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.