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Writing from a senior IxD student’s perspective who has participated in the summer program in Taiwan Toucheng Farm, and did a UX design internship at Microsoft in her college years:

What would motivate college students to participate in a summer program?

1. Mentorship

1-on-1 time with experienced folks is key. Good mentorship programs provide students with opportunities to learn new knowledge and grow their skills. Mentorship programs help students have a deep conversation with others who have more experiences than them. A mentor can also benefit from these programs because she/he would also have a chance to get fresh ideas from students and improve their leadership skills.

2. Industry Experience (or sponsored projects )

Most of the students in their sophomore or junior year lack any industry experience. Students want to obtain some industry experience during their college years because it is almost impossible to get a job offer without real-life experience. Some colleges or universities collaborate with corporations to give students the opportunity to collaborate with working professionals. For example, University of Washington Human-Computer Interaction and Design program partnered with Microsoft Research and Intel Labs to provide students with some sponsored research projects. CMU HCII is inviting clients for the 2018 HCI capstone projects. CCA IxD program collaborated with IDEO CoLab and Ford to sponsor their class projects. Students desire to work in a professional setting where their skills can be used to create a real impact in the world. …

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Creative Founder

Pitch deck

Time flies. 15 weeks have passed. I remember how proud I was when our team pitched our final deck and demo. BAX is composed of Bibiana, Karen, and Andres. We are a small team which makes us very unique and efficient. Since this Creative Founder class was composed of senior and junior students. In the past 15 weeks, we went from strangers to classmates to friends. If I could go back to the first week, I would still choose BAX, and the same three people to work with!

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BAX pitched the demo to investors, VP of Lyft, Airbnb, and industry professionals. Three angel investors said they “WOULD FUND” BAX.

Learn from amazing teachers and entrepreneurs

When Kate and Christina talked about the Lean startup in the first class, Kate, our amazing teacher sketched out some diagrams to quickly demonstrate what it means and what we might be able to learn in this class. Every week, Christina and Kate would critique our presentation and give us some suggestions. To be frank, I think I presented the most times during my undergrad study. But it helps. I am not afraid to talk in public anymore, and I am more confident to participate and be a part of a group. I was very luck to volunteer in Lean Startup Week. Learning stories and strategies from outstanding entrepreneurs has been a great lesson for me. It gave me a lot of energy to think of my own plan and dream in the future. If you want to become a good product designers, business is a required lesson. …

Creative founder- Week 14

We tried..

I was so excited for our mock pitch day this week. I thought we have great previous resources and information to prepare for the final pitch. During the final week, our team decided to divide our responsibility in order to work more efficiently. I was working on the demo storytelling, script, illustration, and presentation, Andres is working on mockups and presentation, Bibiana is mainly working on animation and finalize our demo. We all participate in discussing how to deliver our final pitch deck for the “Big Day”! Because we trust each other, that is the big win for ourselves
This week, we not only think a way to tell a convincing product story but also rethink our business model and how to earn money from both partnership and local business. I learned from my teammates and people I talked to. …

As a CMO, how I plan to exit?

During the past 12 weeks, BAX co-founders spend time and make efforts to explore the market, figure out the problems and needs, build our audiences. Based on our acquisition, we have over 800 people reached our facebook page, over 100 Instagram followers, different students sign in our landing page. Students are interested in our product, but not all of them need this service. So, we need to think of how to find our target customers. School and local business can be a good start. After talked with different organizers and local business, they are interested in the concept, but it is hard to convince them to trust us. They want more values from their perspectives. …

Week 13- Creative Founder

This is a enjoyable week for our startup because we start to think of our own activities and costs. We also got a chance to talk with local business to explore how they currently advertise themselves. Before that, I am not sure how our revenue plan looks like, and whether we are viable in the market. I have talked with my teammate that we need to talk with more organizers and local business to get insights.

We talked with more organizers and local business

Me and my teammate got a chance to talk with Mara Holt Skov who has organized CCA Study Abroad Program before. She wish there could be more specific planning and easier way to quick participate in activities, for example, ticket purchases, where to meet. We should provide low barrier and low entry for people to use our product. She also mention if there is abetter planning for organizer, for example, organizers can reminds students about things to do and place to meet, etc. …


Xuan(Karen) Song

Product designer | Human Computer Design& Engineering at University of Washington

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