This was the first informal meeting of the participants who entered in the project/event "Sveza Ideja" , or in english "Fresh Idea" which targets the development of innovation spirit amongst the entrepreneurs and those who want to be someday.
More than 40 participants have joined us on this day, to help us mark the official kick-off of this project and to begin working. Them 40 created a group filled with creative minds, with one goal - to develop their innovational, business and presentation skills throughout this project as well as to win sponsorship, funding, partnerships and much more for their innovative ideas.
In brief, Gorazd has went throughout the presentation and shown who are the organizers and supporters of this event (IAO, BAS as organizers, US Embassy in Macedonia as main supporter), explained to the group – what this event is and more importantly what this event is NOT in terms of competition and collaboration. The main objective was to clarify to the group that they cannot expect writing a 20+ pages business plan in this event or to expect any support for starting up their business in terms of start-up foundation, start-up investments and direct financing, patenting their ideas or prototypes and/or employment possibility. It was made clear that IBI represents a tool, a way on how to increase, instigate and employ the innovative spirit in Macedonia. IBI provides a way to promote self, to learn, network and develop new innovator skills. In other words, this event focuses majorly on Innovation and Creativity as the main track in achieving entrepreneurial society to live in and be fruitful in one’s own lifestyle.
After the short break, everyone gathered back to the conference room, where they were divided into two smaller groups (20+ people per group) and divided into two separate rooms. The facilitators gave a task to the group to write down three things (Name, Where are they coming from and Title of an idea which is not applied in this event by them) on a post-it note and prepare for the next activity. Then they had to stand in two lines, facing each other, in close proximity and were given 30 seconds to share their own three things. After going back and forth with everyone talking to everyone and sharing their own post-it notes, they’ve resided to the side of the room and were asked to vote for the three most promising ideas they’ve heard earlier. After gathering all the votes, amongst the 30+ ideas (3) generated, three ideas appeared as the most liked/loved ones from the group. This activity made the group feel the collaboration instead of competition and they had fun doing it.
The ideas selected were: 1. Dream Pillow – Pillow that records dreams for later preview 2. Vintage restaurant 3. Smiling billboard. 4. Using coffee residue from homes and restaurants to create other useful products (cooking oil, cleaning fluids and such) 5. Natural cancer treatment cure 6. Smart Ladder.
These ideas will be used in the following three stages in order to serve as tools, materials, ways to develop the skills described in the project and earlier here in this report.
Just before the closing of the session, folders containing notebooks, event flyers, some representation materials and most importantly the criteria by which every idea is ranked and judged, were distributed amongst the participants and they were reminded again on the time and date of the following meeting, stage II – one day workshop on Innovations and Business Model development skills. (16th November 2013, 9am – 5pm).