How can we engage with users to get valuable information, insights and feedback that will inform the direction of our project?
Students engage with real users to uncover valuable information and insights that will inform the direction they take with their entrepreneurial project.
- Critical Thinking and Inquiry
- Defines validation
- Identifies useful tools in validation
- Uses various tools to collect data from community to determine the viability of a project
- Applies data to validate, modify and refine a project
- Create and implement validation techniques and tests
- Run their tests in the community with potential users
- Assess their learning and integrate feedback on their Business Model Canvas
- Minimum Viable Product
Warm Up Exercise (10 Mins)
Customize a community building warm up activity for your group needs. You can consult the following resources for ideas:
● Warm Ups in Design Thinking
● Partners for Youth Empowerment
● Icebreakers & Teambuilders
● Inuit Games
Experiential Activity: Validating the Project (30mins+)
Students will learn about validation strategies and tools to create a series of tests to validate their project
idea. Validation will help students discover valuable information and uncover insights about their idea
before they get started. The process should help answer two questions:
- Should we create this project/business?
- How can we increase the potential for success for our project?
People new to entrepreneurship tend to assume they know everything about the problem they are trying
to solve, and their solution for it. Customer validation will confirm whether they are on the right track, or
guide them to modify elements of their project model in order to better succeed.
Step 1. Use the Customer Validation workshop to review the concept of validations and practice skills.
Step 2. Split the class into 4 groups do the following tasks. Use the worksheet “Finding The Parts of Your Prototype” to guide the group work.
a. Create a Survey. Create a survey you can use to get feedback from potential users. Surveys are a great tool as they allow you to gather a large volume of data so quickly. To reach the customers that you want to hear from, share the survey by email or social media, or print and deliver them in person.
b. Create a Minimum Viable Product and Prototype. Create a Minimum Viable Product for your new project idea. You can do this on the computer, sketch it on paper, or create an actual prototype of what they’re selling if they can.
c. Secondary Research. Do a Google search on some of the key questions potential users had about the community project. There might be industry statistics and data available in research articles that can help prove your idea.
d. Conduct in-person Customer Interviews. Talk to potential users in person. You can go to the local stores, schools, the community hall or anywhere there is a lot of people traffic. Talk to potential users and get feedback on how the students’ project could help them.
Before you go out to interview prospective customers, have your students create an interview guide you
can use while meeting with them. Include an introduction, problem and product questions, and follow-up
You’ll need to recruit at least five prospective customers for one-on-one interviews. Avoid random
interviews with friends, family or people at coffee shops. Try to do the interviews all in one week, and have
a friend there to take notes or record the interview so you can be 100% focused on the customer and
- Complete your own interview guide.
- Recruit at least five participants.
- Schedule and confirm participants.
- Summarize data and plan next steps.
- Ask open-ended questions.
- Prepare to talk broadly about your industry (such as trends, conferences and competitors). Don’t sell to the customer.
- Focus on listening and learning about the customer’s problems.
- Ask your interviewees for to recommend other participants to you.
Refer to the Interview Tip Sheet resource.
Step 3. Once you have completed your validation activities, collect, sort, review, and clarify the meaning of the
results. Analyse with the class to draw conclusions. Work together to set goals.
Debrief and Reflection (10 mins)
- What? What are your findings? Summarize them in a visual way.
- So What? Is validation important? What did the results tell you about the next steps for your project?
- Now what? How will you adjust the BMC? Make any adjustments necessary.