Scaling the Edge: UK wide SME Accelerator Programme

Rebecca Fitton

29th Apr 2021
Scaling the Edge: UK wide SME Accelerator Programme

Over the past 8 weeks, our Customer Success Manager Heather Montgomery and her PathXL colleagues attended the Scaling the Edge programme led by Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), Innovate UK and Invest NI. Scaling the Edge is an 8-week course designed to accelerate SME businesses product concepts and bring them to market using the Strategyzer Toolkit. This toolkit provides a framework to quickly validate and iterate product ideas and assumptions to ensure business and product decisions are made based on data.

 

This week we caught up with Heather to find out her thoughts and key highlights on the programme.

 

 

 

What did it involve?

Over the course of the 8 weeks, we joined a series of zoom meetings.  The programme kicked off with 3 days intense classroom based learning broken up with breakout sessions to apply the theory to our business and product concept. During these interactive sessions we defined our value propositions, identified assumptions underpinning our product concept, and defined digital tests to validate those assumptions. Following the initial 3 days, we had 6 weeks to go to the market to validate our assumptions, run our digital tests and collate our results. The programme finished with a 10 minute pitch presentation in front of a panel of representatives from QUB, Innovate UK and Invest NI.

From the beginning we were appointed an industry experienced coach who was there throughout the 8 weeks to keep us focused on the toolkit theory and to also act as a sounding board on how to interpret market feedback.

What did you learn from the programme?

The single biggest takeaway from the programme was the realisation we need to support product development with data driven decision making. Too often it is easy to assume we know how end customers will use a product – but the Strategyzer Toolkit shows how easy it is to quickly gather market feedback. This is something immensely valuable going forward!

What have been your highlights from taking part?

The highlight for me was setting aside time to work with my colleagues to explore an exciting product idea and sit in front of real customers and market leaders to gather their opinions on it! A secondary highlight was to discover, from early market engagement, that there is a genuine interest in our product!

Would you recommend the programme to other organisations?

Yes! It provides the framework you need to build out your idea with little or no effort! It shows you how to gather market opinions using really easy, and in most cases, free tools. We were so impressed with the toolkit, we have adopted it into the wider product portfolio management process as a way of validating or extending product innovation.

For more Information on Scaling the Edge visit: https://www.qub.ac.uk/Business/Support-for-business/Innovation-smes/

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