Studio Zao designed and ran a 6 months venture building programme for deep-science and healthcare innovation students from 8 leading UK academic institutions, guiding 10 Ventures through MedTech Superconnector.

BACKGROUND

The MedTech SuperConnector (MTSC) is a consortium formed of 8 leading UK academic institutions (Imperial College London, Queen Mary University of London, Royal College of Art, Royal College of Music, Institute of Cancer Research, Royal Veterinary College, Buckinghamshire New University and The Francis Crick Institute).

MTSC exists to accelerate the commercialisation and adoption of academic, deep-science medical and healthcare innovations, supported by £5M of funding from the UK Government. The Challenge Accelerator is a 6-month venture building programme that takes postdoctoral, PhD, and Master talents of any academic background from the consortium institutions with a passion for MTSC’s goals. Participants form venture teams with fellow researchers with complementary skills to work on early-stage ideas to tackle challenges in Mental Health and Wellbeing.

BRIEF

MTSC asked Studio Zao to help them with designing and delivering an end-to-end venture-building innovation programme over 6 months to develop 10 ventures from the 8 academic institutions.

APPROACH

We designed and delivered an end-to-end venture-building programme consisting of:

  • A 2-day Creation Hack
  • A 3-day Design Sprint
  • Multiple Lean Venture Building Workshops and Masterclasses
  • Ongoing Venture Development Coaching and Support
Creation Hack

We organised, designed and delivered a 2-day intensive hack process that ideated proposition concepts and formed 10 venture teams out of 100+ individuals through fundamental Lean Startup principles. Teams went from ideation and validation to pitch, working through intensive customer problem discovery and validation. They also “got out of the building” taking advantage of a crowded Saturday afternoon shopping mall in the proximity of the Creation Hack venue.

Design Sprint

We delivered a 3-day sprint aimed at deep-diving into customer pains and user journeys for rapid prototype development, user testing and MVP experimentation.
For the first time, teams tested their ideas with customer, receiving feedback and insights.

Lean Venture Building Workshops and Masterclasses

During the months following the Design Sprint, we have delivered a series of targeted and hands-on workshops on:

  • Customer Discovery and Validation
  • Value Proposition Development (one-to-one 3 hours workshop)
  • Pitching

We have also conducted one-to-one business coaching sessions every forth-night to align on progress and define next steps, for a total of 15 coaching hours each team.

Moreover, we have scheduled and conducted a series of venture reviews along the venture building journey to ensure accountability. Teams had to demonstrate and present progress in hitting specific target to build evidence of market validation.

OUTCOMES

Starting from 100+ individuals, we created and accelerated 10 startup venture teams focusing on a range of healthcare challenges from cancer support to digital addiction and clinical-trial efficiency.

In September 2019, 6 of these venture presented their progress in a public event at Imperial College London. Having started as individuals from 8 universities meeting in a snowy weekend in February, 6 months later a few ventures had already launched products and started trials.

TESTIMONIALS

‘I certainly feel more confident about standard entrepreneurship practices such as pitching, customer discovery and preparing a value proposition now. The tailored one-to-one coaching sessions was the best thing and it was a pleasure working with both Davide and Jamie; they really encouraged us to think out-of-the-box’

Maryam AbdollahyanMTSC cohort 2 participant

“Studio Zao’s expertise in the entrepreneurial process provided the structure and rigour needed for our teams to understand customer needs, develop value propositions and formulate their market validation plans. They have been instrumental in helping us design and facilitate our MedTech Challenge accelerator experiment.”

Hiten Thakar Programmes Manager, MedTech SuperConnector

“I loved being able to learn about the lean canvas model and I enjoyed the practical sessions, I’ve learnt a lot!
The Hackathon was a very well-run event!”

Pepita StonorApplied Positive Psychologist, HR Executive and Entrepreneur

“Both Jamie and Davide have been incredibly helpful for our journey as an early venture starting from nothing more than a vague idea. The most helpful part was the constant emphasis on identifying the pain points. There are so many issues that you need to address as a founder and it is so easy to lose focus of what the key value proposition is and whether we are really testing the need for the product.”

Woochan HwangMTSC cohort 2 participant

DO YOU LIKE WHAT WE DO?

At Studio Zao we help organisations and founders build new ventures while developing entrepreneurial capabilities.

UPCOMING OPPORTUNITIES

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Side Hustles | Craft Your Elevator Pitch Practical Workshop

January 21, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Come and learn how to boil down your idea into a concise elevator pitch to convince co-workers, executives, investors and prospect cofounder

Side Hustles | Craft Your Elevator Pitch

January 21, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Come and learn how to boil down your business idea into a concise pitch to convince executives, investors & prospective Co-founderOverviewBeing able to communicate your vision in a simple and compelling way is one of the most important tasks for founders.The "elevator pitch" concept reflects the idea that it should be possible to deliver the summary of your business venture in the time span of an elevator ride, say approximately thirty seconds. Once crafted, you can use it with a…

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February 18, 2020 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Got a great startup idea?Create your action plan to make it happen.OverviewDo you have a great business idea but you don't know if it will work?Have you been playing with the idea for a while? Do you know where you want to get to but you don't know how to get there?Have you read about "Lean Startup" but you don't know how to put it into practice?The first steps to starting a business can feel confusing — having a clear…

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