On April 29th and May 6th and 13th, the 35 groups participating in Academic Working Capital 2017 attended the Online Workshop I. Through online platforms such as Google Hangouts, Google Drive and Slack, students interacted, gave presentations and watched lectures directly from their cities. The AWC team conducted the activities live from São Paulo (SP) for the 1st and 2nd call groups, which were divided into two classes.

Class 1 was comprised of 1st call groups, that needed to make a decision on the last day of the workshop: keeping their business model or pivoting. The content of the workshop approached this issue deeply to help students make their choice. On the first day, the groups thought about market size estimates and product or service price and watched a lecture on the importance of pivoting early, given by the co-founder of the startup Lean Survey Fernando Salaroli. The second day of activities was dedicated to analyze data collected in the interviews done in the last months, in order to set a value proposition for the business. The AWC team instructed students in developing a first product value experiment and seeking an early adopter to test and evaluate it.

On the last day, groups talked about how was the process of trying to get an early adopter and updated their tools according to feedbacks. The AWC team talked to the students on how to evolve the experiments into prototypes that meet the customers’ needs. The founding partner of the company E-xpert João Macedo, participant of AWC 2016, gave a lecture on how the prototype was decisive in conquering the first customer. João emphasized that the support that AWC gave to the construction of prototypes was a great learning experience, and that the groups should make the most out of this opportunity. Then, students presented their decision: they all chose to keep their business models. Now, the students’ goal is to get early adopters and establish partnerships.

The programme of class 2, formed by the groups of the 2nd call, was opened by AWC coordinators: the professor of the University of São Paulo (USP) Marcos Barretto and the mechatronics engineer Diogo Dutra. Groups learned about scientific entrepreneurship concepts and tools used for the validation of the business, and started thinking about the user and the value that the product will add to them. In the following meeting, the AWC team showed how to draw up a map of contacts and do interviews with potential customers and users, besides clarifying the difference between a customer (who buys) and a user (who uses). The students discussed the behavior of the user to create personas, which started being validated by interviews throughout the week.

The AWC team explained on the last day how the groups should perform an analysis to get to know the market size and possibilities of their product. Until AWC’s Workshop II, which will be held on site from July 17th to 19th, they will have to make the decision between keeping or pivoting. Students learned about and started elaborating the Petal Diagram, an analysis tool for competition and market. To close the day, the AWC team presented the structure and the next steps of the program. The groups of the 2nd call will continue to perform interviews to validate the personas, solve the assumptions and questions and start thinking about the development of the product.

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