Following an intense team-building weekend in November, the 10th of December marks the beginning of The Collider’s formative programme per se. As we explained in the programme’s general overview, the first phase takes two months and holds the name of “Opportunity Validation”. It is the most hectic period in The Collider, since all teams work against the clock to prove that their technologies have a viable market application. It is a time of divergence, convergence, pivoting and interviews that culminates in a Demo Day in February.
In this post, we zoom into this edition’s Opportunity Validation phase, including the overall agenda, milestones and deliverables entailed. Apart from the first week and a half, which is packed with inspirational and informational keynotes (hosting corporates, OTRIs, etc.) every week during the programme will have a regular set of activities detailed below:
Group sessions where each team has 5 minutes to share their progress while presenting the tool/canvas they have worked on the previous week followed by another 5 minutes to receive feedback from other fellow teams. This will be the regular schedule:
- What are you working on? (One-liner)
- What was the goal set 3 days ago? Why did you complete it or not?
- What is the biggest obstacle that you are currently facing where the group can help you?
- Explain your unit assignment.
Meet the Expert
Each Tuesday, we will welcome a wide range of worldwide experts in tech-transfer and entrepreneurship for an informal talk in the lounge area. The goal of these sessions is to present real cases that participants can connect with and extend their network. Guests will comment on their experience and offer honest advice on the programme’s projects.
The formative programme is split into 8 units. Each unit has a lecture, some optional readings, a video, a group discussion and an assignment to be completed. The whole process is aimed at building and validating hypotheses. Tutors will use the “Online Workspace” to guide participants through the Lean Startup Process and smoke tests.
In addition to having full access to all lectures and conferences, participants are bound to meet privately at least once a week with a tutor particularly assigned to each team according to their needs. Tutors share a hands-on expertise in a range of areas concerning deep-tech and entrepreneurship. Besides their 2-hours of tutoring each team will also get a chance to meet with specialists to help in specific topics related to their industry or weakness.
On the personal level, all participants will also benefit from the support of a human resource specialist, who will attend three checkpoints per team during the first phase. These sessions are meant to work all emotional aspects related to the project, including work roles, team pulse, motivations and learnings.
All the activities detailed above are set to prepare The Collider participants for the final test: the Demo Day (mid-February). On this occasion, which marks the end of the Opportunity Validation phase, all 10 teams present the results of their hard work in front of the investment jury. This jury is formed by the most influential programme ambassadors, scholars and institutional representatives who will take into consideration 5 key points to give their verdict on each team:
- Technology Transfer agreement with the University
- Investment Deck
- Business Plan with a Financial Plan
- MVP Development Plan
- Pilot secured with a business company
All projects that successfully achieve the stated points above will be granted an entry to the programme’s second phase (Venture Building), where they will be incorporated into a startup and receive the first investment by mVenturesBcn to develop their MVP. If you’re curious to see how well each team performs, stay tuned to our social media as the Opportunity Validation unfolds.