Lungi Experience by Team Skloddit
A week ago on Monday a room full of nervous yet excited students at the Viikki campus was greeted with great warmth by the staff of Helsinki Think Company. Six of these people turned out to be our team for the next two weeks, and together we were to bring our academic knowledge into action. After Terhi Ainiala’s introduction to her research on using slang in local branding we were sent off to succeed.
Our team’s first task was to build a tower as high as possible using just a few unusual pieces of raw materials. We failed miserably. The second task was to list down skills and competencies we possessed. This was an exciting way to learn about the other team members and to see the inputs of various different disciplines for driving a business.
On the first day we got introduced to the Double Diamond model, frequently used in industrial design, to begin developing our idea. Continuing on to list down problems related to Terhi’s research and matching these with the skills of our team members we slowly but surely started to get close to the solution – i.e. our business concept.
Approximately 1001 post-its and a couple of weeks later we had come up with a concept to, modestly enough, facilitate cultural integration. Our team went through different phases of idea creation from excitement, to doubt and depression and back to fascination again. We completely started our idea over a few times applying the tools learned throughout the program. What started out as six complete strangers had turned into a solid team of four idealists – no team members were harmed during the process.
During these two weeks we got to pitch our ideas about 20 times to different audiences. We were guided by the Think Company members and challenged by experts from marketing and the Finnish start-up scene. The workshop on customer-oriented approach by Spinno’s Oki Tåg was found particularly helpful by our team. Oki stepped on the stage basically claiming that all of our ideas are awful – and then carried on to provide us with concrete tools and examples on how (and why) to learn about our customers and how to turn this knowledge into a flourishing business. At the second Expert Workshop, Måndag’s Arto Sivonen delighted us with his presence and expertise regarding concept design and marketing.
Two weeks of brainstorming and idea validation culminated in the Demo Day at Think Company’s Vuorikatu venue. We got to pitch our two-day-old idea to a room full of people using a slideshow that had been started some seven hours earlier. Surprisingly, the audience didn’t yet shower us with money at the end of our presentation, but we are definitely on the verge of something important and amazing.