Reflect, connect the dots, and take a leap of faith

Four weeks have now passed since we met during our Welcome Week.  This Friday in class we will register your teams with Young Enterprise, and you will all become startup co-founders. It is a great leap of faith to take, and it will require from you to learn, adapt, develop, and mature very quickly. Your team and your startup will most likely be your greatest challenge this year.  

Theories are helpful to describe what might happen to your startup and your team, but the actual path each team will take will be different. Are you ready?

Personality tests are helpful in an attempt to generalise about who you might be, but your real personality will emerge in relation to the real challenges you face and the attitude you take. Your CV is helpful to describe where you’ve been and what you’ve done before, but it cannot predict the future – where you go and which skills you ‘deploy’ (with passion) is, from here onwards, entirely up to you.

Everything we have done together since the day we met has been designed to lead you to the moment when you take a leap of faith on who you are, who should be on your team, and what you stand for.

Are you connecting the dots yet?

On our first day together, you were asked to share a little about yourself, and you all reached for your CVs. Three days later you already understood your CV was as good as a blank page if there was no human story to go with it. No human life is linear and no good story comes without struggle at the centre of it… Who are you and what is your story?

Our Welcome Week hackathon was a crash-course designed to illustrate what your MACE experience is about and what it takes. Hard work, no? Genuine curiosity is difficult.

MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


MA Creative Economy Hackathon, Welcome Week 2019. Photo by Claudia Weaver


Thanks to the hackathon, in only two days you all went through the cycle of uncomfortable – comfortable emotions many times, and as you learnt, connected, and developed – you all had fun, too.

What you and your startup team stand for is entirely up to you (provided our startup insurance covers it) but make sure it is a good investment of your time and effort. Make sure you allow yourself to grow by accepting that you will have to go through the cycle of uncomfortable – comfortable emotions many times again.

For many of you, most of this is new, and as such it is uncomfortable. A new country, new way of doing things, new ideas, new you… you don’t need to be comfortable with it all – you only need to be willing to try it all out.

Remember the importance of curiosity, positive attitude, grit and growth mindset, and above all – remember the importance of a bit of fun and laughter, please. You are of no use to humanity if you lose your sense of humour!

A final thought for you to consider:

You are registering your startup teams this Friday, however we are above all one big team. We have a big class full of great, interesting minds – let’s make it one great team.

This is how we do it: MACE go for the D&AD New Blood Awards

There is a first time for everything and for us, this is the first time we are working on D&AD New Blood briefs for a MACE module. Yesterday was the D&AD deadline for those who wanted to officially submit for the Awards. Best (or worst) of all, this deadline comes only a few days after our Dragons’ Den deadline.

In no particular order:

  • Rebecca submitted for the adidas service innovation brief*.
  • Celine submitted for the John Lewis future of retail brief*.
  • Dennis submitted for the Hasbro board game innovation brief*.
  • Apeksha submitted for the Dropbox Paper design to make a difference brief*.
  • Riddhima and Hyunmi submitted for the JCDecaux #LondonIsOpen brief*.
  • Mariana submitted for the BBC tech-inspired experience innovation brief*.
  • Whan submitted for the Hellman’s sustainability and food waste brief*.
  • As a bonus – Stephi Batliner #MACE16 submitted an iteration of her MACE16 Personal Research Project for the Adobe Side Hustle brief*.

Well done on all of your hard work and for keeping the growth mindset alive. 💪💪💪

With many thanks to Celina Schlieckmann @celinamms and Stephi Batliner @stephibatliner for their support and mentoring! 💜

*All briefs can be viewed on the D&AD site 

Student Stories: Janja Popovic: My first business hackathon with Gorenje and Microsoft

Janja Popović (MACE16, Fashion & the Creative Economy) recently participated in a business hackathon in Slovenia – check out the blog post she wrote about it: My first Business Hackathon

You will notice that they worked in a way that is very similar to the way we work. Most importantly though, you will notice Janja’s confidence. I always admired her entrepreneurial spirit and determination and it is fantastic to see our MACErs go above and beyond their discipline with courage. Keep going, Janja Popović!