So are you wondering how it’s all going? Very well so far, thanks for asking. We put together an application to the programme and got the call asking us to come up for an assessment day. “Just a few simple tasks and a quick chat with the panel,” they said, “do tell us your time preference and any dietary requirements.”
Ok then. Do you know, the whole thing was a test? I suspect they were checking to see whether all the applicants could possibly be as bolshy in real life as they appeared on paper, or perhaps that was just me. As it turns out … Yes, I am. And that’s just as well because they had us go out into the streets of Westminster and accost random strangers to ask what they thought of an invented business idea. So, that’s not scary at all. *
I learned a few things from that day. Most crucially, not to drink 3 cups of coffee on a morning when I have to talk to people about something important. Secondly, never assume you know what your customer looks like. Talk to everybody. My best feedback came from people I only approached because they were sitting still and I was desperate.
We’re just back from the first week, a full Monday to Friday, and I think if I try to retain one more new fact my brain will melt. But it’s been a brilliant week for finding out the critical facts about creating a start up, and what makes it different from just running a business. We’ve also met our fellow participants, an amazing bunch of people with some awesome ideas, and we’ve been introduced to a star-studded cast of potential mentors. This was done via a speed dating event on Friday, and I’m pleased to report I feel I could now pitch in my sleep. Never mind elevator speeches, I can fit this baby in if you hold the door open for me.
* that’s a lie – it really is, actually.