Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

 Albert Schweitzer

The Dragon’s Den Experience..

On 6th of December 2019, we have presented our idea to the audience, we have also requested them to evaluate our idea, to assess its validity for people’s need.

We were nervous as we were asked to present our idea in front of a team of experienced professionals, referred to as The Dragon’s Den. We were asked to present our idea within 5 minutes, and allow 3 minutes to answer questions from audience and rulers.

Dragon’s Den

Our evaluation will be based on 5 criteria:

1-Elevator Pitch:

Did you explain your idea clearly and convincingly?

2) The need or the problem you are addressing & the target group:

Provide basic information about the problem, and the people who are experiencing the problem, and who will buy the product.

3) The product/ service:

What is the product?

Explanation of the product and how it meets the needs of the market?

4) Alternatives & Competitors:

Who are the potential competitors in the market?

5) Market entry:

How will you attract your customers?

How will the product be provided?

The targeted audience.

6) Overall Presentation:

Show excellent presentation skills needed by entrepreneurs

We had a meeting as a team, created a prototype of the product, and the product name changed from SMART TRAY to EASY -OUT

We all worked, and we enjoyed the idea

We have presented in front of each other to practice and to avoid mistakes

We have agreed on wearing one uniform for the presentation.

Below is the presentation’s script:

When we visit a crowded restaurant or seasonal market like Christmas market and couldn’t find a table or a seat, we often find ourselves in an awkward situations where eating with no table or eating with one hand and holding all the items with the other hand. All those issues lead to eating uncomfortably and ended up with unpleasant experience. Our perfect customer will be a person who still wants to truly enjoy their meal, after they bought foods and drinks from a crowded restaurant or food stalls but couldn’t find a table or chair to eat immediately.

 “Easy-out is a mobile, foldable, reusable tray made from bamboo woods. It has a deep compartment with few separate sections and a cup holder to secure items, and it does also have a strap in its tow side in order to carry it around the neck. Our tray aims to make the user feel more convenient and have better experience when visiting a busy and crowded places such as restaurant at peak time.With Easy-out the user will be able to eat more comfortably and conveniently.”

 It is a mobile tray which you can bring it to wherever you prefer and whenever you like. The flexibility of eating and carrying multiples items is in your control. After we did some research we found other products that might be our alternative or a potential competitors such as 16 compartment craft storage tray, 4 compartment plastic divider box, and commercial plastic tray with shallow surface. Our tray is not a shallow tray, but it has deep compartments that allow customers using it without worrying about food being slipped out of the tray our tray has a strap that the customers can wear it on, so that their hands are free and they are able to do much more than just to hold the tray. The materials that are made up from sustainable materials making sure we show our love to the planet and promote a green platform for the users to use the product and being friendly with the environment.

 “Our plan for introducing the product to initial customers is through direct selling to the people who visit the Christmas market, but our product will also be available to purchase through our official page on social media. For the time being we are looking into B2C market but in the future we will be thinking to bring this to B2B since there is an opportunity to sellit for B2B.”

What is a Lean Canvas?

Lean Canvas is a one-page business plan methodology that was developed by Ash Maurya.  Lean Canvas was adapted from the Business Model Canvas by Alexander Osterwalder. The plan features several blocks to help you map out the key points that will help you turn a business idea into a concrete business plan. The Lean Canvas is created especially for entrepreneurs to make it easier for them to get a clear and simple idea of what they are doing.

How to Create Your Lean Canvas

It contains nine sections featured on Lean Canvas which we have filled in our idea

  • Problem: Understanding the key problems of customers is essential.
  • Customer Segments:  Understanding who your customers are is a vital step.
  • Unique Value Proposition.
  • Solution.
  • Channels.
  • Revenue Streams.
  • Cost Structure.
  • Key Metrics.

After filling our idea on Lean Canvas, the idea became clear and simple.



One of our tasks in design thinking module, was reading a book titled (THE LEAN START UP) for the author Eric Ries, who is an entrepreneur and author of the blog Startup Lessons Learned.  Eric is a co-founded and has worked as CTO of IMVU, which is his third startup. Eric is also a frequent speaker at business many events, and has provided advice forseveral startups, large companies and venture-capital firms, he provided his advice on areas of  business and product strategy, and finally he is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Harvard Business School and lives in San Francisco.

Lean start-up is a  methodology for developing businesses and products it aims to shorten product  development life-cycles, and discover if the proposed business model is viable. This is achieved by adapting a combination of business- hypothesis driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and Validated learning.

Mitigating risk early at early stages is at the central attention of lean start-up methodology. It focus on reducing market risk by identifying unnecessary steps and extra work may arise as part of the project, which may consume considerable amount of project funding, which in turn would lead to expensive product launch, and hence start-up failure.

The Young Enterprise (YE) DWAIN REID has visited us for giving seminar and advise. He visited us to teach taught us how to register enroll in a team and provide a startup framework. My team Sarah, Tasna and Mai and myself Elham.We had to choose a name for our company, me and my team  I have suggested few names for our company and have voted for the name of the company, the name we chose is FUTURE DREAM.

 On 21 of November, we were registered as a startup with Young Enterprise.The positions that my team and I hold in the company are as follow:

Managing Director: Sarah

Financial Director: Mai

Secretary Company: Elham

Marketing Director: Tsana

Finally,we have opened a bank account for our company. My team and I have started our company by defining our idea and present it to the class for 7 minutes. We came up with a “Smart Tray” idea inspired by a problem during lunch time and at the end of the working day. The problem can be summarized by:

“Limited lunch breaks creates a more complex problem for working individuals, namely eating lunch in one hour (including time spent from and returning to the workplace), which makes it even difficult to eat fast food (like McDonald’s). Also, when we entered the restaurant, we saw that the restaurant is crowded and most people eat while standing up, eating burgers and fries, and the other hand holds the bag. This can be uncomfortable while eating”.

This has encouraged many parties to think of innovative products that make people’s lives easier, one of which is “SMART TRAY“. Smart Tray is an innovative design of the disposable and portable food box. It can be used as a food tray, as well as a tray. Smart Tray will be internally divided into three or four subsections to suit multiple items like burgers, fries, sauces and syrups in just one placeholder. This unique design will help working people to save time and walk while eating lunch that promotes a healthy lifestyle and will increase the efficiency of using the lunch break, which is reflected on employees’ productivity and well-being. After that, my team and I purchased the tools to initially design the idea.

The Design Museum Visit

In the lesson design thinking, we went to the design museum with my team Tsana , Sara and Mai. We visited the ‘Beazley Designs of the Year 2019’ Exhibition and the ‘Designer Maker User.

And choose three designs with high innovation and design:

1- Alter Ego.

A Virtual Assistant Commanded by your thoughts.

A Virtual Assistant Commanded by your thoughts.

How might we help people with needs to do everyday task without actually get help from someone?

Alter Ego is a wearable neural interface that allows humans to command a virtual assistant by articulating words through thought. By reading neuromuscular signals sent from the brain to both the face and jaw during an internal speech, the headset can identify the words you think and translate them into a response. The device sends audio feedback via bone. The device is in the prototyping stage and, once rolled out, could be fundamental in helping those unable to speak out loud due to illness or injury to communicate. Alter Ego attempts to weave computing, the internet and Al as an internal ‘second self’, enhancing human abilities in a non-invasive manner.

2- An electric city bike rentable through your phone.

JUMP electric bicycle and scooter.

How might we help people who like privacy to find an alternative to beat traffic jam with environmentally-friendly transportation?”


An electric city bike rentable through your phone Title: JUMP electric bicycle and scooter JUMP by Uber Terry Stephens United States Designer: Nominator: Location: The future of sustainable cities depends on a radical reduction in the number of cars and in the fumes and traffic they generate. Perhaps aware that its business depends on diversifying the services they offer, the taxi-sharing app Uber this year launched a fleet of smart electric bikes and scooters, called JUMP. As car-trips decrease, the rapid uptake of its bikes continues. The bikes self-diagnose faults, can respond to real-time geographical changes and automatically implement compliance to speed limits. The bikes also have removable batteries, increasing the lifespan of the hardware. JUMP’s electric bicycle is already hugely popular in the United Kingdom too. However, the scooter is not yet legal on the road.

3- A discrete pregnancy test for a greener planet.

Lia pregnancy test.

How might we help a woman who’s like privacy and aware of environmental issues find a way to find out whether they pregnant or not?

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A discrete pregnancy test for a greener planet.

It is a telling fact that Lia is the first holistic redesign of the pregnancy test for 30 years. Unlike existing pregnancy tests, which are made of plastic and contribute one million kilograms of non-recyclable waste to landfill in the United States each year, Lia is designed to be discreet and sustainable. The product is made of a paper-like, coated material that breaks down when flushed and completely biodegrades in soil. Providing results that are more than ninety-nine per cent accurate Lia finally offers a private and eco-friendly way to find out whether you are pregnant.

Empathy map and applied to go the toilet

n the lesson of design thinking, we wanted to experiment the map of empathy which is to help in understanding the target person “the customer”. The map of empathy has critical role at the beginning of the design process of any product. It provides a better user experience for the products and services. This is as empathy has a critical role in the human-centered design. In this type of exercises, service providers can identify things which are unknown about customers. Thereafter, producers can fill potential gaps. Empathy map inform service providers about people to be empathised with, what they would see, say, do, hear and feel.

What is an Empathy Map?

To practice the maps of empathy in this exercise, we wanted to analysis the use of the toilet by costumers with different needs. We were divided into a team of three: blind, mute and robot. The mute person was to warn others for any hazards in the surrounding area as he is the only one who could see. The robot was able make actions when required and following the instructions of the blind person who was able to speak. The blind person was to sense objects around and describe his feelings, but not by eye seeing.

The needs of the blind person were essentially to be able to reach the bathroom easily with less objects as obstacles on the way. The bind person was not able to see the mirrors and the flooring, but he needed to feel that the floor was dry and not slippery. He wanted to have the flush bottom and toilet rolls near to the toilet seat. Also, they wanted to have the sink close to the toilet seat. They needed a relatively good space to wait inside the bathroom. He wanted the dryer machine to be accessible not far from the sink. They were able to hear any noise. The mute person was not able to ask for things needed in the bathroom, so he needed to see everything in a visible place to avoid asking. The robotic person was much interested in having the toiletries in accessible places, with a good space which enabling him to move around. Both blind and mute people needed good smell during and after the usage of the toilet. They were able to hear talking, laughing, running water, hand dry, so the noise level is important for them but not for the robotic person.

The three people needed good space to move and also a dry shelf away from the sink, but it should be reachable by the blind person. Additionally, the three people needed a clean and hygienic place.

Following this exercise, we draw our findings on paper taking the shape of the empathy map below. We presented our findings to other groups. We concluded that every customer has different experiences and needs. The best way to understand these needs from the costumer perspectives and think about concerns and needs.

Map of Empathy is an essential tool during the product development process because it allows us to experience what our customers could feel when dealing with our product to be. We can also benefit from others feedback to achieve greater success.

“Engaging with people directly reveals a tremendous amount about the way they think and the values they hold. Sometimes these thoughts and values are not obvious to the people who hold them. A deep engagement can surprise both the designer and the designee by the unanticipated insights that are different from what they actually do – are strong indicators of their deeply held beliefs about the way the world is.”

Theory of design thinking in the shoe

“To create meaningful innovations, you need to know your costumers.”

In this project, we used the theory of “Design Thinking” to design a shoe product. This theory has five principles which are: empathy, define, ideate, prototype, test. In this blog, I will explain how everyone of these principles was used.

Empathy is the centrepiece of a human-centred design process. It is expected that people who have things close to their heart, they like to talk about them. Therefore, to explore this empathy, my colleagues and I had walked around the campus and tried to talk to people wearing shoes of unique shapes. We wanted to know the if there were any reasons for choosing those shapes. Our questions explored the reasons for choosing that pair of shoes, place of purchasing, their advantages, and whether it was purchased online or in the store.

The aim of these questions was to understand the reason behind the shoe choice. In fact, this was to explore if people would’ve had any empathy towards their shoes.

The second principle for the Design Thinking is to define a meaningful and actionable problem statement. After interviewing many people and collecting their answers, these responses were discussed within our group. The main point of the discussion was on “the best features in people’s shoes”. One of the interviewees whose answers most attracted our attention was “Jen”.  Jen is a student from the Philippines. She was wearing a white pair of trainers which looks normal at the first instance. But when I asked her about a few letters seen on the back of the trainers, it was interesting to know that she managed to have the name of her boyfriend written. This was surprising for me as it is a strange way to show love for somebody.

The third factor of the Design thinking theory is Ideate, which means to concentrate on the generating ideas backing the product. During our group discussion, we talked about the feeling associated with certain features of the new design for the trainers. Therefore, we decided to make shoes that express the feelings of the person who is wearing them. This is by including faces, dates and letters which have personal meaning. We tried to follow the advice that in this type of design of a new product, we need to think by hand (not by head as widely known).

After then, we designed the prototype which is the iterative generation of artefacts intended to answer questions that get you closer to the final product.After long discussion within our team about the possibilities, ideas and opinions, we built a prototype of shoes called (expressive shoes). It expresses the state of the person. We made a few shoes in different colours and then worked on several expressive aspects that reflect the person’s conditions, names and dates.

Finally, we had to test our products which is a chance to refine them and make them better. To do so, we introduced our products with some explanation to other colleagues in the class. Overall, most of the opinions received were supported for our approach and for the product itself. Through this exercise, I learned how we could put the theory of “Design Thinking” into practice to get an attractive product. It made me appreciate the team work to obtain abetter outcome.

I believed in saying, “If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal” Albert Einstein.


Last month, I started studying a Master of Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship at Kingston University, London. One of the modules I chose to attend is “Design Thinking for Start-ups”. As part of this course, my first attendance was with the University at “A Hackathon with Surrey County Council”. I engaged with a number of my colleagues in designing a small project. Its main aim was to support students who come to study in the UK. It is well known that many of the newcomer’s struggle to adapt to life in a new place, especially when it is such a great and big city like London. Our partner in this project was Surry City Council. Therefore, we aimed for producing a list of tips and ideas to help those students understanding the new society values and culture of Surry. 

During this experience, we exchanged views and learned from those who have more experience in this field. While we were meeting on our project in the Council, we met a group of Surrey. It was remarkable that they organised many interesting events about integration. Most projects had benefits with people but learning from them about the challenges of new arrivals is crucial. (I think the new access may be in a similar situation for refugees at some points.) The staff of the Surrey Council had ideas and gave us some valuable advice on our project.

This small project has made me better appreciate the “Teamwork”. During the planning and executing of this project, I was teaming up with five of my colleagues. I learned many new ideas from everyone, and I hope I was able to benefit them from my experiences. Through dialogue among us, we were able to plan our project and came up with many innovative ideas. The team members were from different cultures. This had enriched our discussions and made the suggestions for our project suitable for students from different backgrounds. This experience has made me realise that working in a team saves time and energy of the members.

Furthermore, it makes the road to achieve the aim more enjoyable compared to working alone. I strongly believe that teamwork spirit is a factor that I will ensure to have as a part of all my future management experiences. To sum up, I will keep looking for new challenges but simultaneously, I will ensure having inspiring teammates.  


I am Elham from Saudi Arabia.I studied a Bachelor of Arts and then worked in the management sector for about seven years. I love challenges, and I find them the best way to make me a better informed person. At the same time, I like to help people who have difficulties. While I am happy to help them overcome their problems, I learn from these challenges good lessons for me.

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