Blue Glimpse Survived the Final Dragon’s Den

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On Friday 3rd of May, 9 MACE business groups arrived at Kingston University eager and ready to impress the final Dragon’s Den Judges.

At the end of the day there could only be two winning teams. These teams were then awarded and given the privilege to represent London and Kingston University at the Young Enterprise National competition.

The week before, end of April, we had a Mock Dragon’s Den at Kingston with three friendly but critical judges. The Mock Dragon’s Den gave us the opportunity to test our speeches and see if we could deliver the presentation within the 8 minute time slot. 8 minutes isn’t a long time when four people have to talk, we managed to go one minute over. The judges told us we needed to work on our finance section, we needed to make it flow better. We were told that the best way to present finance is by telling a story. Because we were the last to present on the day we had a 3 hour wait in between our morning class. So when we got into the mock dragons den apparently we had no energy and spirits. Our Design Thinking professor told us that when we walked into the room we looked like we were going to kill each other. That was definitely not the case, I think we were a bit tired from the long wait.

We had a break over the weekend and thought if we just dedicate one day, thursday, to perfect our presentation we should be ready and confident for the Final Dragon’s Den.

Blue Glimpse spent the day before the final dragons den at Celia’s house (Blue Glimpse Manager). We had a delicious lunch out on the terrace in the sun then we spent an hour practicing our presentation. Our tactic was to keep doing it until it we were sick of our speeches. We also managed to deliver our presentation under 8 minutes. We got more confident with our parts and so it started to flow better.

D-Day. Blue Glimpse team dressed the part, we were simple but stylish. We wanted to look professional yet simple to match our product, Jabels. We met up an hour before our presenting time slot to give us time to print out our business report and practice our presentation three times before heading to the allocated room. There were two separate Dragon’s Den judging rooms, so our 9 teams were separated. Each team had time slot of 20 minutes with the Dragon’s. This meant we had 1-2 minutes to set up, 8 minutes to present and 10 minutes for feedback and questions from the judges.

Our presentation was perfect, we were energetic and kept our smiles throughout the whole presentation. There was no hiccups and no mistakes, we were really proud of ourselves.

The advantage of being one of the first teams to present was that we were able to celebrate the end of our presentation with a bottle of wine outdoors under the warm sun. Gradually, our fellow classmates started to join us after finishing their presentations to celebrate and relax.

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Some of the MACE business teams celebrating their Final Dragons Den
Blue Glimpse: 42: Easthetic: Buttons

At 5pm the overall winners were announced. The winning teams had to present their 1-3 minutes pitch to the entire room and answer two additional questions.

The two winning MACE teams were…………….

 42 and Ferox

Afterwards, we were approached by two of our Dragon Den judges congratulating us because apparently Blue Glimpse was very close behind Ferox. The reason why Blue Glimpse did not win was because we were targeting the wrong audience. The judges also said that our presentation was outstanding but only if we had the correct target audience.

It was a shame that we were not one of the teams to go to Nationals but we are extremely proud of our MACE teams 42 and Ferox in winning.

The day we met a Lord

On the 9th of April we, Blue Glimpse, Angelika, and Easthetic, had the privilege in meeting Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s advisor on Enterprise

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Lord Young visited Kingston Business School to discuss ways in which small firms could benefit from academic expertise. We were asked to come in to meet him to show Lord Young what business schools are already doing.

This was a great opportunity for us to promote our masters course, The Creative Economy, pitch our products and explain how our business’s have progressed over the course to Lord Young.

After the meeting we had a photo shoot with Lord Young and as a group we were interviewed by Kingston Press.

To read more about Lord Young’s visit to Kingston read the News article at http://www.kingston.ac.uk/news/article/869/10-apr-2013-prime-ministers-enterprise-adviser-emphasises-government-commitment-to-business-startups/  

Jabels… JABELS… get your JABELS!!

A few weeks ago, despite the freezing wet weather we faced the Kingston Market on a Thursday afternoon.

One major problem we were faced with.. who is going to go to Kingston Market on a Thursday between 3-5pm??

Surprisingly, we had a few customers and we sold about 4 packs of Jabels. We are proud to say that we only have limited stock left. We have one more trade fair at Kingston University, Kingston Hill Campus at the Business School on the 9th of May.

Towards the end of the fair it started to rain so we had to take shelter in the hall in the middle of the market.

We didn’t win any of the awards on the day but we had fun and are proud of our fellow MACE students who managed to win all the awards that day

Here are a few photos from the day

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Blue Glimpse: Kingston Market Trade Fair

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Blue Glimpse: Karin

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42: Tabli

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42: Tabli – Ivo and Anca

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MACE students and Undergraduate students stalls at Kingston Market

To the shops!

After good constructive feed back Blue Glimpse was sent to London on the mission to see how shops display kitchenware products in the similar category as Jabels.

Before heading to London, we were confused if we should consider Jabels as a kitchen gadget or utensil.

After walking around the kitchenware sections in stores we quickly learned that our Jabels are more in the gadget category and not utensil category. We decided that utensils are kitchen products that have more of a direct contact with food such as garlic crushers and bowls. However, we found that Jabels would suit the gadget category because they do not necessarily have a direct contact with the food products for example corkscrews and digital scales.

Jabels are positioned around jars, bottles, and small tupperware boxes, they do not have a direct contact with food products.

One of the criticism for our display table of Jabels at the first trade fair was that it was not displaying the proper function of the product. Jabels wasn’t presented in a way where people would look at the product and think ‘kitchen’ or ‘food’. It is important that at trade fairs that customers can find the direct link between your product and function quickly. If this connection is not clear then it is possible that customers will avoid visiting your stall. This connection is important in big kitchenware stores and departments because there might not be anyone around to explain the full function of the products. On the other hand, this confusion may be a benefit at trade fairs because for those who are curious and confused about the function of your product may still visit your stall and ask you directly about your product.

 We found that the kitchen gadgets and utensils display areas in the stores so colourful and eye catching. We saw brands such as Zeal, Copenhagen, and Joseph and Joseph.

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Image ZEAL

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                                                   JOSEPH AND JOSEPH

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NORMAN COPENHAGEN

We thought our colourful dark blue and white Jabels would fit into the display area quite well. However, for the future we do want to look into more bright colours for Jabels as well as manufacturing bigger size Jabels to fit over tupperware boxes.

In the store there was a display table in between the kitchen gadget display and kitchen utensil display with jars of condiments such as mustard, pickle, olivers etc. I thought it would be perfect if not only could we get jables displayed on the hanging displays against the wall but display their function by having them position on these jars of condiments displaying the expiry dates, ‘Eat Me by’, ‘Opened On’ written on the Jabels.

Our next trade fair table displayed Celia Small’s, Manager of Blue Glimpse, fridge creation. She converted a small wooden box into a fridge by painting the box white and sticking a picture of the inside of her fridge to the back so when you open the door it looks like a mini fridge. Inside the mini fridge we placed jars and bottles in the fridge with Jabels displaying their expiry dates.

We were all proud of Celia’s fridge and it helped the customers make a quick connection of our Jabels to its function

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Overall, we were glad that we went on our mission to London as it was extremely helpful in  determining what category of kitchenware our Jabels are and it gave us an important insight in how we should display our Jabels so that the function is clearly evident.

As a reward, after our mission we took ourselves to Byron Burgers to have lunch. It was a successful day out with Blue Glimpse.

Kingston University Trade Fair

 

At the trade fair we managed to sell a number of Jabels and got constructive criticsm from judges and customers. As a team we will take the criticism into account and try and improve in areas of display, pitching, target audience for the next trade fair on the 21st of March (Next Thursday!)

Unfortunately, Blue Glimpse did not win any of the cash prizes but we are proud of our four MACE teams in winning the four prizes.  In total there were 19 teams in total, 9 MACE teams and 10 undergraduate teams.

Best Product – Aiis

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Best Sales Team – Ferox

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Best Trade Stand – Hiccups

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Best Company – Easthetic

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Blue Glimpse and our fellow MACE team Easthetics features in Kingston University student bulletin. “Kingston students shine brighter   than the rest at entrepreneurial comp”

https://mykingston.kingston.ac.uk/myuni/getinvolved/studentbulletin/Pages/Kingston-students-shine-brighter-than-the-rest-at-entrepreneurial-comp.aspx

This is great publicity for all of us including the other MACE teams and other Kingston University participants.

Overall, it was great experience and we are now looking forward to next weeks trade fair where will we be putting our competitive sale faces on and pushing for a lot more sales.

 

Trade fair Photos:

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If you are interested in Blue Glimpse and Jabels please visit our facebook, website, and follow us on twitter. We will update you on our progress and development and answer any of your questions.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlueGlimpse

Twitter: @blueglimpsejabels

Website: blueglimpsejabels.wix.com/jabels

For sales and information contact us: blueglimpsejabels@gmail.com

Tomorrow the Blue Glimpse team is spending the day in London on a mission. All will be revealed in the next blog post.

Any Publicity is Good Publicity

Karin, Celia, Sean and I are proud to be included in the 32 students to have won and shared the 19 cash prizes, 21 prizes in total, for the West Focus Bright Ideas Competition. It was a great experience and certainly a confidence boost for our company and product.

Kingston even celebrated the win by writing an article about the West Focus competition.

Three MACE (MA Creative Economy) teams Blue Glimpse, Easthetics and 42 features in the article. However, we represent MACE and Kingston University so in reality it is good publicity for all teams in MACE.

‘Kingston entrepreneurs sweep the board at the Bright Ideas competition’

http://www.kingston.ac.uk/news/article/829/04-mar-2013-kingston-entrepreneurs-sweep-the-board-at-the-bright-ideas-competition/

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Blue Glimpse team celebrating their Bright Ideas Award (Photo:www.flickr.com)

Please take a look at the Flickr page below. Photos from the Bright Ideas Awards night.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24022865@N06/8516378252/in/set-72157632882557524

WEST FOCUS BRIGHT IDEAS GRAND FINAL

Well done to Jabels and my Blue Glimpse colleges, Karin, Sean and Celia in winning the 250.00 pounds Bright Ideas prize!

Blue Glimpse Team accepting their award

Blue Glimpse Team accepting their award

West Focus invited a number of universities to participate in the Bright Ideas Competition. We had to submit a form explaining our creative Ideas. As a group we submitted our Jabels product, the re-useable rubber jar labels that remind customers of the expiry dates of food.

Jabels

Jabels

Congratulations to group 42, Anca, Ivo, Ray, Stine, and Anna in winning the 250.00 prize with their Tabli chalk board place mat for children.

 42 receiving their prize

42 receiving their prize

Congratulations to Easthetic, Shruti, Yella, Gott, Daisy, and Winnie in winning the 1000.00 pounds grand final prize with their product POZZY – The creative and efficient flower bag.

Easthetic giving their 1minute elevation pitch speech

Easthetic giving their 1minute elevation pitch speech

Congratulations to Angelika in winning her 1000.00 pounds grand final prize for her own idea of setting up a charity, allowing people to donate money for children to buy and play instruments. (Apologies if I got the details for your idea wrong Angelika)

Angelika collecting her prize

Angelika collecting her prize

 

What’s next?

On Thursday the 28th of February we and our fellow MACE business groups will be selling our products at the Kingston University Young Enterprise Trade Fair, Penrhyn Road Food store at 15:30 – 17:00. 19 teams (undergraduate + postgraduate) will be participating in the trade fair.

Please come and support us.

Jabels, Pozzies, Tabli’s and many more creative products will be on sale! 

 

 

Blue Glimpse’s first ‘Dragons Den’ session

This was the day we had to put our pitching skills and our product, JABELS, to the test.

We met up earlier to practice our 5 minutes speech. Through our first three practices I found myself laughing during my teammates speeches. The laughing caught on and one other teammate started to laugh with me. It was a nervous laughing and I was worried I was going to start laughing in front of the dragons.

Nervously, we headed towards the den. As there were 9 business groups we were spilt into two different dens. Pinned on the doors were the allocated business groups for each den and the order of presentation. We were last to present.

Each room had 7 dragons. The panel of dragons were people from different professional backgrounds. Each group presents for 5 minutes then there was time for questions and feedback from the dragons.

Dragon’s Den begun and I couldn’t stop shaking.

It was our turn. My stomach flipped. We stood up and positioned ourselves in front of the dragons.

Phew… No mistakes and no random laughing fits, our presentation went well.

We got good constructed criticism from the dragons. They weren’t convinced about our target audience, women over 30 years old. It was suggested that we could aim at a younger demographic group like university students living in shared houses or carers looking after elderly people. A dragon asked us if we were going to look into producing different sizes and look into producing Jabels that will fit over tupperware boxes. (My team and I had already had the discussion and we understand that more people use tupperware to store food in the fridge) In response we said that we our main focus right now is jar sized Jabels but we are interested in looking into producing larger sizes.

A dragon suggested that we could make stickers instead. I was a bit taken back. I had already explained in my speech that the problem with sticker labels is that the sticky glue gets stuck onto the jars surfaces and it takes a lot of effort to get rid of. Jabels are efficient and re-useable, after writing on the Jabels you can wash the text off with water and soap.

Towards the end a dragon admitted to us that he would not use the product but one another said that he was very impressed and that he would buy our products.

Unfortunately, we didn’t have our final product with us at the dragon’s den but we made prototypes. We bought charity bands and sheets of whiteboard. We cut the white board into pieces and stuck the pieces onto the rubber bands.

Here are photos of our Jabels prototypes

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The final product of Jabels are made out of rubber.

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P.s Blue Glimpse have their final product, JABELS, and are ready to sell

* More posts about JABELS will appear over the next few weeks.

Blue Glimpse: Jabels

This semester we got involved with Young Enterprise London with Dwain Reid, British business mentor.  Young Enterprise gives young entrepreneurs a chance to get an early start in learning skills and vital techniques for starting up a business from scratch. Young Enterprise hold workshops every month where the entrepreneurs can discuss their ideas and pick up vital skills in relation to starting up a mini business and coming up with a product. We got into small groups to form our mini business. In our group we have Celia our Business Manager, Karin our Marketing director, Sean our Financial Director and me the Business’s HR and Operations person. Our Business is called Blue Glimpse. It took us a while to come up with this name, it was only an hour before we went on the computer to register our business did we agree on the name. I did wonder if it took this long to come up with a name would it take us longer to come up with a product.

The next task was to open a bank account with Santander and come up with a product. The product can be anything except from a food and drink product. We could come up with a new product or a better version of a product that is already in the market. Our business group had to go back to basics and use the skills we learnt in our Lean Start Up two-day workshop with Eiwei Chen (my first blog post).  As it was hard to meet up during the week we had to observe the public as much as we can and try and look for a problem.  I went to St Pancras and Kings Cross Station, observed people on the buses, bus stops, Clapham common, on the trains, on the streets, in the gym etc.  I went to a house party and asked the people there. Two people suggested I come up with an umbrella that was made from quick dry material. I told them that it had already been done, I was sure we had those umbrellas in Hong Kong. I still couldn’t find a potential problem we could use for our business.

It was coming up to the product deadline and I was starting to panic. I told my group and we finally found time to meet up and discuss our ideas. We all liked Sean’s idea about a fridge system allowing people to know when their food was going to go off, I definitely have that problem in my house we tend to forget what we have in the fridge and it goes mouldy and we have to throw it out. We all then had a few days to try and come up with a product that would help people organise their fridge and allow them to know when their food product will be out of date.

We all agreed on rubber band labels to go over containers. I thought the best idea was to have a tag attached to the rubber band the labels will be erected allowing people to see the tags at the very back of the fridge. I also thought that the rubber bands were going to go on tupperware containers, I thought we were going to aim to target young people who like to cook for themselves and use containers to put their left over cooked food in and who forget when they cooked it. I thought our product was to help people avoid wasting their food in the fridge. However, my team had already decided on Jars.  Jam jars then narrowed our target audience but with the limited time we had we all thought it was a good idea. People usually use jars for home made jam, chutney, sauces, and salad dressing.  Then if the jar labels are popular then we thought that we could extend our product to different size labels, which could then fit over different size jars and containers.

We had to come up with a product name. Sean coined the word ‘Jabels’ by putting the words jar and labels together.

When trying to come up with a product name and a company name we had the problem of coming up with names that had already been done. Once we came up with names we would google search the company or product name. We were lucky that Blue Glimpse and Jabels weren’t taken.

Ideally we want our product to be a rubber band with a white board tag attached allowing people to write on the tag, wipe it off, and write on it again. We want our Jabels to be re-useable.

We needed to make a prototype before our Dragon Den session, 5 minutes to pitch our product to 7 business professionals. Celia managed to buy rubber wristbands (2012 London Olympics) for our prototypes. We found out that we could write on the rubber band directly with white board markers and wash it off. However, we need to test this more when we have our final product and see if this can be done.

Sean and Celia researched and contacted potential UK rubber band manufacturers. We wanted to ask the manufacturers if it was possible for them to embed a white board piece into their rubber bands. But the manufacturers were a little confused on the idea. So we thought if we could test our idea of customers writing on the rubber band directly more thoroughly then it could potentially be our final product. Celia found an online rubber band website where you can customise your own band. However, we thought it was a good idea to play it safe for Dragons Den and so our prototype had the rubber band with white board cut out pieces glued to the bands. This allowed us to demonstrate the writing and wiping away of the texts.

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More blog posts on Blue Glimpse, Jabels, our Dragon Den session and our trade fair experiences will be posted in the new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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