Final Year Project – Fifth entry

This post will only be a short entry, entirely dedicated to the the investor pitch which was the most nerve-wracking piece of work since the start of this project. The pitch was to be as professional as possible, following a Dragons Den approach. Among the panel was our lecturer Markus, our supervisor Maria and two others. Our aim was to showcase the idea in simple and clear manner in 10 minutes. We prepared a poster to represent the breakdown of the team, financial and our market. Prior to this we planned the presentation, each introducing ourselves discussing our skills and experiences then moving onto sections of our pitch. Prior to this we received a lecture from Terrence Browne, who works with DCU Alpha who clearly expressed the importance of a team dynamic in start-ups therefore we adopted this approach in our investor pitch.

The feedback wasn’t as positive as we would of liked but we gratefully took on board what the panel had to say. The main questions which were raised include:

  •  Is there a viable market vs current competition?
  • Security Issues
  • Idea motivation.

Other than these small issues, the feedback was still beneficial as our financials were better reformed and our business case was still on the right path, all we were told was to evaluate the idea again as it feels like we were still missing a particular something.

Below is an image of the poster we created and presented during the pitch.

Lucky Hour.pptx

Final Year Project – Fourth entry

We recently presented two sets of work which I mentioned in my previous post. Our entrepreneur module feedback was still quite vague, we were still missing something but we couldn’t put our fingers on it. Our idea was tailored for bridging the gap between virtual and physical gambling, in our minds it is clear what we are thinking but we are still struggling to physically describe this idea thoroughly. Overall we were happy with how the presentation went, Myself Luke and Michael are confident talkers and as long as we are comfortable with the work that has been done that we will try and discuss this thoroughly.

Our second presentation was in front of a panel of two, Cathal Gurrin and Paul Clarke who are lecturers, staff involved in EC4 projects. This presentation went quite well I felt, Luke took the introduction, Michael discussed the target market and I discussed the financial projections and how they relate to our market research. Overall the feedback was positive, we were asked a few questions on the business case, the security of this type of service and the motivation behind our idea. Also Paul gave us a rough work of potential questions we should ask ourselves before moving forward. We also submitted our initial proposal which will be graded alongside our presentation. Key aspects to this document include

  • Project Summary
  • Technical Delivery
  • Financial & Market rationale
  • Timeline
  • Workload Distribution

We had a substantial amount of this workload done due to our entrepreneur module, I am grateful for the re-structuring of modules for this course as it helped with this heavy workload. We slightly adjusted the financial after some feedback, Luke was the most comfortable in this area therefore he headed this task. I, myself managed the timeline and structure of the project and the work which was to follow. Vizzlo charts are an easy, manageable application to use which I would recommend. Our workload distribution was decided on past experience and what skills best suited our team but keeping in mind we aim to collaborate our work extensively following a groupware concept. We await the marks for this so we can effectively assess our work but until then we are working on our next investors pitch.

Final Year Project – Third entry

Our recent work has been situated around our market research and financial projections documents which were submitted this week. As this is completely new to our team we wanted to prioritize the financial projections as we felt it would need the most work. Our market research document represented all the relevant information needed to understand,plan and execute our marketing and sales strategy which was directly connected to our financial projections. The most relevant aspects to our market research document include:

  • Target market
  • Market value
  • Market trends
  • Advantage type ( Competitive or differential )
  • Competitor profiling
  • Benefits to clients
  • Key assumptions

The most beneficial part of this section of work was the competitor profiling, I headed this task myself and found it quite intriguing to show the comparison to how companies such as Paddy Power and Boylesports vary but are within the same business market. As I had direct contacts within both companies the work was made substantially easier and I gained tacit knowledge that I would not of found through a means of website researching. Overall we were happy with our financial projections, our forecasts consist of the next three years taking into account all our marketing, wages, miscellaneous expenses, revenue stream, loans etc. We also represented clear profit and loss accounts. Luckily Luke had some experience in this area so as a collaborative effort between the whole team taking the market research we obtained we channeled this information to correctly forecast our financial projections. Our next section of work involves two presentations, one in front of panel of representatives for our final year project and another for our entrepreneur module which commenced in October. We have a  brief meeting this week to discuss the structure of our presentation and also allocate sometime to answer some questions on the technical side to our business as we haven’t discussed that in depth as we are currently focusing on the business case.

 

Final Year Project – second entry

Since my last entry our group, consisting of myself Michael and Luke have consolidated our business idea. Our initial idea was named Legi-Till with the aim of stopping till discrepancies. I came up with the idea as I work in retail and have seen first hand the annual figure of discrepancies is very high. We correctly created our business canvas model around this idea  but unfortunately we were told this would not be acceptable for our business idea as its more tailored for engineering students as it is has more hardware components than software. upon learning this we decided to go back to the drawing board for our idea. Michael expressed interest in QR codes, gambling while I had more practical idea but again weren’t completely achievable due to our skills. From this “LUCKY HOUR” was formed. As a collaborative effort we completed our business canvas based on this idea. Our initial plan for this business was to bridge the gap of virtual and physical gambling due to the huge revenue streams stemming from virtual gambling.

Below is an image of our business canvas modelLucky Hour_business proposition template_presentation_LuckyHour.pptx (1)

From this submission we started on our business propositions, this brief document outlined answers to questions on our potential customers, our market research, revenue streams and activities we had to achieve to deliver this service. We achieved our answers through a means of our own researching. We created a survey outlining our business idea with subsequent questions. I myself asked members of staff in gambling companies on their opinion, some of their basic service deliverable’s and revenue information as a basis to use to obtain our demographic and to have realistic and reliable revenue figures.

Final Year Project-First Entry

This week marks the commencement of our entrepreneur module that has been added to our module list with the aim of aligning our final year projects with this module. It is week four, we have been given a week to think of an initial business idea within our realistic technical capabilities. From this idea our final goal will consist of a fully documented business plan clearly representing our objective, scope, research, financial forecasts, technical & functional requirements. This business plan will inevitably be used for our final year business case. I have briefly looked at the idea guidelines and expected submission dates. I felt the ideas guideline were very useful but especially useful for students struggling to consolidate their own idea. I also looked briefly at Renatt’s  functional spec as it was the area I was least comfortable with. This area would be the section I would like to prioritize as our particular modules may have only touched on some applications/technologies needed to successfully represent our functional spec. To summarize our task for this week, it is to:

  • Determine a business idea
  • Using the business canvas model, represent our business idea
  • Plan to present this work and acquire feedback.BusModelCanvas

On the 12th of February 2013, we attended our first mini conference of semester two. It was based on entrepreneurship, both social and corporate, and we were treated to a vibrant array of speakers from both areas. The conference took its usual start with Theo Lynn giving an exciting and interesting introduction to the basis of entrepreneurship then introducing us to Sean Coughlan, co-founder and CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Sean acted as MC for the remainder of the conference as he had an obvious link to the conference.

The first speaker if the day was Michael Kelly, founder of GIY – Grow it Yourself Ireland.In 2012, GIY exported nine billion worth of food. In certain foods, we import the same amount as we export. Michael Kelly decided to start this business after noticing that many products among the aisles of the supermarket where imported. We import five billion euro worth of food, three billion of which we could grow ourselves. The solution was obvious in his eyes but not so to others… grow it yourself and save the money. It was interesting and honourable to see that Michael had a huge amount of experience in the IT sector and management where he clearly made a lot more money but chose to help the economy change for the better even if it meant a drastic change to his lifestyle

Image

The next speaker George Boyle, founder of fumbally exchange was very insightful in my own opinion because of the simple steps that could be introduced to business whilst making it as a social entrepreneur. Fumbally Exchange is a community of design-focused small businesses and start-ups. there aim is to create an atmosphere for creative and regenerative growth in a time of great challenges which will adapt and prosper in the future even with growing challenges.

Image

These steps consisted of catholic themes

  • Impulse – trust yourself, don’t over think, just do
  • Freedom – launch yourself into the deep with enthusiasm
  • Guilt – competition & difference,
  • Personal responsibility – realise where and how you can create your own destiny
  • Forgiveness – work, mistakes are not punishment
  • Permission 
  • Style

The next speaker who completely grabbed my attention was Lucy Masterson from Hireland. Hireland is an unemployment initiative based on the idea of trying to convince firmsto take on just one extra person to help combat unemployment. Lucy spoke about how she got the message of Hireland out there.  Lucy enthusiastically spoke about getting your idea out there.

  • 1. Marketing– in order to market something successfully you must tell a story that can spread and connect.
  • 2. Keep it simple! – Hireland set an achievable goal of hiring one person to kickstart recovery.
  • 3. Break the rules– be unconventional.
  • 4. Start a movement– the hire one movement is a global idea on the rise that Hireland is spearheading.
  •  5. Embrace evolving technology
  • 6. Hello So Lo Mo – Social, Local, Mobile
  •  7. Be bold – fortune favours the bold.

In my own opinion Lucy spread the word of Hireland and connected with the audience in the Helix that day, as I believed in its aim to kickstart the economy but also the fact that 1 simple job in multiple areas not could but evidently can  add up to thousands of jobs being created without it affecting each individual company or work place.

The final speaker was Gerry Duffy who spoke primarily on motivation and what it can evidently achieve. His words and achievements were so powerful, he ran 32 marathons in 32 days which seems impossible to almost anyone but he believed he could do it and he kept going which is why I feel I connected with his story but also his advice on having the confidence within myself and persevering in the future if a social entrepreneur is on the cards…

shortly after he finished speaking he then told a story of a heroic man, father and human. Dick Hoyt, a father that completed an iron man competition while carrying his son the complete journey, It was truly a touching video that showed exactly how  hard work can achieve anything you want and that you can’t give up

  • link to Dick Hoyt video  : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUQeUsqQuVc

Get Started Blog

Get Started Blog 13 ….

On the 12th of February 2013, we attended our first mini conference of semester two. It was based on entrepreneurship, both social and corporate, and we were treated to a vibrant array of speakers from both areas. The conference took its usual start with Theo Lynn giving an exciting and interesting introduction to the basis of entrepreneurship then introducing us to Sean Coughlan, co-founder and CEO of Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. Sean acted as MC for the remainder of the conference as he had an obvious link to the conference.

The first speaker if the day was Michael Kelly, founder of GIY – Grow it Yourself Ireland.In 2012, GIY exported nine billion worth of food. In certain foods, we import the same amount as we export. Michael Kelly decided to start this business after noticing that many products among the aisles of the supermarket where imported. We import five billion euro worth of food, three billion of which we could grow ourselves. The solution was obvious in his eyes but not so to others… grow it yourself and save the money. It was interesting and honourable to see that Michael had a huge amount of experience in the IT sector and management where he clearly made a lot more money but chose to help the economy change for the better even if it meant a drastic change to his lifestyle

Image

The next speaker George Boyle, founder of fumbally exchange was very insightful in my own opinion because of the simple steps that could be introduced to business whilst making it as a social entrepreneur. Fumbally Exchange is a community of design-focused small businesses and start-ups. there aim is to create an atmosphere for creative and regenerative growth in a time of great challenges which will adapt and prosper in the future even with growing challenges.

These steps consisted of catholic themes

  • Impulse – trust yourself, don’t over think, just do
  • Freedom – launch yourself into the deep with enthusiasm
  • Guilt – competition & difference,
  • Personal responsibility – realise where and how you can create your own destiny
  • Forgiveness – work, mistakes are not punishment
  • Permission 
  • StyleImage

The next speaker who completely grabbed my attention was Lucy Masterson from Hireland. Hireland is an unemployment initiative based on the idea of trying to convince firms to take on just one extra person to help combat unemployment. Lucy spoke about how she got the message of Hireland out there.  Lucy enthusiastically spoke about getting your idea out there.

  • 1. Marketing– in order to market something successfully you must tell a story that can spread and connect.
  • 2. Keep it simple! – Hireland set an achievable goal of hiring one person to kickstart recovery.
  • 3. Break the rules– be unconventional.
  • 4. Start a movement– the hire one movement is a global idea on the rise that Hireland is spearheading.
  •  5. Embrace evolving technology
  • 6. Hello So Lo Mo – Social, Local, Mobile
  •  7. Be bold – fortune favours the bold. 

In my own opinion Lucy spread the word of Hireland and connected with the audience in the Helix that day, as I believed in its aim to kickstart the economy but also the fact that 1 simple job in multiple areas not could but evidently can  add up to thousands of jobs being created without it affecting each individual company or work place.

The final speaker was Gerry Duffy who spoke primarily on motivation and what it can evidently achieve. His words and achievements were so powerful, he ran 32 marathons in 32 days which seems impossible to almost anyone but he believed he could do it and he kept going which is why I feel I connected with his story but also his advice on having the confidence within myself and persevering in the future if a social entrepreneur is on the cards…

shortly after he finished speaking he then told a story of a heroic man, father and human. Dick Hoyt, a father that completed an iron man competition while carrying his son the complete journey, It was truly a touching video that showed exactly how  hard work can achieve anything you want and that you can’t give up

  • link to Dick Hoyt video  : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUQeUsqQuVc