New Year, New Enterprise by Design Teams!

Welcome to Enterprise by Design 2019!

If you’re surprised it’s already 2019, we’re right there with you! After a stellar victory for our winning team last April, Enterprise by Design is back for 2019 and we can hardly believe it’s already here!

New students across the business, arts, science, and engineering disciplines filled up the collaboration space in Pontio last Monday, all eager to hear the low down on this year’s challenge. While there are some new changes that are sure to make things interesting for this year’s teams, one thing that hasn’t changed is the level of interdisciplinary collaboration throughout the teams!

All about Enterprise by Design

If you’re new to Enterprise by Design, look no further! A 10-week annual event, Enterprise by Design is organised by Bangor University and Pontio Innovation in conjunction with local businesses in North Wales which brings students from four different disciplines—Business, Science, Arts, and Engineering—together to form teams and create innovative ideas that will help enhance the local economy. 

Enterprise by Design is a unique challenge because of the way students from different academic backgrounds work from the ground up to make teams, develop novel ideas, and present real world products or designs by the end of the challenge. The students get the chance to work together as most modern companies do every day, with a team of innovators with an array of strengths and talents.

Every Thursday, students are tasked with one take-away assignment each week, as well as the overall aim to create a larger business plan over the 10-week period, to then be judged by academics and the partnering businesses to determine which team has the most innovative idea.

With roughly an hour’s help each week from post-graduate facilitators and academic staff, students must go it alone the rest of the time and use their specialist skills to develop this business plan. This plan could possibly be developed further and executed for one of the world’s booming wellness tourism areas.

It all sounds rather ordinary for University, until the winning team is given a cash prize to put their pitch into action!

What to expect in 2019-the Memorable Challenge

In the past, students have worked with businesses such as Rib Ride and Zip World to create ideas for augmented reality apps and to help foster the links between local companies. If you want more info on our winners last year, visit here.

However, for 2019, Enterprise by Design is shaking things up! For this year, the sky’s the limit with ideas for the teams, as there are no specific businesses that the students have to mould their projects around. Instead, students will come up with an idea entirely of their own that after the 10 week challenge will be judged and marketed by several businesses across North Wales.

There is a theme for this year, the ‘Memorable’ Challenge, to create a proposal for a product and/or service that improves accessibility to experiences in North Wales and makes those experiences more memorable. The students still have to stay within the Wellness tourism sector for their challenge, but that is definitely not a bad thing, as it is one of the fastest growing industries in North Wales, and there can be loads of opportunities from the student’s ideas from this challenge!

Each team will be given access to a specialist tutor, someone within one of the departments in the university that can give them sound advice about the industry and how to pitch their ideas to the judges at the end of the challenge. The teams will also get a postgraduate facilitator, postgraduate students who also span the different fields, who are going to help the teams with each weeks’ challenge in exchange for a stake in the prize at the end of the competition!

The Week One Challenge

After a brief from Andy Goodman, the students had to begin forming their teams. Provided with panels which had the letters of their field on them—B-business, A-Arts, S-Science and E-Engineering—students wrote their names on them and pitch themselves by answering questions such as:

Why would you be a useful member of a team?

What can your subject contribute?

What are your strengths/skills/experience?

What are your unique selling points?

As the students mingled around the room to find their new partners, they had to sell themselves to other potential members, highlighting their strengths and backgrounds. As the teams formed, their boards linked up together to make a tetrahedron.

Once the teams were formed, the groups had to then work together to sell their attributes as a team to the postgrad facilitators. By the end of the night, the students had a team of interdisciplinary students and an exciting challenge ahead of them. Each student within the teams were given keywords to brainstorm over the coming week:

Keywords for brainstorming!

Business-market, price

Arts-user and story

Science-memory and emotion

Engineering-instrumentation and value

Hopefully next week, students will return to Pontio full of ideas of ways to make North Wales more memorable…it will be interesting to see how their backgrounds and experiences compliment each other over the weeks!

To learn more about the groups progress week by week, visit our Twitter account:

In what ways do you think tourism businesses could make North Wales more memorable to tourists? Leave your comments below!

Week 7- Its not about the money- or is it?

During EbD the teams have been collecting creative currency, for attendance and homework. At the end they had a possible maximum of 400, as each member got ten for attendance each week and ten for doing homework tasks. However the teams were at a loss about how the currency would be used, and what it meant when they had it. In the meeting before the session the facilitators discussed how the currency could be used earlier on to give the students a greater idea of the value. We discussed if the teams could see their balance every week, or if they had to report it themselves would this influence their motivation. One thing everyone agreed on was that currency shouldn’t replace the intrinsic motivation for completing the work over the weeks.

This week the teams used their currency to buy resources for their final presentations. They were able to buy screens, projectors or posters to enhance their exhibition space for after the presentations for the judges’ question time. The teams were also able to buy expert knowledge to add to, and refine their ideas. I encouraged this weeks’ team to think of their ideas and any specific questions they needed answering, what they could do themselves and what they needed help with. After deciding which slots they needed they developed their questions, before they went down to the consultancy. When they came back they did have more questions than they started with, however these were questions they hadn’t been in a position to ask before so they did feel more confident.

The last hurdle!

This week team Innovate took part in the dutch auction. They discussed and weighed up their options regarding which resources/consultant time they wanted to buy. In the end they bought the projector with their creative currency and spent the rest of their money on booked time with the consultants and academics.

After Innovate received their feedback from the consultants they spoke with me about what was on their mind and what course of action needed to be taken. It would seem that this team is worried that their idea might not make a big enough return on investment. This may be a cause for concern as it’s important that both parties receive value out of the product. On the other hand it would seem that the consultants really liked team Innovates idea, therefore this is in their favour.

My advice for Innovate is to ensure that their estimate is reasonable and their idea is kept simple. If they can demonstrate that there is strong interest in this product/service then this will give them a fighting chance of winning. It’s also important that they keep their idea simple and explain to the judges that it is indeed possible to build upon the product in the years to come.

It would seem that the general advice from all academics and consultants is to keep their presentation simple. Keep the judges interest with an engaging presentation and keep your message clear and simple. Practice your presentation and let others watch your video in order to receive feedback. This way you can ensure that you are communicating the right message.

Good luck Innovate!

Dutch auction this week

In the business world, available resources are typically limited. Therefore, strategic decisions need to be made on how best to allocate resources to meet the needs of the company and the demands of the customers.

This week, the teams must decide how to spend their creative currencies with the consultants. It will be very obvious which teams have met since the last EBD session and whether the teams are able to prioritise their needs accordingly. How should the teams spend their CCs?

I worked with Daffodil team this week and it was surprising to see that only one team member showed up. He seemed focused and did not look discouraged. I reassured him and he was able to get a slot with the consultant he wanted.

Hopefully some of his team mates return and they are able to give a fantastic presentation next week.

Tolu Oluwafemi

Week 7…Auction Night at EBD!

The penultimate week of Enterprise by Design is upon us, and boy has the time flown by! It seems like yesterday when our teams were completing small challenges, learning about tourism in North Wales, and presenting their first attempts at Pechka Kucha presentations!

Now, we are just a week away from the final challenge and the £5,000 in prizes. Tuesday night was a bit different from the weeks before, as it was…

Going once, going twice, sold! to the Advice and Resource Auction night for our teams! 


A night bidding at the auction…

Gone are the weekly challenges and brainstorm sessions for our teams at Enterprise by Design. This week, teams are bidding on some vital resources for the presentations next week, and booking consultancy sessions from the experts before they’re on their own.

Throughout the 7 weeks so far, teams have been accruing points for different things along the way, from weekly participation from all team members, to completing the homework tasks. With those points, teams were able to bid on things that could aid in their presentations, like TV stands, projectors, or printed posters.

It was also a chance for the teams to bid on consultancy slots with the experts who had been helping them along the way every week. The students bought time slots with the academics from different departments; Steffan from Creative Studies and Media, Iestyn from Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, Siwan from Business, and Gareth from the School of Psychology; and, they could buy time with tourism, tech, and business experts including the representatives from Rib Ride and Zip World.

Each expert has the knowledge and expertise that could tell the teams how to improve their ideas. The academics and experts provided their honest opinions on the plans the teams had come up with. Depending on what kind of advice the teams needed to prioritise, such as how to create a memorable and persuasive argument in the presentation (Gareth), how to make their concept commercially viable (Siwan), or how to determine the technical feasibility (Iestyn) of their concept, the teams would go to specific experts first.

After a hearty meal of lasagna and carrot cake, students spent the rest of their evenings in talks with the experts, hopefully getting the feedback and guidance they need to really make an impact with their presentations next week.

Final Advice from the experts

The experts gave their final advice to the teams, most importantly to keep things simple. The teams only have a week left to solidify their ideas and present concise, engaging presentations that will wow the judges and get their ideas across clearly. Students were also encouraged to think about the reasons why they themselves would enjoy the product they are developing, and really think hard about why what they’re offering is a unique asset to the wellness and adventure tourism industry in North Wales.

One of the biggest challenges the teams faced during their meetings with the experts was really figuring out just how much their idea would cost the companies, and how much profit they were estimating the companies would make in return. Though many of the ideas students came up with were fun and engaging, many of them could end up costing the companies more than they would make. The experts reminded the students that their concept may not cater to every demographic and every tourist, but thats okay… the winning group will hopefully get to develop their ideas further with Rib Ride and Zip World!


Homework for next week:

There is none! Next week is the finale week and the winning team will be announced Tuesday, 20th March, 2018! Check back with us next week for our final short blog unveiling the 1st-3rd place teams and their winning concepts.

Money is Money

In a conventional view, money is physical and valuable. People use it to get what they want. On the other hand, people learn from that nothing is free. Money is not just narrowly defined as either notes or coins, actually it is kind of tools to measure the value of the goods and service; in turn, the effort that you have made to get this good and service. Put in the other words, the value of the good and service is equal to the opportunity cost. Based on this logic, the item why you think it is expensive or it is worthy to pay such a lot to get it, it is because its opportunity cost. For example, why the “ready to eat” is much more expensive than the raw food. The money you pay is not only for the food itself, but also the time that you would spend on cooking, the taste you would enjoy, the risk that you screwed up cooking, etc. Regarding the time you saved from cooking, you could invest on your work, with your family, or other things that much more worthy. The pleasant taste and the risk you avoided will endow you with a good mood and productive work. These opportunity cost would motivate you to pay this amount of money to buy this item, while motivate you to make more money to lead a better life.

Move back to the currency introduced in EBD, it does not really matter if it is physical or not, as nowadays, it is no longer a case following the emergence of crypto currency, digital banking. I would say, the opportunity cost for participants to get the credits is almost effortless. On the other hand, they are not informed what kind of “product” they could buy with these credits. So they cannot measure the value behind the  “product”, that is, they cannot identify the benefit they can get from it. It makes sense, no motivation that participants are not well engaged in doing homework or building their knowledge during the workshop. Besides, participants didn’t realize that these credits could be kind of tools helping them to gain extra advantages than other competitors, enabling them to win the prize in the end. To ensure credits taking its role , bearing in participants’ mind, these credits should be used very often when they are “building the blocks” through the sessions. In my opinion, at the end of every session, the participants can use the credits they earned to “buy” the tricks from advisers, professionals, or the managers from the company, which helps the team to build better knowledge base into the project, and which only hold it down within the team, rather than among all teams. We will expect at the end of final presentations, some of teams will stand out with solid ideas.








Consultancy Week: How to Sell the Simplistic Solution to Succeed

Imagine this scenario…

You have collected 400 creative points over the course of the process. You now have the opportunity to spend these points on scarce resources and consultancy. But a TV starts off at 400 points, with immense demand. And you need sessions with three different consultants to help provide insight for your team’s idea. Do you spend very little money on a table stand and spend most of our money on consultancy? Maybe we don’t need to speak to every person as we have the best idea in the world, but we just need a way to stand out for the judges next week, to buy a large TV screen for our exhibition stand. Although, we probably do have to speak to Gareth about communication, Swain about our business model, Phil about the wellness tourism sector and Cameron about the technology involved in our idea. Should we buy out 40 minutes of Gareth’s time or should we saviour that money for a better stand?What should we do? We only have 1 minute left to decide!

This is how everyone was thinking and consolidating on Auction and Consultancy week. It is the battle of understanding what takes priority for your team, especially under scarce supply, limited funds and against 11 other competing teams.

It is all about understanding the value of the creative points, something that has been very little understood under this week. Every team is assigned homework after every week’s session. This is to not only help and guide the teams to prepare for the next upcoming week, but also give more time for the teams to really work together and build upon their work in the session, as sometimes 2 hours is not enough.  For completing this work, each member can be awarded 10 points; 40 points per team, per week. This helps incentives doing the work. Except, without receiving the rewards themselves and not knowing what the creative points can buy them, the currency’s incentive salience and value is diminished. And this is what the postgraduates have been discussing this week, to understand what is the best way to rework the currency system to reward teams for their efforts on a weekly basis without replacing their intrinsic motivation.

One possibility has been to have a current creative currency and a potential creative currency system, to illustrate what teams have earned and what they could have achieved. Additionally,  another point raised is that the value of these points could be established earlier in the process. For example, in Week 3, there could have been an early intervention or consultancy week to guide remove any uncertainty or to clarify ideas and thoughts the teams may have had, only provided by spending creative currency. As this is an competition, the team’s collective effort and actions should be rewarded and thus, would have more points than other teams for which they can buy more resources and expertise. However, this does not mean other every team is disadvantaged, as they also had the same opportunities to earn the same amount of points. Therefore, the more effort and intrinsic motivation the team has, the more collective points they earn and can spend.

This is always an exciting and high-pressured event in the Enterprise by Design process. However, it is also full of complexities and uncertainty. Hopefully now after having invaluable expertise and buying scarce resources, all the teams will direct all their efforts to the final part of the process; the final week where the winner of £2500 seed fund will be announced!


The Penultimate Week!

It’s the penultimate week of Enterprise by Design, and we had a very useful and interesting session tonight if student reports are to be believed.

The creative currency that the undergraduate teams have been accumulating throughout the competition are finally put to use in a Dutch auction and a timeslot-buying market simulation.

But, as with last week, the post-graduate discussion downstairs before the event was where a lot of really interesting discussion happened that is worth thinking about.

Something that I think the whole Enterprise by Design process has struggled with is giving the students the right amount of information they needed to be able to make the best judgements for their projects.

A lot of groups have said time and again that they weren’t 100% sure what they were supposed to do that week, and even coming into the fourth week with their PechaKucha presentations there was mass confusion and uncertainty.

A few ideas were thrown around by the post-grads for a solution to the issue, but something I wondered is whether situating the simulated market in a fictional currency was one of the causes of the confusion amongst the students.

A lot of students would ask what the credits were worth, or how much resources were going to be, and in truth the answer was “we don’t know”, because in the end their worth fluctuated the more scarce a resource became.

If you want a large group of people to quickly understand the value of something, it needs to have reference to something familiar for them all. A touchstone that they will all recognise and understand is actual currency.

When you tell someone you can ‘hire’ a TV and stand for their presentation for £160, fake money or not, it immediately has a value they understand and can place in context. When you say 160 creative credits, suddenly you’re throwing a stumbling block into the game.

For a project and competition that is aimed at bringing interdisciplinary teams together to understand how their differing expertise can come together to benefit a business in the real world, using real world values would probably be the best way to communicate that to the participants.

“You’re going to get £10 to spend for each team member that turns up, per week”, is more effective than saying, “You’re going to get 10 creative credits to spend per team member”. To borrow an idea from writing, you lose the willing suspension of disbelief that team members have when you throw a concept they don’t yet buy into at them.

“What? Why do we get creative credits?”

The mental roadblock of “what are creative credits?” stops the team from listening to the rest of the instructions. It’s like saying that the creature that looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck is called a “smeerp”.

Obviously, this may introduce the complication of teams thinking they may actually get £100s for their end presentations, but this notion is easier to dispel than the confusion that students went through with creative credits and the idea of what they’re valued at.

Other than that, however, the night was really successful. The students were given the opportunity to speak to consultants, the academics and the business representatives, in 10-minute slots.

Some teams decided to hog a particular source of information, a solid tactic, by purchasing 40-minute blocks and muscling out any competition. From what I heard from some of the teams, they really valued the longer time spent with the consultants; and gained a lot of useful feedback on their ideas.

Using the spreadsheet market was an interesting concept, and I think it was a good solution, though there needed to be more oversight. One team, who will remain nameless, actually went 20 credits ‘overdrawn’, and thus spent more than they should have. Nevermind, I’m sure the rest of the teams got what they needed in the time they had.

I’m looking forward to next week to see what the teams have to offer Rib Ride and Zip World!

Sixth Week – Cyflin

The session this week kicked off with a lecture about how to appeal to people and were shown two systems of approach. System One uses statistics and hard facts to win over the audience. System Two however uses a more emotive approach, appealing and relating to the human nature of the audience. After the lecture and a tea break the structure and time management for the rest of the evening was free allowing the students time to concentrate on whatever aspects they felt important.
I worked with Team Cyflin, the name translates to fast from Welsh, although this week they seemed to be stuck on how to progress their idea forward. They concept they proposed definitely had some grounding but Cyflin lacked any real insight on how the end user experiences the product. I’m not going to give away what they are working on but we stated by talking about the key framework in which to analyse their product: the viability, feasibility and desirability. A discussed brewed about how to present their justification of each element and how it will be best shown in the final presentation. Discussion also extended to the key features of the product, how the intricacies interacts with each other and how their previous work integrates into the system. The team have done excellent to reach this stage and be decisive in what they want to achieve, they can however place a little more thought towards how they make their product attractive the logistics of how each of the elements are implemented. Good luck to Cyflin in the penultimate week, spend your currency wisely!

Action Research and Made in Wales – Week 6

From the meeting to the innovations workroom:

Synthesizing their 4 estimations, 4 creative currency credits, nothing ludicrous. Uses, Environment, Technology. Teams should commit to the presentations, less discussion in this session. Now is the time to shape/ mould and create. Commit to the idea you have been working on.
Ask questions; “How might?” and evaluate your explained reasoning.
The challenge here was the team I was working was had only one member there.

The Homework; Startup simulations, Business Concept Statement, SWOT analysis of the idea to inform allocation of creative currency.

We were told to Critique the desirability of the team’s ideas, push them to find an enthusiastic response to your proposal from end users, which will provide statistics to quantify the desirability of your product. Viability will provide estimates, what’s the purpose/value provided in your proposal?
Feasibility was the biggest challenge for the team here, because they lacked the prior work, only one girl had turned up out of her 4 members. She had not been there the previous week. Rather than giving up, we persisted on to generate somne of the 24 ideas which were to be created. This proved a challenge, but together we came up with the final idea for her team to continue with.

Multidisciplinary Action Research. Kurt Lewin, then a professor at MIT, first coined the term “action research” in 1944. In his 1946 paper “Action Research and Minority Problems”
What is the added value of this kind of work/research? It was the process of a changing organization to be tested and assisted by external professional researchers to improve overall organizational strategy. Elope verged on action research, it had external professionals involved, but it wasn’t a changing a company, and the same can be said for Enterprise by Design. If the students were involved directly with the company, they could be action researchers, but it is early days for many of them, including us supervisor graduates.

A mood point which resonated with me deeply was the idea brought up by Andy Goodman that education is too focused on giving education to students, helping them to understand work, but not build upon it. I figured out how to do exams in first year because they didn’t want our original thought, they wanted us to prove we understood, and nothing more. As I progressed in my Electronics Degree, especially Masters year, I noticed that the questions in assignments was more tending towards original thought, which is why it is more enjoyable. This is only possible once understanding is shown though.
Educare (latin)- To extract knowledge, as opposed to inserting knowledge into students. “bring out, lead forth.”