Telstra Labs Professional Development Day 3

Day 3 started with a meeting with Joshua Holmes, who is the Operations and Community manager at Muru-D.

Muru-D is a startup accelerator backed by Telstra. They currently run 6-month programs in Sydney, Melbourne & Singapore with partner programs in Brisbane and Perth. Check out Muru-D.

It was great to have a chat with Josh to understand how Muru-D runs and what they look for in their application process. Where in the project phase do you have to be, do you need a team, how is the selection process done, what happens after the term is finished are some of the questions that Josh shed some light on.

And I had a surprise visitor to the meeting. It was Ben Sand who is a resident entrepreneur at Sydney Telstra Labs. It was quite an intense session but was amazing to be in front of him and pitch my idea. I got a great understanding of what a VC looks for in a startup idea before they decide to invest in it.

Some of the questions that I can recall from the session are :

  • Who are your competitors ?

  • What are the alternatives that are currently available that solves this problem ?

  • How is it different from others out there ?

  • What is your competitive advantage ?

  • Who are your team members ?

  • If tomorrow you have to pick your team, who would they be ?

  • What qualities do they need to have ?

  • Have you assembled a team before for anything ? How did you get them to support you to execute your vision ?

  • If Amazon launches tomorrow, how are u going to compete with them ?

  • Think big and with less constraints : What would the world look like if this was a reality say in 5 years ?

  • What is your bigger vision ?

  • Why are you building this ?

  • What is your biggest strength ? What is your biggest weakness ?

After that great session it was time for customer interviews. So I bought 15 coffees from a nearby cafe and decided to head out to a food court and ask people if they can spare 5-10 minutes for a free cup of coffee. A free cup of coffee was a fair deal in my opinion but it did not work out that well. A lot of the people thought I was selling something and walked straight past without listening to what I was saying.

So I decided to go with Plan B which was to step inside the Telstra building and speak to people in the Foyer.

To my surprise, everyone was really nice and I got to speak to 5 people and I got some great insights. I discovered scenarios that I has not considered before and would be a great feature.

Day 5 Highlights:

So I think its time to refine my app designs and accommodate the additional features and rethink the process a little bit more. I am amazed at how much of an advantage it was to speak to even just 5 people. Their insights was incredible. I think this is just first of the many customer interviews I will be doing before building anything !

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