Students enrolled in the “Language, Culture and Innovation for Entrepreneurship” program benefit from an innovative workshop: “How to build your prototype in 36 hours?”, they were challenged by weeklong intensive teamwork training.
The project manager, Samuel Gomez, director of the Mechanical Engineering and Conception Department at Belfort-Montbéliard Technology University, gives us a presentation.
Please describe shortly the prototype workshop.
It is a serious game where one learns new skills with a practical implementation framework. The workshop teaches how to innovate and create a concrete object that meets a need that one has analyzed and identified. The latter uses a constructivist approach where one understands a need at the same time as building a product. The workshop lasts six days in a row. Each day is composed of six hours divided by three hours of general theory and three hours of practical tutorial. One also needs to add the necessary time at home by students to develop the project.
What have been the projects developed in 2016?
During the first workshop of spring semester 2016, several prototypes built were in the field of pollution reduction, with products derived for children and the elderly. For the second workshop in December 2016, we focused on smart portable products, with elaborate projects in the area of road safety or a product for building up relationship between the youths.
Are there any advices would you like to offer for a future entrepreneur?
One must answer a real need, a real demand. One must then find an ingenious product that will answer this need. In a practical way, a well-thought product must create admiration from the observers and make them wonder why they did not think themselves earlier about it. This is what we call the “wow” effect. Another advice for forming a team is to make sure that it entails a variety of skills: one must not have only designers or salesmen. One needs various profiles.
Below is one of the videos from students’ team work in the spring semester 2016 prototyping workshop: