Written by: Nitah Onsongo
July 6, 2015
Unfortunately, week 2 did not start of with high energy as week 1. On Monday only 13 out of 30 students showed up with most showing up late. Nevertheless, we were able to make the class engaged. The students got introduced to Cause-effect-Chain, a new tool aimed at logic brainstorming. They later applied the tool to their problems. The following day the students presented their work to the class and got feedback from the instructors as well as their peers. Tuesday came to an end with students being given a long assignment to work on the next day - Wednesday- having been a religious holiday. The assignment required the students to interview 4 to 6 customers who were potential users of their problems. This was after the emphasis that 'A paying customer' was the most important factor to a successful startup. The students would also submit their first milestone which included a clearly quantified problem statement, user classes, a summary of their customer interviews and their goals henceforth.
Thursday came and the whole session had students come up and present their work in 20-30 minutes. 6 teams presented their well-done assignments with some having very good PowerPoint presentations. It was impressive to see that the students did their assignments as instructed. One team was kindly asked to go out and interview people as it had not done it. At the end, the teams got constructive feedback on their public speaking skills and also an insight into what problems seemed more feasible to keep working on.
The second week was brought to an end on Friday with the students getting to listen to a guest speaker, Sanjiva Weerawarana - The CEO of WSO2. He talked to them about the difference between being employed and owning a startup. He reinforced the commitment and dedication needed to run a succesful business and mentioned the nitty grities like being clear about each founder's expectations and needs were. He was quite humorous and kept the class wanting to listen to him. Students were able to get a chance to ask their burning questions. The class ended earlier than usual letting the students go rest after a long rigorous week. Instructors and sponsors also had their weekly debriefing meeting just to ensure we were at per.