Written by: Nitah Onsongo
June 29, 2015
The first week was focused on ideation. On the first day we had the students pitch their ideas. There were good problems from the students. The second day onwards we went into precision of problem statements, quantification and scoping of problems. We introduced the nine windows technique. Every day there was a lecture followed by a group activity where students applied frameworks taught to their problems. The students appreciated this active learning and acknowledged it not being common to their education system.
On thursday, we accompanied the students to a networking event at Barefoot Gallery café in Colombo. It was impressive to see the students network with entrepreneurs that have startups in Sri Lanka and having their questions answered. Foodie.lk was among the startups reperesented. Friday brought the first week content to an end with Brandix and WSO2 companies presenting potential ideas specific to their own companies. Brandix talked about increasing functionality of clothing, automation of fabric manufacture and lack of big data analytics. The students having already teamed up, pitched their refined problem statements to the companies' representatives and got constructive feedback based on their experiences with the Sri Lankan startup ecosysytem.
The first week came to an end with a social event on Saturday where we went bowling at Excel World and later had dinner together at the big O! It was aimed at team building. It was good getting to know the students personalities better and seeing their out-of-class interactions. The first week was rather a success especially being clear we had proactive students.