The global pandemic has highlighted the current lack of support structures and networked community for early stage entrepreneurs in this and possibly other regions. The client wanted to build a dynamic networking site with an integrated App. The site would provide bespoke content about innovation space and how it works. Associated with the site will be a range of resources and information coming into the innovation space related to freelancing, job opportunities, latest publications in the innovation and entrepreneurship as well as delivering insights into the regional start-up business space.
Innovation Space – A digital portal delivering a digital Community for Early Stage Entrepreneurs
Acquire necessary domains to link to marketing campaign and user recognition:
How the Client brief was interpreted and tasked
The client’s specification brief was translated into six Project Stories and tasked over 3 weeks. The Lead Developer ran agile meetings each morning at 10am. Each Story was tasked to ensure completion by each team member on time. The morning meetings reviewed if team members needed assistance with research or learning a new technical skill. The Afternoon meetings were a quick review of daily tasks and their completion as a platform for setting the next stage for work to be completed before the next morning meeting.
The BCI Agile Development Process included the following stages:
- User Research
- Design Thinking
- Requirements Specification
- User Stories
- Sandbox Development (Research & Testing Site)
- Development Site
- Production Site
The Development Team was responsible for the:
- Delivery of a project plan, including time estimates.
- Trello User Story Board
- Implemented digital marketing strategy
- Production site(s) with a domain name
- Final presentation of the solution
The delivery teams were geographically distributed. Therefore, there was some degree of flexibility provided when tasked to ensure project co-incidence was not affected in Canada and China.
Asynchronous Communication (Slack Communication)
Embracing asynchronous communication channels like email, Slack, google doc comments, and recorded videos of Zoom meetings allowed a dynamic and continuous flow of information sharing.
Results-Based Tracking (Trello User Stories)
In terms of team and individual productivity there was a strong focus on results, such as deliverables and their continuous professional development needs. This enabled participants to prove their productivity, with or without supervision.
The Client was given a presentation of the first stage of building the system and the web space. The Client was extremely satisfied with the progress since the project development was launched and the next stages are currently being commissioned.
Next development stage
Participants will now plan the next iteration of the minimum viable product (MVP) that they have built and as they go into the next term, they will continue to build new features into the platform. They will also develop monetization strategies.
In addition, the incubator was a selection process. Individual team members who performed to the level expected of an employee in one of innovation partner companies were also then given the opportunity to work in these companies during the summer months. One student is now working on a project to develop a language testing platform for a Brazilian company while another group of students have been added to the software development roster of the company and will bid, with the course instructors, for larger freelance projects over the summer months.
Current feedback from the participants has shown that they felt their experience in the incubator program was a significant learning opportunity and the ability to work on real client projects assisted them in understanding the expectations of industry as they continue to apply for jobs.