Imperial College London is one of the world’s top universities, located in the heart of London. It is renowned for its world-leading research and academic prowess in engineering, science and medicine. The Quantum Research department is at an exciting juncture, where they are uniting the disciplines of physics, chemistry, computer science, materials and engineering in order to push forward the boundaries of quantum technology.
Imperial College London has asked Studio Zao to encourage an innovative and entrepreneurial start-up culture within the Quantum Technology department and provide a memorable, unique and powerful learning experience to high-potential participants.
We were asked to assist the Quantum team to practically apply Lean Start-up methodology to their research projects.
They wanted to increase participants confidence in choosing the right idea to test and build, as well as develop a powerful narrative to pitch them. Imperial wanted to equip their best quantum Technology Students and Researchers with the latest tools, frameworks and industry best practices able to translate breakthrough technologies into successful business ventures.
Overall, participants needed to gain a better understanding of the barriers preventing successful entrepreneurship and innovation and receive the tools to ensure they could fast track their start-up initiatives.
In order to tackle the brief, Studio Zao prepared an intensive 5 day Bootcamp programme to support postgraduate students and early career Quantum researchers at Imperial Enterprise Lab to develop their entrepreneurial skills.
The course was designed to introduce postgraduate students to the fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship during an intensive and engaging week.
- MONDAY: Lean Entrepreneurship and Ideation
- TUESDAY: Ideas Validation and Customer Discovery Interviews
- WEDNESDAY: Ideas Iteration and Prototyping
- THURSDAY: Business Model Planning Build
- FRIDAY: Pitch Preparation and Final Pitches
The Bootcamp provided a snapshot view of how to take an idea from the lab, make it commercially viable and introduce it to the industry. As part of the programme keynote speakers and case studies are identified and role models that are relatable to the cohort are highlighted throughout the course.
The main focus was to help students and researchers resist from building their idea and start validating it on the market instead, focusing on customers instead of technology.
By the end of the 5 days Bootcamp, participants were able to fully understand the entrepreneurial process and take home content that covers problem definition, customer segment identification, ideation, customer interviewing, business modelling, rapid prototyping, idea validation and pitching.
Quantum technology students and researchers created 5 teams, and successfully pitched their ideas in front of a panel of judges. They all left with a comprehensive understanding of how research can be translated into a commercial setting and developed an ability to define, examine, test, validate and develop an idea through the use of lean entrepreneurship methodology.