FIB-SOL at Lift Labs Geneva

In December 2016, swissnex India and Lift Conference co-organised a workshop for urban entrepreneurs in Bangalore and Manesar. The aim was to identify the best startup with the most viable solution to the challenge of urban food production. The chosen startup would participate in the competition finale at Lift Labs Geneva along with the startups chosen from other parts of the world. FIB-SOL Life technologies, a startup based out of the Bio-Incubator at IIT Madras Incubation Cell, that works on solutions to burning problems in agriculture and healthcare sector was chosen from India. Dr. Kavitha Sairam from FIB-SOL takes us through their three days at Lift Labs – 

Lift Labs, Geneva – 1-3 March 2017

The Lift Lab is a dynamic workplace which intended to provide hands-on fabrication and immersive mental exploration to help us visualize our ideas and tweak our projects towards realization. The Lift prototyping lab consisted of six modules, which includes Inspiration, Solution shaping, Testing, Ecosystem engagement, Project Management and Team happiness. Each of these modules had a set of consecutive activities referred to as Beacons. In total, there were 39 beacons intended to educate us in our journey right from ideation to prototyping, raising funds and revenue generation.

Talks Delivered

The Lift Lab events flagged off with an opening presentation by Greg Serikoff introducing us to the idea and history of Lift labs. Following which there was a brief on the activities to be performed by us in the lab.

Day 2 started with an introductory lecture, “The Big Challenge”, by Dr. Manu Kapoor, which emphasized the need for lateral and critical thinking as a prelude for innovations. The afternoon of this day started with a fruitful discussion on the Social innovation platforms and gave us an insight into how social projects could be made common to more layers of the society.

Day 3 started with an invigorating lecture by Alex Osterwalder, the cofounder of Strategyzer. The lecture was immense enough to clarify our doubts on designing a business canvas. The afternoon discussion by Mass Challenge was intriguing and could be a means of expanding our platform in other countries.

Our Base: In order to complete our tasks on beacons we were assigned basecamp 11, which we were asked to showcase according to our convenience and use it as our hub for the 3-day event.

Our Mentor: Mr. Thomas Appleby was assigned as our mentor. His expertise was on accelerating startups from ideation to revenue generation by addressing problems pertaining to business development.

Curricular Activities

The catalogue of beacons to be performed at Lift Labs was listed in a book, aptly called Parkour.

We started with the beacon ‘Design your value proposition’, which helped us understand the pains of the customer that we should target to improvise our business strategy. This in turn helped us in arriving at a better business model.

Day 2 was exciting as we worked on our 2D and 3D prototyping simultaneously, guided by Frederic d’Incau. Though our prototype was simple, it helped us get a better vision on our product and its implications in the market. Following prototyping, we explored the beacons in project management which included Action planning and measure, which largely helped us to understand time management and task completion.

Day 3 was interesting and exhaustive, as we started testing our project by pitching in to other groups, which helped us complete the testing module. The suggestions during the pitch in made us understand that we should work elaborately on our customer segments and marketing plans. The pitch session gave us an opportunity to understand the other innovations striving to reach market.

Last but not the least, the beacons did give us time to explore our own team happiness and relaxation, which is an essential component of team building and sustenance.

The grand event concluded by the participants cleaning their hub area and recycling the material used for posterity

Extracurricular Activities

The Fondue night arranged on day 2 was a treat for the taste buds and was an intense platform for networking and collaborations.

Day 3 ended with a party at one of the oldest hotels in Geneva the, Palais Mascotte.

Take away

The team has built intrapreneur’s after attending the LIFT Prototyping lab. Every member of the team had an access to work on the business model canvas and now has a better foothold on how an idea can be transformed to a business.

The critical points to be addressed in a business such as customer pain points, action planning and fund raising were understood well by performing the activities.

New marketing strategy has been devised after attending the prototype lab. In short LIFT, has educated the whole team on the business aspects required for the progress of FIB-SOL.