Create Jobs' Beth Kahn lets us know what happened in week three of Future Startup Now Founders

As we reach the halfway point of Future Startup Now Founders, it’s definitely living up to it's billing as an ‘intensive’ programme.

Every day this week was packed with different experts sharing so many useful ideas and tools. We learnt a lot, but I was also glad we were recording the sessions to upload them to our online learning platform Notion, as I think we’ll all benefit from the opportunity to revisit the talks in our own time and fully absorb the learnings.

We started the week with a session on User Research from Alex Vasili (Head of Creative Services, MVF). This was a lecture many of the group had been looking forward to, as they grapple with the challenges of identifying their audience and understanding their needs.

Alex challenged the group to devise user personas for their businesses and returned later in the week to review their work and give feedback. Pac O’Shea (Project Director and Agile Coach, Theodo UK) also returned to feedback on the work our Founders had done on setting themselves milestones for their businesses.

It has been really valuable to have our guest lecturers come back for these follow-up sessions and Alex and Pac’s detailed and constructive feedback was appreciated by the whole group.

We were also joined by Jide Adetunji & Ibrahim Kamara (Co-Founders, GUAP). As the creators of the world’s first video magazine, with a mission to discover, showcase and nurture emerging diverse creatives, Ibrahim and Jide are real pioneers and the group were very excited to meet them and hear their story.

On Tuesday branding expert Marius Bogdanas (Head of Creative, Printed.com) gave us a run-down of the most important things to consider when developing your brand and critiqued the brand visuals of a few of the businesses. This was followed by technical coach Maxim Cramer (Principal Design Technologist, Autodesk) who outlined the key stages of developing and launching a successful app, and some pitfalls to avoid.

The next day Iulia Tudor (Investor Engagement Manager, Digital Catapult) spoke to us about community building, and Chrissie Smith (Head of Operations, ‎HANDS HQ) shared some amazing No Code Tools that you can use to streamline every aspect of your business within having to write a line of code.

California based therapist Stevon Lewis was also back this week for a session exploring how to navigate microaggressions in the workplace, an issue which is endemic in professional life, and which the Founders had endured on a regular basis. Hearing their experiences underlined again the urgency of accelerating the change needed to make the tech sector a truly representative and accessible space.

On Thursday we had another inspiring session from Abraham Asefaw (Co-Founder, The Pop Up Agency) as we continue to prepare the group for the pitches in the final week, followed by more coaching sessions from Bejay Mulenga who talked the group through their challenges and helped them work towards solutions.

Coming up next week…

Team building, reaching customers, and legal and financial essentials.

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Some of our cohorts on Future StartUp Now Founders