping centers and ocean walks of Cascais to talk to potential customers about their problems that their start-ups could solve. Paulina Godlewska’s team, called HiLume, provides interactive and accessible product data in the way of augmented reality to in-store retailer customers’ mobile devices. The team plans to start with grocery store customers for a potential product-solution fit. Godlewska serves as the chief business officer for her team, and her teammates are from universities in Canada, Netherlands and England.
UW-Green Bay student Courtney Gersek (Business Administration) and her team are ready for Day 4. Gersek is the CEO of her company, Twistables, which attempts to make it easier for customers to get the last bits of peanut butter or Nutella out of the jar. The idea was based on Gersek’s business idea, and on Day 0 she recruited her team, which is composed of a chief business officer from China, chief marketing officer and chief design officer from Florida, and a chief science officer from Portugal.
On Day 5 at the European Innovation Academy in Cascais, Portugal, UW-Green Bay student Leah Zorn (Computer Science) and her team compiled customer insights from Day 4, searched for patterns in that data, and storyboarded their customer’s experience using their solution to form a prototype of their app, on paper. From that paper prototype, the team will work on a digital prototype using Adobe. Zorn’s team, PLUM, is trying to solve the problem of connecting international students on university campuses to off campus authentic, high-quality ethnic food. Zorn serves her team as the chief design officer, and her team is made up of students from universities in Toronto, Washington D.C., Pittsburgh and Basel, Switzerland. The students will have the weekend off to explore Portugal. Many are exploring Lisbon tomorrow as the students have free train tickets as part of the program. In addition, on Sunday there is a planned optional trip to Evora, the capital of Portugal’s south-central Alentejo region, to see castles.
The second week at the European Innovation Academy in Cascais starts with digital prototyping. The teams are to create landing pages to collect leads, and make a working digital prototype of their app or website solution to the consumer problem that their business is solving. On Day 7, students will attend mentoring in the morning and a Startup Expo in the afternoon to continue to test their ideas and to communicate their idea. The goal? To make the cut for the intense Product Sprint Workshop by Day 10. Out of the teams that make it that far, the top 10 ideas will be chosen to be pitched to investors along with three wild cards that did not make it in time for the Product Sprint Workshop. UW-Green Bay student Paulina Godlewska (Business Administration) and her team went to the CascaiShopping (a mall in Cascais) to do customer interviews in order to gain insight on how their solution would fit into customers’ problems.