The Droplet business idea is centred on providing a rental service within the obsolescent umbrella market. The idea is to station self-service vending machines stocking robust, durable umbrellas in strategic locations throughout the city centre and popular tourist destinations. There are two distinct target markets for this service: companies looking for local advertising space, and end-customers of the rental service, for example tourists, commuters, and shoppers. Droplet could provide them with a convenient solution to carrying large umbrellas on a daily basis just to be prepared for unexpected weather conditions. It provides quality umbrellas able to withstand volatile weather for a fraction of the cost of even discount umbrellas.
Droplet was awarded Runner-Up in the final, from over 120 participants in total. I designed and led two very successful workshops to refine the Droplet business model and service design. Through Enterprise Pathway, I also gained the Level 3 Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Certificate from the ILM Institute of Leadership and Management.
Enterprise Pathway started with six weekly talks by industry experts and experienced entrepreneurs who shared their knowledge and experience.
Next, we grouped into multidisciplinary teams and with backgrounds as diverse as design, finance, and engineering, we had much to learn from each other.
We were introduced to business planning, and spent a weekend generating ideas, understanding and analysing their business potential, and iterating them accordingly.
To refine our idea as a team, I also designed and led two workshops for Droplet. The first was aimed at identifying potential customers and understanding their experience and objectives. The second workshop built on this, as we imagined their current user journeys, and then designed a new umbrella rental service model from our initial ideas. These workshops helped us to collaborate effectively, to think creatively, and to discuss and consolidate our diverse points of view by making them visual.
With our final idea, we learnt how consider business finance in more detail. This included thinking about fixed and variable costs, projecting a three year forecast, and calculating a potential break even point.
By submitting a coherent and promising business plan, my team made it to the next stage of the competition and now had to put theory into practice. We successfully pitched our business idea, and also created a 60 second video pitch for Droplet, an umbrella rental service.
After much positive feedback, we were selected to take part in the final stage of the competition as one of six teams. We met an experienced entrepreneur who acted as our mentor and helped us to further refine our business idea and pitch.
Our final pitch included a clear and worked out vision of our service, an analysis of the key resources needed to make it work, a clear idea of the potential target market and pricing, an analysis of direct and indirect competitors, and a marketing strategy. It also considered the business model, including start up costs and potential investment sources. Droplet won runner-up, and received a lot of interest and positive feedback.