Workshop 2: Assessing Opportunities and Value Proposition

On Monday, February 26, 2024, DifferenceMaker held the second workshop series session to prepare students for the $50,000 Idea Challenge this semester. The topic addressed was assessing opportunities and value proposition.

To start off the event, Rist DifferenceMaker Fellow David Vatalaro opened by providing a brief recap of what occurred during the first workshop session, which highlighted identifying problems. Then, he introduced the guest presenters for the night, which were Professor Rae Mansfield, Honors College, and Professor Neil Shortland, College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.

After the introduction, Professor Mansfield mentioned that while our ideas seem incredibly valuable to us, it may not be the case for potential customers and buyers. Professor Mansfield provided an example of pickle toothpaste which could be valuable to a certain person. However, at the end of the day, no one ends up purchasing it because it is not valuable to a majority of people. Assessing opportunities is important because it allows you to see if it is worthwhile creating the product before it is too late. If there are no willing buyers, the product does not fill a customer’s need or add enough value. Therefore, market research is imperative. 

Then, students were given time to write down their opportunities on the “target market opportunity” and “competition opportunity” worksheets. Students presented their work to the audience, receiving feedback from the presenters.

Students brainstorming and writing down ideas as they fill out the DifferenceMaker worksheets.
Professor Shortland presenting as the camera is recording the workshop for a reflection video.

Then, Professor Shortland presented the importance of value propositions. A value proposition demonstrates how a potential solution provides more value than what competitors are currently offering. Students broke out into groups again to work on their value propositions on poster boards, then were given the chance to share their ideas with the audience.

Thank you to everyone that joined DifferenceMaker for Workshop 2! To revisit the topics discussed, watch our video, Spring Workshop Series 2: Assessing Opportunities and Value Propositions.