The New Venture Design Experience (NVDE) started its second year with the welcoming of the Weekend Design Challenge (WDC). 41 students from all UPRM faculties and a professor from the Humanities Department participated in conferences and hands-on activities to learn how to conduct interviews, make a Business Model Canvas, apply design thinking, develop a prototype, and create a marketable pitch presentation. It started with Aldo Briano, cofounder of Yiftee, talking about his experience in the evolution of a start-up and giving key advice on how to develop an idea to a reality using opportunities provided by the university.
Then, the challenge was presented: “How to improve people’s evening routines?” The participants had to apply what they learned getting out of the building and interviewing people in order to investigate opportunities in this area. Each group compiled this information and found a problem to solve. By using brainstorming methods they develop over 50 ideas per group and selected one. The seven groups then created their business model canvas and prototypes, which they presented to a judge panel at the end. Here are their concepts:
Eco Tour – An app that shows touristic places in Puerto Rico with their budget for those who want an adventurous evening.
Save My Time – An app that calculates users’ free time and helps coordinate their activities and rest time.
Energy Fitness – An adaptable exercising machine that powers different add-ons to do chores, like cooking.
Jugglist – An organization app that can be shared between the family to coordinate kids’ transportation, food, and additional activities.
MMS – A money saving app that can help users manage their money and distribute it appropriately.
Lifestyle Center – An establishment with a gym, food court, laundry, tutoring, and recreational area that can help parents have time with their kids.
Clean War Bots – Small robots that kids can control in order to play challenges like a video game, but also clean the house.
The students received a glimpse of the NVDE and the different topics they will be learning through the year. This seven groups will now have the opportunity to find their own design challenges and investigate areas of opportunity to develop what can be the next big thing!