MACE15: Asset to the Creative Economy

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This semester I have been an involved and a gratified representative of the Mace15 Team. Gratefully reflecting on my time with the program thinking how I have benefited abundantly; with the programs objectives, aims, and the many lessons learned of from the curriculum. This year being a member of MACE has single-handedly extended, and positively shaped me. My time here has sufficiently aided me to become more; entrepreneurially savoy, a better creative induvial, an innovative thinker, an efficient & effective problem-solver, and collaborative worker. Also MACE has made me more conscious & understanding to the creative process of projects, as well as to the creative process of others professional development.

From the beginning of the year MACE has insisted on the development of these grounded principals. Innovation, Creativity, Collaboration, and Network. From the close and justified work with these principals, I feel more equipped and qualified to move forward as an asset to the Creative Economy.

When the school year started in the fall 201
5, the MACE15 team begins. MACE initiated with exercises that would assist in our advancement to superior entrepreneurial blog bag2thinkers. In the early days, we started out making Quick and Dirty Prototypeshttp://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/13270/quick
_and_dirty_pro
totyping_a_.php

blogpic2-4This first operation of the quick and dirty prototype, got MACE to think how to be creative and innovative fast. Think of an object for      example, we innovated bags (purses, wallets, backpacks, etc.) With the simple task assigned to create a bag, and also make a tangible element for demonstration.  This activity helped us learn how to group-brainstorm, deliberate and try to think innovatively; while solving a problem.  Doing this exercise help in our upcoming projects. This became a great way to introduce MACERS and learn what different team member’s creative and professional strengths are.  All throughout the year this technique of quick and dirty prototypes had been useful and will continue to be when developing other work. This is a website that will give you more insight on the benefits of prototyping what makes a good prototype. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWk6br5Ngkc)

Being on MACE at Kingston University, has help me widen my professional interest and platform to the World Wide Web. From the beginning it has been requested of MACE15 to develop an online presence, that will make us sophisticated & approachable professionals. We made online blogs https://macekingstonuniversity.com/

The blog tracked our entrepreneurial development and experience throughout the MACE process. Also we were advised to make a twitter account and LinkedIn page, to extend our professional reach. Also we have benefited from multiple social media workshops that facilitated knowledge on making our personal social media accounts more professional; so that they may be a reflection of our entrepreneurial goals.

These exercises assisted us in being aware of our own image of which we want to portray to the masses. We also were graded on our online performance in how well we provided content, communicated, network with others. Which afforded Myself and other MACERS with great opportunities. This is still an area where I still want to make a better impact, but I have been inspired by classmates like Michelle P.; a fellow MACE15 associate. https://macefiles.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/michelles-reflective-essay/

During the semester Michelle reviewed a book on the class reading list. The Lean Start Up by: Eric Rieshttp://theleanstartup.com/ .

The book had been given to us by Janja, our devoted module leader. Her review was posted by Janja and from there went viral the Author of the book even reposted it on his twitter account. It had been great to see how easily increased Michelle’s Social network had been expanded, all because of the type of content she chose. It established the seeking of my own network platform, and to whom or what brand I want to professionally ally and appeal to.

https://www.linkedin.com/start/join?trk=uas-consumer-login-internal-join-lnk

https://www.linkedin.com/start/join?trk=uas-consumer-login-internal-join-lnk

Time to work together, by the middle of the first semester it was time to launch our own personal companies. Where our goal was to manufacture tangible products that were to be sold by the second semester and also defended in a mock Dragons Den. This extra pressure added, insisted that all members of each company stay involved and see the project through to the end.

https://www.innovate-design.co.uk/dragons-den/?src=AdWords&medium=PPC&campaign=AdGroupName&Network=S&kw=dragons den&gclid=CjwKEAjwxoG5BRCC7ezlzNmR8HUSJAAre36juaV8gpd6DPghrEyl2AxUlCbPNdrY1RpE3sAGvJEv3BoCc7jw_wcB

First Mace15 were requested to break into teams, we had been class of many diverse backgrounds. Our backgrounds included expertise many arenas for example; design, media, film making, international business, management and many more. It was time to form groups and to began preforming the much daunting, yet informative work ahead.  From the start of our project; my chosen group had a disadvantage, one that may have been shared amongst the class. The disadvantage was that we did not know much about each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

Introducing the team, Magda K., Aye N., Jung L., and myself Sakeenah- we are MSAJ. The company was only the initials of our first names joined together. This is evidence of where our creativity had been, or lack there of. Over the next few weeks MSAJ introduction behind us we began to work. Our group was of four young women, with various backgrounds in; design, IP’S and film making. Not only did we have to make a company, and manufacture products but it was time to find a product to make and sell.

MACE15 taught us the importance of research, getting out of the class and getting on to the street. The greatest lesson from this point of product development, was observation. To observe people; what they need, what they use, and what may your potential consumer adopt to. But don’t stop at observation ask questions, for example why? The most inaccurate results come from assumptions. You must ask questions to know your customer and learn them, so you can sell to them and cater to their needs. This had been one of the main messages from David Knull and his Finding your 1st customers
and CLOSING them- workshop.
  https://studyspace.kingston.ac.uk/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_6199751_1&content_id=_3851242_1

David had been a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable mentor for MACE15.

Find the problem, solve the problem, revise and revise again.

Looking back in my journal seeing the matriculation of the products that were thought of and developed by MSAJ. The group went from providing warmth, to providing stylish computer equipment and bag organiser. We had to re-organise and re-focus on our goals and what would be our company’s purpose, we began to think what did we value as a group. We stayed in the storming period for a while, as we had to learn how to be better communicators our group

was composed of two extroverted and two introverted members. But each person held great value to MSAJ company.

Building business canvas to adopt to new ideas and pivots concerning our consumers, resources, or manageability. Each concept in development deserved equal consideration.

Our group began to bond and develop our founded principals; we found out communication is the most important to MSAJ, especially in the the world of online relationships. After much prototyping and pivoting in our numerous products. Each member were able to withstand the months of storming & build together a product that we are all proudly standing by to promote, endorse and push to the masses.

After months of using the skills learned from Alison Coward on collaboration and creativity management. https://twitter.com/alisoncoward?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle|twcamp%5Eserp|twgr%5Eauthor

TEAM BLOGWhich her expertise had been greatly useful during our time of our product development. There had been many of times that our group spent time in the storming period, but as long as we stayed focused on our goal we did well. What worked best for our group was just to choose the assignment that you can do the best; and just get it done, we were all available to extend help to one another.  But yet and still, communication was the key the success of our group. Our end result for a product is LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE; an interactive game for adults, to promote creativity, collaboration, and network through communication. From the purpose of this product and our determination to the success of the group; got us through this trying time.

Along with the products growth, we had to extend the growth to our online presence. The same as before, but this time for the MSAJ company to extend the reach of our product. We were even able to make advertisement that highlights relationships and meeting new people, that greatly represented the product.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FU73aXfVe8

 

 

This experience has really been a great gift to me and my entrepreneurial growth. My participation and training on MACE15 has not been easy but definitely well worth every stressful day, and all the effort from each member has put forth. Putting out a product founded on some of the principals I have gained here on MACE15 like Creativity, Collaboration, and Network. Thank you to all of my facilitators, advisors and mentors that diligently guided me through this professional matriculation a one-of-a-kind experience. Your lessons will be forever with me, I will actively use them and I will never stop seeking entrepreneurial growth. Continuing to Innovate, create, collaborate, and continue to network with the skills gained from being MACE15.

 

 

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So why an Ice-Breaking Game, MSAJ?

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MACE15 was given the great assignment t create our own business, was a great experience and achievement by each mace member. Each time we pitched our product idea as MSAJ,
we were faced with the question; so why an Ice-breaking game?  Early onblog3 we agreed that one of the biggest problems we; found other than the cold weather in London, is communication/ connection among adults. We found most people from our generation, the first generation of
technology natives.  We have grown so comfortable with online relationships and connections having hundreds of “friends” on social media, we have grown insensitive to meaningful/ natural communication and connection with other people. Doing the daily balance of education, career, professional and social; and the now added convenience of social media. We have easily adopted social media platforms in our society to meet friends (old and new), to network, and also to see current events.  With all of the benefits of social media, still we here at MSAJ don’t believe that it is a direct substitute for real and meaningful relationships made from human to human interactions. At MSAJ we know that the battle is much bigger than our brand, but bringing awareness to the cause of increased followers and decreased in friends is important. I’m proud of our group that this is the problem we went after to tackle. I know this is the end of the course but also the beginning of my personal life journey, happy to have the experience and to remember to uphold and cherish human connection. There are many websites posting the statistical and sometimes scary facts about social media use amongst millennials. Even though we want our future generations to technology savoy and ready to take on the world; we must not forget to remind them of interaction and humanly bonds. Not only is there safety important but as well as them knowing the worth of meaningful concrete relationships; that can’t be valued by likes but character.

MSAJ the interactive game company

Wishing you all the best,

       S.

Alison Coward [Bracket] TeamWork Workshops

TEAM BLOG

Mace15 was fortunate enough to have Alison Coward come in to give us a lesson on how to have an effective workshop. This was not
my first encounter with Miss Coward, I was first introduced to her work by my course director Janja. At the beginning of the year I asked for strategies to ensure that my group could work efficiently together. Janja quickly sent me the the Brackets online packet to read, A Guide to Better Creative Collaboration by Alison Coward herself. The download file talked about how important communication is (which we found out quickly) but as well spoke of being open-minded, is an important step of the process.It mostly sounds like common sense different people communicate in different ways; some may be out-spoken extrovert; which sometimes I am. And others may be introverted, while thinking and making connection inside without verbally expressing them; which some members of my group were. Dealing with both spectrums of the communication and preferences; you have to be more creative in your approach, but also each member must be fully involved and committed.Now that you understand what type of member you are to the group, stay right there Alison suggest that you begin with yourself for successful creative collaboration.  She talks about a few essential qualities that effect your personal improvement and relation with the group. Designed Mind-set, Strategic thinking, T-Shaped, and Facilitation; All of these are the initial concept based upon your own development and improvement which could aid you in the collaborative & teamwork process. I won’t go through all of them as I recommend you read the packet andT-Shpaed get some great insight for yourself.

I will talk about the most memorable and critical to self and groups development. T-Shaped people,

These are people that have a deep knowledge of their domain (the downwards stroke of the ‘T’), but are able to understand and work with people across a wide range of disciplines (the horizontal stroke).”-Coward 2015

She went on to tell us how some companies who focus in creativity and collaborative work only hire people who have this T-Shaped trait

Next in the packet she discussed building your team; make your team diverse, keep your team small, build trust. During this time, you want each member of your
staff to bring something new, and have a different perspective; which helps with the groups innovation and creativity.                                                                                                                                         How to generate ideas, is the next stage of collaboration coward explains. Separate Ideation and decision-making, make sure everyone has a say, better brain storming, avoid group think, embrace conflict. This the area that has the most grit and maybe the most challenging to get through. But the way the Great teams guide breaks this phase down helps you gain understanding and control over these delicate times. There were a few more helpful and equally important chapters to this guide. I do believe it’s best if you look up Alison Coward’s, a guide to better creative conducting collaboration. The guide did help my skills with MACE collaborations, but more importantly I feel more confident with theses team-works skills and tools moving forward professionally.

 

 

 

Make Social Media Work for Work

Here on Mace we were afforded the opportunity to gain insight at the BizBoard at Kingston workshop. Where we discussed the importance of a healthy social media presence. We went over a few very important tips that would help us in our professioimagesnal matriculation, as well as equipping us to be better prepared for a successful entrepreneurial journey.

The first tip we spoke of was building our personal brands. “Clean-it-up” make yourself employable. We have been reminded that employers are more inclined to look at your social media account. Mainly to check out if if your position with the company not only make sense on paper but in “real-life.” We were told to make sure none of our photos were over exposing as it is a reflection not just on our personality but to our maturity. We also talked about how we should not push for our political views, and should stay as neutral as possible. The last point is something that has hit home for me and now I am actively practicing. Back home in the States are our presidential elections with so much controversy swarming around the upcoming election it is hard to not state my opinion, but this workshop has taught me social media is not the place for my personal political views.

We were also given entrepreneurial tips for social media.  
JalanTikus.com-Download-Gratis-Aman-dan-Cepat

Starting with setting goals for you’re your account before making it. If you know what you want to get out of making your online account, you will be more mindful of what you post on your page. Also build relationships on LinkedIn spy on your competition, find your perfect customer. Also find the best platform for your business.

Here are the top tips for building a responsible online presence, remember if you invest your time in the appearance of your brand don’t also invest in your personal online appearance. As perceptions of you to your brand is the most powerful.

  • Promote your content on & website
  • Get constant feedback
  • Be open to criticism- acknowledge it

Finance Sources- Crowdfunding: Pros & Cons

Don’t forget about crowdfunding as a great way to finance your startup companies. As we come to the end of Mace we are faced with the decisions to either; close our company, reinvent them, or continue to push our original brands.

Just to remind you of your options of crowdfunding (CF) but also share with you the pros and cons of this type of finance.

We will begin with the positives of CF.

  • Crowd funding will assist you in awareness of your new business and ventures.
  • Also Crowdfunding could aid in fast finance with no upfront fees.
  • Investors can track your progress, and permute your brands though their personal networks, as it is important to them that your company is successful.                This is especially the case when dealing in Equity Crowdfunding as each investor shares or stakes in your company.
  • Crowdfunding is a great alternative option than conventional bank loans.
  • The transparency of Crowdfunding finance ensures openness and willingness to comply with investors.
  • Crowdfunding cultivates culture and prior awareness with the company’s brand and mission amongst investors.
  • Aids investors from wasting their time. So don’t forget even if your not ready to start a company of your own you can be an investor, preferably an equity investor.

Next we will cover the negatives of CF.

  • If you have not protected your business idea with a patent or copyright, someone may see it on the crowdfunding site, and steal your concept.
  • If you do not reach your finance target; even if only by five pounds, each pledge to your cause will go back to their investor.
  • Your business plan must me simple, concise, and engaging if you want to attract investors.

As you can see, there are more positives than negatives when it comes to Crowdfunding Finance don’t forget about it or be sheepish to use it as a finance source.

 

Young Entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer

Young Entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer, was just awarded an $11million dollar contract with Whole foods grocery store. The contract was  a deal for her BeeSweet Lemonade business, a company that was started by a young girl’s lemonade stand.

“BeeSweet Lemonade brand will be carried by 55 Whole Foods stores. Initially launching in Mikaila Ulmer’s home town of Austin Texas; also available in OklahomIMG_2416a, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida. The savvy 6th-grader has developed her signature Me & The Bees lemonade stand into a thriving national business.”-Valerie Edwards, April 2016

Mikaila, uses her great-grandmothers recipes which she inherited. The recipes that were use are influenced by flavors like mango, lemongrass, and even healthy flaxseed (which are beneficial nutrients that assist in weight lost hair, skin, and nails, supplement health care). Also each bottle is made with locally sourced organic honey. Other than health conscious she is even a kid that cares about giving back. A portion of her proceeds are given to many causes that supports bees.

Mikaila has been involved hands on at every stage of BeeSweet product from the branding to the distribution of the product. This 11years old didn’t just stumble upon success, she planed and made disciplined preparation for it. Her business BeeSweet lemonade has afforded her many great opportunities like meeting the president Barack Obama, and also other great opportunities for Mikaila’s siblings as well as herself.

Before she had been a multi millionaire she made an appearance with the hit North American primetime show on ABC’S Sark tank. The show that is a replica of London’s hit show Dragons Den. An experince which MACE15 has had their own special connection to. Eleven-year-old Mikaila secured a “$60,000 deal on to be a part of Google’s Dare to be Digital campaign.”

 She appeared on the show with her father this was just the beginning for the impressive and focused middle schooler.32BDF9AC00000578-3519137-image-a-29_1459519563315

To think how brave this young lady had to be, I had butterflies when dragons den was held at my school by supervisors who where invested in my entrepreneurial growth. This young lady had to be focused and fully invested in her product BeeSweet Lemonade.

This young lady inspires me, you can never be too young or old to start a business and see it through. Today in this millennial age society it has become moreIMG_2415
accessible to get the word out about a good product @MikailaBees page can be found on every social media network channel, as miss Mikaila is still actively involved in growing her BeeSweet Lemonade brand. Everyday the young lady is not only busy in school, she is a busy bee on social media channels daily inspiring and influencing her peers for the better. Always leading in a positive and an influential manner, the ability of running a multi million-dollar company is almost innate to this young lady. Without every taking a social media presence workshop, you can tell this young lady is only focused on building, acquiring, learning and just being a successful kid; enjoying everyday of her youth.

This story shouldn’t make you feel like your behind but push you to keep going as success is possible. I urge you to look up Mikaila Ulmer in your free time, this young woman has such an inviting smile and presence that you find yourself rooting for her achievement as well.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3519137/When-life-gives-lemons-Meet-11-year-old-girl-scored-11million-deal-Foods-sell-lemonade.htm

Product Development

                                                                Product Development

 MSAJ game company.

Our games at MSAJ has gone through a great matriculation, from a very quick aroduct was to and dirty prototype, to a product we were proud to present to the publicproduct pic 1.

Our product’s journey began with the first game SPARKS, which was designed to be an mature interactive icebreaker game. Our aim & name inspiration of the initial game “sparks” was to ignite and spark conversations and relationships amongst adults, to help increase the chance of long lasting relationship and networking. This has been the adopted principal of the MSAJ game company, these founded principals are now incorporated in all MSAJ products; current and future developments at MSAJ mature interactive game company.

SPARKS icebreaking game, was made up six activities that would be randomly picked and preformed. Each task of sparks, MSAJ original game was based on creativity, fast thinking, collaboration & teamwork.

Our product started out as a bored/canvas game, that we considered– if printed on fabric this product could be easily folded and portable. We eventually thought we could print on different fabrics such as leather that could be customisable, which would be a sleeker look for cooperation’s and their human resources department as a team-building canvas. Provided to teams to inspire creativity and creative collaboration within organisation, preferably companies that are driven on product/ service creativity.

When we learned of how much the printing drained our expenses (game on the front and directions on the back) our group made finical savoy decisions to pivot to a card game to cut cost of product manufacturing.

When we all agreed that a card game would be the best way to take our interactive- icebreaking game for adults, we got right on it!

Just in time for the first tradefair!

Sparks the game received a new design and aesthetics that was visually appproduct pic 4product pic 3easing; staying true to our “hipster” Victorian theme, that our first customers/ viewers appreciated. During our first trade a fair we sold only four games at four pounds each. Which at this time we still broke even and made profit, since our game was only thick sheets of paper wrapped in a pink and red bows

The critiques MSAJ received from the first trade fair was mainly make the product look better and make it more simplified & focused.  To admit that our first product was all over
the place with who/what/where would sparks game be useful and needed, was not hard. But considering MSAJ recognised & we are all passionate about the problem: The lack of connection and physical interaction amongst adults.

Back to drawing bored, we must make a product we will be proud to sell and stand behind. Beginning with how the game is played, it is time now at this stage of development to simplify; so that anyone could play the game easily. LOVE THE WAY YOU LIE was created, we decided to use only one of the games from the original MSAJ SPARKs game. This in return would make the game more direct, and instead of only six challenges the new game had twenty different themes.  We were able to pitch the game for the same original need in mind the only difference is the product was now easier to explain, play, and served more purpose for the ongoing mission of MSAJ mature interactive game company.

Our product began with a great concept but a game that was hard to explain & understand. MSAJ games have made great strides in the development to a well designed product with packaging-curb appeal, branding, & principals while always focusing on creativity and spontaneity, to keeps customers on their toes!  The moment we began to focus simply and really push for a well polished brand, we were able to sell out of product, even with the cost more than doubled.

Now to scale up?!

product pic 7 product pic 5  product pic 6

mace15