BGV Week One – Starting To Accelerate

Part of our Bethnal Green Ventures accelerator experiences

After our extremely intense November we we’re officially accepted on the Bethnal Green Ventures Winter Cohort 2014. We started with BGV on the 6th of January with Naveed and Samiya deciding to make this their full time role.

Being on an accelerator is a rare privilege as you’re given the time and space to work out what your business is, how you might make money, is this even the right thing to do. Time seems to move differently at BGV and when we describe what we’ve done in the last 4 weeks it sounds a lot more like 6 months of work. Naveed has described it like being on the edge of an innovation event horizon where time is running slower for everyone else outside the cohort. We don’t think this phrase will catch on.

It also meant we were able to officially bring Lee Provoost on board part time as our “commercial conscience” and a cool objective eye.

All nine companies have joined at a different point in their journey and BGV have taken the approach of an intensive boot camp cum freshers week to get everyone to a certain point.

Sessions covered everything from a business canvas model
Business Canvas Model

Through to the Perspectivity Game, which showed that when it came to games we were going to forget everything the past week had taught us.

Whilst we had discussed many of the issues that were brought up by the various exercises, the difference was in how many we confronted in a short space of time. This quickly highlighted disconnects in how the team thought about the direction or glaring omissions in our thinking.

For example this project started as a campaign but now we were realising we may have to create and design a service. The gap came to light after the “speed dating” with mentors where we categorically said “we are not a 3d scanning and printing company, we do not make orthotics”. However after this we realised that the end user doesn’t care what we call ourselves and that all this amazing technology was worthless without a service that no one else had an interest in creating.

The intense week also highlighted a big assumption that need testing “all parents have been through the same poor experience of getting orthotics that we’ve had regardless of where they live”. This was going to need significant testing as it was the core of the problem we are trying to fix.

Week one was also the first time that Naveed and Samiya had worked together full time. Whilst inevitably there were strong disagreements it was surprising to both that the transition was smooth.

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