Ideas coming to life, an energetic experience.

Ideation: The process of forming ideas or images.

An hour into the event and I’m working together with four strangers on ideas we’ve literally just created. There’s a flurry of creative energy. The game plan: come up with an educational app, pitch it to the panel of judges and try to win $5,000 (towards the development of a full beta version of our app).

We have 30 minutes to form a group, mine comes together organically. We’re given a few directional cues from our hosts:

  • Nail down an idea within the next 30 minutes
  • Define the problem
  • Describe the audience
  • Determine the product-solution
  • Present the app idea in 10 slides or less

Pretty simple, right? I can’t believe I expected something more complicated than this!

Creation: The act of producing or causing to exist.

Each group has three hours to develop the basics of their app idea. My group decides on our product pretty quickly. First, we discuss the audience (children), next, how we can get them interested (gaming), and finally, our educational topic (nature).

After discussing our audience, education and our product-solution, we work on the pitch. At this point, we only have two hours to finalize our slide deck. We’re getting pretty excited about our idea and are deep in the details now. Next, we pull a template from google slides and start on the presentation. Three of us work on the content, while the other two work on a wireframe. And, don’t worry, I didn’t know what a wireframe was either. But I find out that it’s a blueprint of what the app will look like (aka framework, a login screen or menu is a good place). Ha! I learn something in the first hour of brainstorming.

The next two hours fly by. We work our individual skills to contribute to the final pitch. A bit of image searching, stat finding and copy editing and we have a pretty polished presentation. Our idea has come to life.

It’s fun working with people I’ve only just met, and the energy is palpable. Everyone offers their individual skills to the project. And even though we don’t have time to slow down and share the ins and outs of the platforms we’re using, I learn about different tools for ideation, and I store these in my capture notebook for future projects.

Presentation: The act of presenting, offering, delivering.

There is a lot of excitement leading up to submission time. Two people from my group volunteer to present. We work until the last minute, intuitive edits and image touch ups. At final call, each of us feel satisfied with our contribution and our final product.

We watch the other groups, and their ideas are pretty creative, but we feel confident that we have something good enough to win (and our presentation is sharp).

Our idea provokes a lot of curiosity.

We win!

Conclusion: The end or close; final part.

When I first walked into the workshop, I didn’t know what to expect, but I actually won! Most of all, I feel excited, educated and inspired. I work with new people, learn new tools and express new ideas. Each of us challenges ourselves to create, work, and pitch an idea, all under a time crunch!

The ProtoHack environment is organic, exciting and inspiring. What a great energetic experience.

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