DifferenceMaker Boot Camp Session #3

On June 15, 2021, DifferenceMaker held the third Summer Boot Camp Session. Holly Lalos, Director, Rist DifferenceMaker Institute, welcomed the student teams, advisors, and guest speakers. Then, each team presented their homework deliverables.

This week, the 2021 Idea Challenge winning teams shared their research findings on value propositions and customer segments. Once teams identify their customer segments, they can then discover the customer’s pains per segment. Once pains are understood, a value-added solution can be developed to solve the pains for each customer segment.

Value proposition can include both functional and emotional benefits. Additionally, it is important to understand customers (buyers) versus users. For example, Digital Life, a team that’s developing an affordable finger prosthetic for kids with congenital deformities, presented about how their buyers may not be the same as their end users. In their case, parents may be the buyers (customers), and children may be the end users. Understanding these concepts are important because it could change price points, marketing, needs, wants, and more.

All the teams presented their findings and received feedback from the Boot Camp advisors which helped deepen their research and development. Teams used various interviewing methods to gain information from their potential customers, such as Zoom. Surveys were also used. For example, VieVest creator Alexander Frawley, sent out surveys to local gyms to gather their current pains and needs while performing barbell exercises.

Chris McKenna ‘89, Francis College of Engineering and David Kantaros, both partners at Foley and Lardner, LLP guest spoke about business formation and intellectual property. Foley and Lardner, LLP sponsors $15,000 of in-kind legal services at the Annual $50K Idea Challenge.

Chris and David went into detail about the types of legal business entities students can pursue, such as a C-Corp or LLC, as well as the laws around intellectual property.

Thank you to Chris and David for being guest speakers at the Boot Camp and for teaching future entrepreneurs about the importance of business formation and intellectual property.

Read about Boot Camp session 1.

Read about Boot Camp session 2.

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DifferenceMaker Boot Camp Session #2

On June 8, 2021, DifferenceMaker held the second Summer Boot Camp Session! Holly Lalos, Director, Rist DifferenceMaker Institute, welcomed the student teams, advisors, and guest speakers. Then, each team presented their homework deliverables.

Each presentation lasted around five minutes. During the presentations, teams mentioned the problem that they are solving, along with a clear description of their solution. Problems ranged from children with hand deformities, food insecurity, and no secure way to seal a face mask.

To follow up with the solution, teams also presented the size of the market opportunity, as well as the target market for their product. This included their total addressable market, served available market, and target market. This information was collected through surveys, interviewing potential customers, and market research resources. Some teams also showed a summary of their business model canvas, which will be updated throughout the Boot Camp.

Siddhant Iyer, a plastic engineering graduate and co-founder of TrueFIT, presenting about how their skin-safe thermochromic adhesive mounting system works on existing face masks.

Then, advisors provided feedback, tips, and advice, and asked questions. Some advisors offered to make introductions based off their connections and the student ideas. This was a great networking opportunity for students to make connections with people in similar industries.

Following the homework presentations, Katie Muise, co-founder of Ambulatory Innovations, guest spoke about her product, the CAT Mat, and her experiences with DifferenceMaker. She also spoke about the various opportunities she received following the $50K Idea Challenge in 2019, and problems she encountered and overcame. Katie also provided informative, helpful tips to the student audience, such as, to always overestimate the amount of time a task will take to complete and dedicating time each week for a team meeting.

Katie Muise, co-founder of Ambulatory Innovations, presenting about additional pitch competitions that her team participated in following her experience with DifferenceMaker.

Thank you to Katie Muise from Ambulatory Innovations for being a guest speaker at the Boot Camp Speaker Series and for inspiring future entrepreneurs!

Read about Boot Camp session 1.

To learn more about Ambulatory Innovations, please visit their website and social media platforms:

Website: https://www.ambulatoryinnovations.com/

Email: info@ambulatoryinnovations.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ambulatoryinnovations

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ambulatory-innovations/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ambinnovations

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2021 DifferenceMaker Boot Camp Kickoff

On June 1, 2021, DifferenceMaker held its’ Kickoff Boot Camp session!

Holly Lalos, Program Director, DifferenceMaker, led the session. The session started with introductions from each advisor. This years’ advisors are:

Then, introductions from each of the 2021 Idea Challenge DifferenceMaker Teams took place. The teams participating in this summer’s Boot Camp are:

2021 Idea Challenge DifferenceMaker teams providing introductions about who they are, along with a brief pitch about their project idea.

Following the introductions, Holly went through the outline of what to expect during future Boot Camp sessions. For example, there will be various guest speakers who will share advice and their entrepreneurial experiences. Each week, homework is assigned, where each team will create a presentation and receive real-time feedback from the advisors during each session.

Additional exciting opportunities were presented to the students. The teams are being offered $15,000 of in-kind legal services from Foley and Lardner, LLP. There is also an opportunity to collaborate with the Manning School of Business, where teams will be connected to sales/marketing students who will assist in creating marketing/sales plans. Both opportunities are great for the DifferenceMaker student entrepreneurs!

To end the session, there was a brief recap, followed by a Q&A session.

Congratulations to all winning teams! DifferenceMaker is looking forward to seeing your progress and growth.

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