Time is incredibly precious during this competition, therefore a process is required that lets the participants advance fast but making sure they get each step right. Our approach is based on Design Thinking. Design Thinking is a design methodology which is a solution-based iteration process to tackle a challenge which requires outside of the box thinking. The modified process provides the participants with a proper guidance and boost the creative thinking process to come up with solutions which do not exist yet or – as Peter Thiel rightly said – “are at least 10x better than the existing ones.”
Double Diamond of Design Thinking
On the first two days of the Incube the participants work on the different stages of the Design Thinking. Beginning with gaining an empathetic understanding and setting aside own assumptions about the target audience in order to gain insight into users and their needs with the support of an external Domain Expert (a specialist in their field, who provides the student with specific know-how). During the define stage, participants put together the information they have gathered in the empathy stage and start to define their target audience in the form of different personas.
Up to this point, participants have understood the users and their needs and ended up with a human-centered problem statement. Finally, the ideation stage is the moment to think outside of the box and start looking for alternative ways of viewing the problem and generate as much ideas as possible. This stage includes the ongoing creation of prototypes and the testing of the participants ideas.
In the last two days, we take Design Thinking a step further and start to develop a real business case out of the ideas and alternative solutions. Through the elaboration of a business model canvas, the idea acquires more structure and details. For this step, an entrepreneurial expert will guide the students and support them with their hands-on experience in defining value propositions and revenue streams.
These three stages underpin the Incube approach to innovation and problem-solving thinking.
Students during Design Thinking Cycle 0f InCube 2017