Case Studies

Business training courses for startups and entrepreneurs on the example of the EIT Digital Venture Program

Context of the training project

 

Krakow Technology Park is an institution well known and popular not only in the Małopolska region, but actually throughout Poland. They support companies where, as they say, they have the greatest potential. They are known for such initiatives as:

  • Digital Dragons, the largest conference dedicated to the game sector in this part of Europe,
  • SpaceUp BSA, the accelerator for startups dealing with satellite data,
  • KPT ScaleUP, acceleration program aimed at supporting technological startups offering innovative solutions for Polish Industry 4.0.

In 2020, KPT took up another challenge, which was to work with EIT Digital, the European innovation ecosystem, on the EIT Digital Venture Program project, an international pre-acceleration program to support innovative deep tech start-ups at the early stages of development.

Krakow Technology Park invited us to co-create the program, as trainers to conduct a series of business workshops for startups.

Difficulties and challenges the client faced:

  • organizing a series of training courses for startups in a remote model,
  • designing the program to provide startups with the greatest value possible,
  • adapting the content to people from different countries, with different knowledge and experience.


Process of cooperation on business training courses for entrepreneurs and start-ups

Throughout our cooperation we conducted 5 dedicated business training sessions, which have been adapted to the nature of remote working.

We have conducted training courses on:

  • the introduction to the business model on the example of Lean Canvas,
  • validation of business hypotheses,
  • competition analysis,
  • business models and diversification of revenue sources,
  • marketing and sales funnel.

Moreover, each startup had the opportunity to hold individual consultations with us on subjects concerning the above mentioned workshops.

Client
Krakow Technology Park
Goal
Carrying out a series of business trainings and consultations during the EIT Digital Venture Program acceleration program for startups in Poland
Period of cooperation:
June and July 2020
Number of stages:
5
Number of people in the project:
4

Training 1: Lean Canvas


The first workshop we conducted was based on defining a business model by startups. We used a very popular tool, which is
Lean Canvas.

The aim of the workshop was not only to complete the aforementioned canvas, but to determine the hypotheses and validated knowledge in the first place. This classification is crucial for the further activities of the startup.

The workshop was extremely practical. The participants finished the workshop with complete Lean Canvases, homework and a plan for the next few days, during which they will validate their hypotheses. But first… they had to find out how to do it.

The workshop was led by Joanna Ostafin.

Training 2: How to validate business hypotheses?


The workshop on validating business hypotheses is one of the most relevant we conduct. It focuses on one of the most important issues for us when it comes to product development, strategy and business development in general, namely
research with the users.

The workshop on Lean Canvas taught us how to identify what is a fact and what is an assumption. During the workshop we learned how to validate business hypotheses.

We worked on real-life examples of Project: People, but also on startup cases, of course.

Furthermore, we have:

  • designed scenarios for in-depth interviews, 
  • discussed the most common mistakes,
  • defined good practices.

The workshop was led by Grzegorz Górzyński.

Training 3: Competition analysis

Competition analysis is one of the key elements of the strategy we design for our clients. The question is not whether or not we should do it, but rather how to do it effectively. And this is the issue we focused on.

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    We have worked out a theory on the types of competition. Together with the participants of the workshop, we have listed the companies that they think are their competitors, in order to validate this later on.

    It couldn’t have been done without presenting:

    • the elements worth analyzing,
    • good practices of competition analysis,
    • the most common mistakes.

    We finished the workshop by describing the tools that are worth using during such analysis.

    Hear more about the competition analysis in our podcast – Stay Tuned!

    The workshop was led by Grzegorz Górzyński.

    Training 4: Business models and diversification of revenue sources


    An interesting fact is that we didn’t initially plan on running workshops on business models and diversification of sources of revenue.

    After getting to know the attendees better and speaking to KPT representatives, we agreed that the workshop should be tailored more to the needs of the startups themselves and their level of development.

    And so we focused on business models and diversification of sources of income (which was particularly important considering the coronavirus situation we all were facing).

    We started by checking how well the participants knew the business models. We also completed the stage where we generated ideas for potential sources of revenue.

    The theory during which we discussed several dozen of various business models and sources of revenue played a significant role. This knowledge was utilized by the attendees – during the exercise – to implement specific models in their startups.

    The workshop was led by Grzegorz Górzyński.

    Training 5: Marketing funnel


    The powerful ending of our training series was a workshop on one of the most important elements of strategy and marketing, which is the marketing funnel.

    The training session started with an open question regarding shopping habits and decisions. We went through the theory of classic and more modern marketing funnels, with the addition of interactive and exercise elements, of course.

    What is AIDA? What questions does TOFU, MOFU and BOFU answer? How does the funnel of… Project: People look like? The answers to all these questions appeared in the presentation by Beata Mosór-Szyszka.

    The workshop was led by Beata Mosór-Szyszka.

    Consultation


    Each startup that attended the program had the opportunity to have a total of more than 4 hours of consultations with us, during which we discussed topics from the following areas:

    • business models,
    • UX,
    • marketing,
    • sales,
    • strategy.

    There are many advantages of organizing such consultations. 

    First of all, startup founders have the opportunity to discuss specific problems that bother them and that cannot be dealt with during the workshops.

    Furthermore, we can adapt the consultation to the situation of a particular startup and the level of development. It is not uncommon for us to work together on issues related to the marketing funnel, questions for in-depth interviews or conclusions from competition analysis.

    You can hear about the art of organizing remote workshops in one of the episodes of our podcast.

    Summary of activities

    7

    Startups in the accelerator

    7

    Workshops conducted

    26

    Consultation hours

    Tools for the organization of remote workshops


    Remote workshops are not only a challenge in terms of their content. While organizing this type of event we cannot forget about the logistics, especially those related to the tools we use!

    While organizing the business workshops we utilized the following tools:

    • Miro – one of our favourite online platforms. A virtual board for teamwork and beyond! One of our biggest discoveries this year.
    • Zoom – as a video conference platform. One of the features worth pointing out here is the Breakout Rooms, which allow workshop attendees to be assigned to separate rooms in which they can perform certain tasks on their own.
    • Google Sheets & Google Docs – extremely useful Google tools, which we use on a daily basis. We used the worksheets, for example, to produce competitive analyses.
    • Lean Canvas – a business model on 1 sheet of paper, designed for start-ups and early stage companies.

    Our Joanna Ostafin is an expert on tools for remote and online work. She wanted to share her knowledge on this subject and that’s why she wrote an ebook “+25 to the workshop equipment”, in which she discusses a huge amount of useful tools, their purpose and remote workshops in a nutshell (structure, exercises, tools, script and tips & tricks).

    Recommendation

    However, those who took part in the workshop are likely the best to share their views 🙂

    “A high dose of practical knowledge. Workshops with Project: People and KPT as part of the EIT Digital acceleration program significantly broaden business horizons on many levels; from competition analysis, through planning, to marketing and sales. Highly recommended!”

    Bartłomiej Janowski, attendee of the program, CEO & Co-Founder of Vispec

    “Expert services provided by Joanna, Beata and Grzegorz from Project: People during the EIT Digital Venture Program in a workshop model were delivered with due diligence and professionalism. The knowledge shared by the Project: People team is of high quality. I highly recommend working together with this company in the area of Lean UX, strategy and marketing.”

    Maria Maciągowska, attendee of the program, Co-Founder of Grape

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    Project team, i.e. who was responsible for what

    Author of the Case Study

    Grzegorz Górzyński Senior Strategist w Project: People
    Creates and helps clients develop marketing and business strategies.

    He gained experience in NGOs, corporations, startups, SMEs and agencies which gives him a holistic view of the business.. He also worked with Facebook Inc. on the Global Developer Circles project.

    He has led or participated in dozens of strategic projects.

    He provides training in marketing, social media and business idea validation. He was a speaker at Social Media Week Warsaw, BOSS Festival, PR Camp, or Crash Mondays.

    Enthusiast of Lean Startup approach, traveling and good food.

    Other members of the team

    Beata Mosór-Szyszka Co-Owner & Managing Partner w Project: People
    Beata is a serial entrepreneur, co-founder & managing partner at Project: People and Project: Values, and CEO of Hermes & Partner cooperatives. She is also an investor at ProEco Leaders foundation, co-author of The LiGHT Book (together with et al. Phillip Zimbardo, Robert Cialdini), and the author of diverse business tools (e.g. Values Poker, Lean Marketing Sprint).

    Beata is a strategist, marketer and lean consultant with over 14 years of experience in the international market. She has cooperated with companies such as Sabre, T-Mobile and Google. She shares her knowledge and experience as a mentor in acceleration programs (like EIT Digital, Google LaunchPad), and as a lecturer at Tischner European University & WSB University in Gdańsk.

    Project: People is a lean strategy agency that Beata established together with Joanna Ostafin in 2016. The company gained more than 160 clients from 16 countries in just 4 years (2016-2020), has 18 people on board, and achieves impressive growth of 200% Y2Y.

    Beata built the females-first organizations, where ~60-75% of team members are women. She is also open to investing in the female businesses with a vision.

    As a speaker, Beata performs at Polish and international conferences (e.g. Lean Startup Days Paris, VC night by Viva Technology, Open Living Lab, Product Marketing Summit London).
    Joanna Ostafin CEO & Co-founder @ Project: People
    She starts most of her conversations by saying "I have an idea". Joanna is a serial initiator and co-founder of many organizations, brands, and communities. On a daily basis, she is a CEO at Project: People and develops the DesignWays brand.

    Co-founder of Project: People, Project: Values, DesignWays Conf, and DesignWays Hub. She has created several communities, including the Krakowska Inicjatywa Designerska [Krakow Design Initiative] and the Product Culture Community.

    She enjoys sharing her knowledge during workshops and conferences - she was a speaker at Grafconf, the UX in Business Conference, Mobile Trends Conference, ProductCamp, Bitspiration, and many others. She is a lecturer at the Tischner European University and WSB Universities. Author of the “+25 to workshop equipment” e-book.

    Totally in love with the lean approach, especially Lean Startup & Lean UX. Big fan of educational projects, workshops, Product Discovery process, and... people. Privately an amateur of street workout and obstacle races.