Design Thinking for Startups Module Assessments

Disclaimer: This web page is offered to provide additional support in the interpretation of assessments. Please refer to the Module Handbook for all guidelines. 

The module is the “life lab” that you will use to experiment with the concepts you have learnt in class (and in your other modules) in a practical and applied way.

In semester one, you will begin working on your business project as a team. You will use the two semesters to carry out your team meetings, set-up and run the business and sell your goods/services. It will require excellent team organisation and time management outside of class. You will be using your own funds to finance your venture. Choose a topic that you can be passionate about to carry you through the rough times as well as the good.

There are four assessments you will need to complete in this module:

  1. 16 Blog posts (includes a final reflective essay, end of each semester)
  2. Feasibility Study (formative assessment, Bright Ideas Competition Entry, deadline: December 1, 2017, 23:59:59 GMT; further information and submission: https://platform.younoodle.com/competition/bright_ideas_competition_20172018)
  3. Social Media & Networking report (2 March)
  4. Group Business Report & Presentation (9 March + 16 March)

There are three types of events you must attend:

  1. Dragon’s Dens and Final Business Report Presentation
  2. Trade Fairs (likely to be 2-3)
  3. Guest speakers and networking events (of your choosing, on and off campus)

Attendance will be taken for every class.

For networking on campus, there is a guest speaker series called Enterprise Insights on Thursday nights once a month. For a schedule of all enterprise events by the university see:  https://bizboard.kingston.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/13/2017/08/Enterprise-Calendar-2017.2018.pdf

ASSESSMENTS

SECTION 1 – TEAMWORK (60%)

  1. A feasibility study (https://bizboard.kingston.ac.uk/brightideas/) which clearly articulates a genuine market opportunity (formative)
  2. A team presentation of final report and accounts to judges (60%)

The final report gives an account of the startup team’s business activities and outcomes. It includes an early feasibility study, articulating a genuine market opportunity. The group presentation communicates the results of the report to an audience of judges.

SECTION 2 – INDIVIDUAL WORK  (40%)

  1. Individual portfolio includes a reflective blog (journal)that evaluates students’ personal learning outcomes as they progress through the module and a comprehensive reflective essay at the end of the module (to be submitted also on Canvas via Turnitin). Opportunities for formative feedback occur through the workshops, seminars presentation and feasibility study. (8 posts a semester.) (30%)
  2. Social Media and Networking Report(10%)

 

DETAILS OF EACH ASSESSMENT:

  1. FEASIBILITY STUDY = BRIGHT IDEAS COMPETITION ENTRY 

Purpose: To determine if your business idea is something that is wanted by your audience, is capable of making a profit and possible to accomplish in the time given.

You will submit your feasibility study as your Bright Ideas Entry by 2 December, and present your feasibility study during a Dragon’s Den type presentation to a panel of judges on 9 December. You will need to:

  1. fill out the and discuss it with your mentor.
  2. submit it online to the Bright Ideas competition.
  3. submit it online to me for marking on the same day.
  4. present your feasibility study in a team Dragons’ Den presentation on 9 December (5 minutes).

The feasibility study is formative. You will receive feedback for this assignment in the following ways:

  1. in class – from lecturers and peers
  2. from the judges – on the day of your presentation
  3. during the Bright Ideas Competition pitching session in February

 Bright Ideas Prize Ceremony is in February, 2018, time/venue TBC.

Trigger KU: All Bright Ideas entrants are invited to attend this student-led weekend, where they will be able to develop their ideas and pitches in preparation the final event. Students from this module that attended last year said it was a key factor in their success at the Bright Ideas competition. It’s also not a coincidence they went on to win the university competition and national competition later that year! Book this in your calendars.

  1. SOCIAL MEDIA & NETWORKING REPORT (10%)

Due 2 March 2018 by 23:59 (10%). 

Report template is also available on Canvas.

Purpose: An essential skill of an entrepreneur today is to leverage media and build a network of contacts. This report is a 2-page max list of people you have met, events you have attended, business cards you’ve collected, number of tweets you’ve done, and so on, to demonstrate you are fluent in social media and that you have gotten outside of your comfort zone to make contacts in your chosen field.  It is also an opportunity to meet someone you admire. It is also wise to locate a business mentor for your team so that you’ve got someone to give you additional advice when it comes to your individual business as part of your networking activity.

Twitter can be a powerful social media tool, and in order to understand it and demonstrate to future employers that you are fluent with social media, you must know how to use it. We recommend Tweet Deck as a means to organise and publish your tweets (sign up after you get your Twitter account). You will be expected to have a Twitter account and participate in the MACE feed: #mace17. To do this, simply write a status update with #mace17 at the end. Then, do a search for #mace17 to find what your peers are talking about. In the past, this has been a great way for students to post questions and notify others of social events outside of class: gallery viewings, performances, etc., but it can be used for much more.

SOCIAL MEDIA & NETWORKING REPORT FORM
(from September 2017 to March 2018)

Worth 10% of module mark. Do not write your name or something that will identify you.

Upload to Canvas by 23:59 on 2 March 2018.

 SOCIAL MEDIA:

  • 1) BLOG

Number of blog posts published:

All Time Views (found in Dashboard > Site Stats):

 

  • 2a) TWITTER

Briefly outline your strategy, goals and target audience, including why the target audience is important to you. Word limit: 150 words

Number of followers:

Number of people you follow:

Number of retweets (your tweets retweeted by other people):

 

  • 2b) LINKEDIN

Briefly outline your strategy, goals and target audience, including why the target audience is important to you. Word limit: 150 words

Connections:

Endorsements:

 

  • 2c) OTHER Social Media Channels:  

Briefly outline your strategy, goals and target audience, including why the target audience is important to you. Word limit: 150 words

Connections:

Endorsements:

 

  • 3) Starting with your objective for building an on-line reputation (including target audience and why they are relevant to you), tell briefly about interactions with others on social media that has built your online reputation (i.e. retweets by influential people, blog comments, messages, endorsements, etc.) Word limit: 150 words

 

HANDSHAKES:

  • 4) Outline your strategy, who you were keen to meet and why? Word limit: 150 words

 Name the titles and dates of the conferences, networking events, workshops, industry gatherings, business visits, etc., outside of class, where you introduced yourself to someone new:

 

  • 5) Describe your 3 most important contacts you’ve made over the last 7 months, why they were the most important and how you’ve been able to use them to further your goals. Word limit: 500 words

Marking criteria for the social media and networking report:

  Allocated Marks
How would you rate their blog activity overall?

 

20%
How would you rate their social media activity?  (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) overall?

 

20%
How would you rate their online reputation building attempts overall, including following strategy, meeting their goals and reaching their target audience? The key word here is reputation rather than activity.

 

20%
How would you rate their networking opportunities: conferences, workshops, etc. Did they really put themselves out there and take advantage of many opportunities to meet others and make contacts? Have they clearly explained what their strategy was and why they wanted to meet these people? 

 

20%
How would you rate the value and use of their top 3 contacts?

Value = does this person have influence in the field relevant to them? Do they clearly explain why these contacts are important to them?

 

How would you rate the use of their top 3 most important contacts? Use = have they followed up with this person in a beneficial way?

20%
  1. FINAL GROUP BUSINESS REPORT & PRESENTATION (60%)

This comes in two parts. First, the written report of what your business did during the year (for future years to see). And second, your presentation in front of the judges at the final Dragon’s Den (testing your skills as an entrepreneur is more effective through presentation than by report alone). The content of both will be the same.

REPORT: 9 March 2018 due by 23:59pm (printed and on Turnitin)
(via Canvas submitted by one team member)

PRESENTATION: 16 March 2018 in class
(bring one printed and bound copy of your report with you to your Dragon’s Den presentation to hand in to judges before your presentation)

This report and presentation are the culmination of your work as a start-up team over the two semesters. Your team report and a team presentation will account for what you’ve achieved in the business, lessons learned and potential for the future. The report is a written record of the content in that presentation and achievements of your team, submitted online on Canvas. Your Dragons’ Den presentation must be compelling and you can use projected images, but not a boring PowerPoint slide presentation. You should have your team report printed and available for specific questions the judges may have.

The format of report and presentation is outlined in the 5 criteria below. You will be marked based on your presentation, with your report as a written and bound record of that presentation. This work is marked by the judges and the module leader for a combined score.

YOUR BUSINESS WILL BE JUDGED IN THE FOLLOWING 5 AREAS OVERALL, SO PLEASE PRESENT THESE IN THIS SPECIFIC ORDER:

  1. 20% Business Pitch:

Can you deliver an engaging 6-minute presentation that convinces others to invest in your business?  Do all team members contribute in a balanced way?  Is the business innovative? Does it address a clear problem?

  1. 20% Marketing:

Clearly define your chosen target market with supporting evidence.  Did you engage with your target market for product development?

Explain your marketing strategy.  Which marketing channels did you use and why?  What were the results?

Do your advertising materials clearly outline the benefits of your product?  Do they do so in an interesting and compelling way? Does it sync with your brand?

  1. 20% Finances:

Have you priced the product/service well?
Have you generated a reasonable number of sales?

Have you invested in the business wisely?
Do you have sound financial plans for carrying it forward?

You must include:

  1. a)    pricing strategy (why you priced the product the way you did and how it left room for profit, this is where you detail all your costs per unit and the amount of profit per unit)
  2. b)   balance sheet (generated from your Young Enterprise software)
  3. c)    profit & loss statement (generated from your Young Enterprise software)
  4. d)   cashflow 1-year forecast from October 2017- September 2018.

 

  1. 20% Ambition, Customer Relations & Lessons Learned:

Did you set high achievable goals in terms of sales, marketing and product selection?  What were the goals and what did you actually achieve?

What did you learn from your failures when your goals weren’t met?

Have you identified key ways to improve/continue or expand the business in the future?

How did you work with others to gain insight for key aspects of your business?

What have you learned from this live business experience?

  1. 20% Sales & Brand—Display Merchandising, Packaging:

Does your packaging clearly communicate what the product is, in a well-designed format? Does your display clearly communicate the message of your product’s benefits as well as your brand? What is your sales strategy and what were the results?  Is your sales pitch delivered well? Please include images from your final Trade Fair as well as your product in your pitch and report.

Marking criteria for the presentation and report:

  Allocated Marks
Business Pitch

Can you deliver an engaging 6-minute presentation that convinces others to invest in your business?  Do all team members contribute in a balanced way?

Is the business innovative? Does it address a clear problem?

20%
Marketing

Clearly define your chosen target market with supporting evidence.  Did you engage with your target market for product development?

Explain your marketing strategy.  Which marketing channels did you use and why?  What were the results?

Do your advertising materials clearly outline the benefits of your product?  Do they do so in an interesting and compelling way?

20%
Finances

Have you priced the product/service well?
Have you generated a reasonable number of sales?

Have you invested in the business wisely?
Do you have sound financial plans for carrying it forward?

You must include:

a)    pricing strategy (why you priced the product the way you did and how it left room for profit, this is where you detail all your costs per unit and the amount of profit per unit)

b)   balance sheet (generated from your young enterprise software)

c)    profit & loss statement (generated from your young enterprise software)

d)   cashflow 1-year forecast from October 2017- September 2018

20%
Ambition, Customer Relations, Lessons Learned

Did you set high achievable goals in terms of sales, marketing and product selection?  What were the goals and what did you actually achieve?

What did you learn from your failures when your goals weren’t met?

Have you identified key ways to improve/continue or expand the business in the future?

How did you work with others to gain insight for key aspects of your business?

What have you learned from this live business experience?

20%
Sales & Brand—Display Merchandising, Packaging
Does your packaging clearly communicate what the product is, in a well-designed format? Does your display clearly communicate the message of your product’s benefits as well as your brand? What is your sales strategy and what were the results?  Is your sales pitch delivered well? Please include images from your final Trade Fair as well as your product in your pitch and report.
20%
  1. INDIVIDUAL BLOG: “NOTE TO FUTURE SELF…” (30%)

Write 8 blog posts a semester = total of 16 posts ( the reflective essay is included as one of your 16 blog posts).

Term 1 deadline: 31 December 2017, 11:59 pm. (2017)

Term 2 deadline: 27 April 2018, 11:59pm. (2018)

 

Purpose: To reflect on your own experience as it happens throughout the module, and to demonstrate individual effort on your team and advancement of your own learning. Using a blog also gives you experience in how to set up your own website, a very marketable skill! Your blog is an online journal you write to help your “future you” remember your “aha!” moments in class. Simply take one thing you learn each week (in class or on your team) and write what you want to do with that new information or experience in the future, on your blog.

 

Every blog post needs to cover three things; in any word amount you deem necessary (but do please keep it brief!):

  1. Describe something interesting you’ve learnt in class or whilst working on your business.
  2. Explain how that interesting thing can help you achieve something specific in the future that is linked to what you want to do after graduation.
  3. Add to what you know by expanding your understanding of it and include a link to relevant literature, theory, article, book, talk, video, image or something that helps you understand it better.

 

On average, the length of a blog post will be a few paragraphs, and “good” ones will include links to helpful resources or images/videos relating to your topic. Every “good” post will earn one point. You need to earn 8 points each semester.

 Your final blog post (= your final reflective essay) is a summary of your experience in your business and the module overall. This is often a combination of your previous blog posts. Word count is 2000 words.

How you are marked on your blogs:

Blog posts that meet the criteria above, and are published by the deadlines will be counted. If you write 100% of the posts required by the deadlines, your potential mark will be out of 100% on your final blog post, which is your reflective essay that summarizes the posts you have written throughout the year. As you can see above, there are two deadlines—December and April. Posts MUST be published by those deadlines in order to be counted.

For example: If you write 2 posts in semester one, and 10 posts in semester two, you will be counted for 2 posts for semester one + 8 posts max for semester two= 10 posts out of the 16 required. 10/16 = 62% maximum score for your final reflective essay.

 

Your final blog post must have your first name and the words Reflective Essay. For example:

Richard’s Reflective Essay

The reflective essay needs to incorporate your experiences/posts over the year, with a reflection of how those experiences will help you with a specific future goal (such as starting your own business someday, working as a manager in a team, improving your career prospects, etc.). Feel free to include photos. The key is to be specific. For example, if you want to start a business someday, what kind of business is it?

Marking criteria for the reflective essay:

 

  Allocated Marks
USE OF THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK FROM THE MODULE

Appropriate use of the relevant literature, theory, methodologies, practices and tools from the module.

Minimum 10 credible and relevant references in your final essay.

20%
QUALITY OF WRITING

This includes appropriate academic language, grammar and proper referencing. 

20%
CLARITY OF GOALS

Does the student clearly reflect on specific experiences and connect it in a meaningful way to a specific future goal? 

20%
EXAMPLES

Does the student use relevant examples to illustrate the experiences and lessons learned on the Young Enterprise module? 

20%
REFLECTION

Does the student understand and evaluate both their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to entrepreneurship?

20%

You will receive feedback for this assignment in the following ways:

  • through peer assessment throughout the year (leaving comments on each other’s posts)
  • comments from the module team throughout the year (must request feedback)
  • when the marks are released 4 weeks from the final deadline.

 

Please post the essay on your blog, and save it also as a Word document and submit it via Turnitin on Canvas.

After you have filled out the form, telling me your blog address, every time you hit “Publish” on your blog post, you have submitted your assignment. Nothing further is required. Please read the FAQ’s page for details on what NOT to do on your blog! It includes all the mistakes students made last year.

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