Makerere University School of Public Health-ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) prides in continuous mentorship and acceleration of the startup and innovators within its mandate. In May this year, RAN partnered with Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) to implement the #SmartTransport Hackathon at the Kampala Serena Hotel. The Hackathon attracted a total participation of 9 teams of which 3 were chosen as winners. RAN made a commitment to follow up on all the teams checking in on their progress while offering capacity building support. Details about the Smart Transport Hackathon are shared on https://www.ranlab.org/partnership-with-uganda-communications-commission-in-acia-2017.

On September 23rd and 24th, Brian Ndyaguma, In-Charge Business Modeling at RAN delivered a mini acceleration training to 5 of the teams that were able to join in as part of the commitment earlier stated. The training mainly addressed three key Lean methodology progress requirements;

  1. Stage – Exit => This canvas allows the team to check their progress by checking the boxes on the canvas and defending their position to fellow participants in the room. This canvas requires the team to have validated data regarding the activities they have done and the successes/failures they may have encountered. The canvas has 4 stages that include (i) Idea (ii) Proof of Problem (iii) Proof of Market (iv) Proof of Scale
  2. Golden Circle => The canvas helps the teams determine WHY they are doing what they are currently doing. Why are they in business? The golden circle was coined by Simon Sinek and has been an instrumental tool as part of the Lean methodologies. It is comprised of 3 parts; WHY, HOW, WHAT. Brian emphasized that customers buy why you do it (your project) not what you do (the activity).
  3. Massive Canvas => It is very important for the teams to know how they intend to get to their forecasted future(s). The massive canvas therefore helps them to create What If statements for the 5 stages telling a coordinated story of how they see their innovation progress. This has popularly been used by Elon Musk (founder of SpaceX, Tesla, & PayPal) among other famous founders.
  4. Javelin Board => The javelin board is a product – market validation tool that startups use to check and ensure that they are solving the right problem and hence have the right solution to be put out to the market. This canvas requires the teams to go out to the public and carry out research about their products and whether they meet market demands for existing challenges.

In the 2 half days, the teams filled in the canvases, shared and challenged each other on their progress and planned activities. Some noticed that they had to make some changes while others had to completely pivot their ideas to be able to address new ones. We agreed to keep in touch and on sharing status updates. These tools used were adopted from StartupScience.com.

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