5 things we’ve learnt on the Incubation Programme
Words by Irene Rompa
Photos by Maarten Nauw
It’s been a busy few months at the Let it Grow Lab; the teams are now well settled into the Incubation Programme and able to juggle their commitments with more ease. The festive season also gave everyone a well-deserved break, which proved to be essential too: as December rolled into January, we began our countdown to Demo Day on March 31st, demanding an extra burst of energy from us all. To boil down two busy months of hard work, we’ve picked out five valuable moments we’ve learnt from.
1. Diplomacy makes good discussion
When ‘Lean startup Evangelist’ Otto Freijser joined us in the lab, he introduced us to a ‘Lean Coffee’ discussion method which works wonders when time is not on your side. The process is simple: the teams vote on the issues they want to address most urgently and are given a 5-minute window to deal with the subject. This is a great way to structure discussions and keep everyone in sharp focus, identify their priorities and delegate tasks.
2. Brand your brand
In the branding workshops led by Creative Agency Vandejong in January, the teams each dealt with a branding question specific to their business. For instance, Living Light considered a new tagline to brand the concept of plant-related energy; and Wildernis asked themselves how they might build an online web-shop, and what they might do to generate online sales.
3. Visualise your goals
A useful way to deal with challenges ahead is to map tasks visually. An entire wall has been devoted to this in the Lab with tasks categorised under columns, ‘To Do’ and ‘Done.’ It has proved to be an effective organizational tool, giving us greater clarity for what lies ahead.
4. Cherry pick priorities
…However, it is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed when confronted with a ‘To Do’ list the length of your arm. The teams need to cherry pick a maximum of three goals to really focus on in the coming months. It is far more constructive to do three things well, than ten things badly.
“The teams need to cherry pick a maximum of three goals to really focus on in the coming months”
5. Get social
Admittedly, this is not a new concept to us. However, following the success of our New Year Lunch held in January, we were reminded how easy it is to stimulate new energy by opening the Lab doors to our network of innovators, students and entrepreneurs. It was a real pleasure to have everyone there and we’ll certainly be doing it more often.