[This article was first published on our previous CommUnity platform on 15 February 2018]
It all began on a cloudy Saturday morning when a dedicated bunch of people came together under one roof to tackle a challenge; a unique one perhaps. For some it was a personal investment with the challenge itself and for others, a professional curiosity of addressing the problem from the customers’ perspective. Nevertheless, all of them showed up (almost) on time and we began the day with an informal gathering alongside some fresh coffee and pretzels.
The challenge we were about to tackle was of Smartivate’s, an upcoming start-up working on building a single platform which offers exclusive tailor made solutions to all your smart home needs. Smartivate is at the brink of making smart homes a reality to each one of us by providing access to its various benefits in a much more refined and convenient way. Smartivate solves the problems of compatibility, connectivity, etc., and provides the user with unique packaged solutions tailored to their budget, needs and requirement in a quick and hassle-free manner. Also, did we mention it’s founders Anand Narasipuram and Jeevan Dasan happen to be InnoEnergy Alumni (ENTECH)? This is an outcome of the Knowledge Innovation Triangle model of InnoEnergy, which by the way is also reflected in the business policies of Smartivate of educating the customer while doing business.
Smartivate is in the process of developing their MVP and could forsee a few challenges that needed to be tackled. This was when the idea was talked over with a few like minded alumni in a brainstorming session, which concluded with defining the challenge as "How can we (Smartivate) create a valuable user experience on our platform to facilitate and retain customer engagement?" The CommUnity Karlsruhe, along with guidance from trained alumni of the , then sprung into action to develop and execute a Co-Creation workshop to address this big question.
The participants at this workshop were from diverse backgrounds. Along with students and alumni of InnoEnergy, there were entrepreneurs from the start-up environment of Karlsruhe, experts in CRM and IT consulting, Academia researchers, a well known resident doctor and an expert in Linguistic studies. The motivation in the room was similar to that of sea explorers who were about to embark on a voyage to explore the turbid waters of E-commerce world & find new land.
As the day began, first officer Volkan Işık (Local Manager, CommUnity Karlsruhe) gave a quick intro of the build of the ship, introducing the CommUnity and welcoming everybody to this exciting journey. Soon we raised our sails and undocked from the harbour as our captain Tiago Mendes (Junior Project Manager, Open Space Studio) carefully guided the boat and its people to catch some favourable winds throughout the rest of the day.
We began by exploring ‘what’ features and traits of an e-commerce platform attracts different users. Each participant delved into their previous experiences with the e-commerce functionality to collect and share observations with their small work group. The participants then put themselves in the customers’ shoes to analyse which of these features are of importance to Smartivate’s platform and assess them according to their significance. Each group presented their observations in a construed manner. Midway through our journey, we stopped to re-fuel our ship with some fresh air-dropped pizzas and soon enough we got back to running our ship at its full speed. We dug deeper into the construct of developing an efficient, attractive and sustainable customer engagement and retention models. The rich diversity of the participants helped the creative juices flow and each group came up with innovative ideas. The voyage reached its landfall after each group presented their ideas in their own uniquely crafted way. Every participants’ distinctive perspectives helped this expedition transform into a successful outcome.
So where did we start and where did we end up? We started with a ship full of explorers eager to ride into the turbulent seas and ended up in a newly discovered land complete with all the tools required to build a new civilisation. While we await at the shore, Smartivate will continue this expedition exploring the land that lies ahead. While our scopes and radars are re-calibrated to find other such explorers, we will continue to guide them when needed and we wish them all the success in this grand endeavour.
Nonetheless, the CommUnity of Karlsruhe is indebted to all its volunteers who stood up and took the responsibility of organising such an event. The CommUnity is determined to provide more such exposure to its members through various kinds of events in the near future.
Pictures from the event: Business Case Challenge with Smartivate | Flickr
Information about Smartivate: Smartivate-One Stop Shop for Smart Homes