From February to April before this past Spring’s Idea Challenge, DifferenceMaker and our Faculty Fellows held five workshops to educate teams on how to properly conduct themselves not only through the Idea Challenge, but as an independent company promoting themselves to investors and management.
The first DifferenceMaker Workshop, Team Building, was held on February 6th, 2013. It focused on building team strength and strengthened the teams’ sense of power with diversity. Different walks of life, different schools of education, and different points of view of each member are all important to the overall quality of the team’s product. Also outlined is the need for a rich, comfortable intelligent environment where each team member trusts that everyone is there for the positive development of the team and the product. Students learned that this is the key to criticism being taken in a positive way that will promote team growth.
On February 19th, 2013 DifferenceMaker held its second Workshop, Identifying Problems and Opportunities. Here, students were shown how to focus on pitching solutions in a way that will pique the interest to people that have problems that need solving. Ways to become the best candidate for a solution were discussed, and a focus on keeping the demographic, personal team value and overall solution quality helped students form a way to give themselves a concrete problem to work with and find opportunities in places they would not have otherwise known to look.
Developing Solutions, the third DifferenceMaker workshop on March 1st, 2013, took the information students learned in the previous workshop to the next level. DifferenceMaker showed the students that solving the smaller parts of the problem and learning from solving those problems kept teams in flexible development, enabling them to dynamically work on the different issues their problem called for. Students were also taught that gaining trust through confident and consistent branding is one of the best ways to enable themselves to be the trusted, first-chosen problem solvers of any given problem.
The fourth Workshop hosted by DifferenceMaker was Identifying Resources, held on March 20th, 2013. DifferenceMaker informed the many options that the student teams have to secure resources, especially the resources that work with DifferenceMaker. Investors, grants, and mentors are all available to the students and they were instructed to identify the cost of their project and to figure out ways to raise awareness of their solution. Students learned that this will attract investors and other resources that will better help them reach the solution they are working towards.
The final DifferenceMaker WorkShop was the Rocket Pitch Coaching on April 4th, 2013. Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. Steven Tello, along with the other DifferenceMaker Faculty Fellows, worked together to prepare student teams for a Rocket Pitch during the preliminary round of the Idea Challenge. The focus was to give teams a solid understanding of what was expected, and hone in on what will engage people to believe in their product and trust their solution. During the Workshop program, Professor Tello also did a mock Rocket Pitch to give students a better understanding of what pitch like that looks like.