Design and the Market

Today we were given a talk by Dawn from Scottish Institute for Enterprise. This is directly related to our Design in the Market module where we have been asked to think about business plans for our future. Dawn introduced us to SIE to show us the benefits and help that is readily available to us if went want to pursue any creative ideas we have into a business.

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The aims of SIE is to support, inspire and encourage. They help students believe that making a job is better than taking a job, may it be a creative idea/venture that is worth while developing. Starting a business is worth while thinking about in your student years, students have the time to be creative and inventive, they have noting to lose! Mid presentation Dawn asked us to get into groups, she had arranged a number of random objects along the front table of the lecture theatre. She then asked each group to pick one object and list as many possible uses we could think of for this particular item. We picked a soft sunglasses case, or what looked like one anyway. She reminded us that no ideas were silly and that this would help us get creative ideas flowing. Some people found it difficult to get into the task but once a few of us started we all started shouting out random ideas and it became funny.

Here are some of our quirky ideas we had; a sleeping bag for a mouse, a secret money pouch, a small animal burial bag, a bag that contains bird seeds, a bag that could be attached to a dog that is sent to the shop with a shopping list inside, a DIY Christmas advent calendar (date windows could be added), a remote control holder, a bag for washing pegs, a protective glove, a humane animal trap if set us properly, a puppet glove and finally a dog wizard hat. There were many more but we didn’t have the time as Dawn had to finish her presentation.

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We were then told some business plans that previous students who had come to SIE had successfully taken forward. We were told about one student went to live in spain for a year during university and noticed the demand for whisky. When he came back he thought of the idea of creating a “World Whiskey Day” to help promote Scotland worldwide and its whiskey exports. This idea was from Aberdeen student Blair Bowman,

Mr Bowman explained: “I’m hoping that it allows more people to become interested in whisky and could also boost tourism for Scotland.

“Whisky is booming right now, all over the world. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this famous Scottish export.

“I’ve had people from all over the world get in touch with me saying they are doing something where they are.”

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The idea of World Whiskey Day was a hit and it was covered by almost every Scottish newspaper and evening news with video footage and interviews with Blair about his idea as well as world-wide interest! Blair continues to run this yearly event and his story is inspiring about having the confidence to utilise a strong business idea you have. Oh and The date of the International Whisky Day is on the 18th of May!

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Our module asks us to eventually create our own business plan, this may be for years in advanced but the idea of learning about how to get started is very helpful. For next week we have been asked to take our own ideas and make fake evidence. Fake evidence is a mock-up of a and idea or product placed in a real life magazine/website/shop/blog. Interestingly we were shown some previous mock ups from students a few years ago, a few of them have used their future idea as goals and have amazingly achieved them! We have been given tools to help us put our ideas through the tests of being worthwhile, we have to think about funding, desirability and competitors.  Wish me luck!

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