Growth Train

Mentoring food and health start-ups to Design Powered Innovation

10 November Nov 2017

Growth Train is a seven-week accelerator program focused on growing organizations in the food and health sectors. We were invited to mentor the start-ups in the program, and spent two days in Denmark coaching the participants towards Design Powered Innovation.

Our Partner, Chief Creative Officer Sigurdur Thorsteinsson, design manager Federico Casotto of the DGI Food Lab, and service designer Daniela Duran travelled to Denmark for a workshop last week. The goal of the workshop was to provide the participants with a set of tools and a mindset to help them to express the full potential of their ideas and be competitive in the marketplace.

Over the course of two days, Thorsteinsson, Casotto and Duran lead the start-ups to analyze their brands, products, and services, and in particular value proposition, brand positioning, core values and brand personality, demand space, stakeholders, personas, customer journey.

"If you want to successfully release your innovative product or service, you deal with a complex problem, whose many factors are connected to one another and are interdependent: operating/production cost, target personas, positioning, brand identity, design identity… They form a consistent system: changing one factor has consequences on the others. Being aware of these factors and their interconnections is key for any startup aiming to grow because succeeding means also to find the right balance between them and make them coherent with one another", says Federico Casotto, manager of the DGI Food Lab.

To deal with this kind of complexity, you need a holistic approach and nonlinear development process based on iterations. This is precisely the kind of approach that designers adopt. At DGI, we call it Design Powered Innovation.

Two days is a short time, even if the start-ups were very engaged. After the workshop, we launched a competition the participants: Complete the entire checklist of tools (including a stakeholder map, brand identity card, personas and plenty more), and you may win two days with DGI, with our various different teams sharing their knowledge and skills, and supporting your company to further grow.

After analysing the work of the participating start-ups, our panel of professionals selected two winners: Avokado owns the brand I like tofu offering a range of tofu-based products which improve and enrich the tofu experience. Orphidia is a startup developing a portable device allowing to run up to 40 common lab tests per patient in just 20 minutes, all out of a drop of blood.

"Both startups accomplished the task of refining the work they started during the Danish workshop very well. Both are in a development stage at which our contribution could be particularly effective," Federico Casotto says.

We congratulate the winners, and look forward to seeing them in Milan soon!


Related