Involving the customer perspective already in product development, learning how to conduct insightful interviews, developing innovative ideas, and daring to get out of the comfort zone – all this and much more was part of the second EELISA x JOSEPHS Co-Creation Workshop at JOSEPHS, the open innovation lab in Nuremberg, Germany. The workshop on December 8th and 9th of 2023 was open to all applicants of the second EELISA prototype contest and greatly helped the participating startups from Paris, Budapest, Erlangen, Nürnberg, and Istanbul to take their next steps towards successful market entry with their prototypes and to create more successful ideas, products, and services.
The workshop began with a brief introduction of each participating startup focusing especially on the startups’ prototypes and prototype ideas. Exchanges and discussions were welcome at any time. After the participants had gotten to know each other better, JOSPEPHS itself was presented in more depth by its CEO Prof. Claudia Lehmann. At JOSEPHS, innovators can have their products and services tested by potential customers. It is a unique place where you can co-create and explore new products and services and it is open to everyone in the city center of Nuremberg.
JOSEPHS attracts a broad range of people whom it involves in the co-creation processes of the exhibited products and services. This gives all kinds of innovators the opportunity to get honest feedback and to incorporate the customer perspective already in their product development. In such a way, their products and services can be more successful on the market.
The first session of the workshop was about the double diamond design process which was directly applied to the development of the start-up’s prototypes. The importance of asking open-ended questions about the customer’s problems and needs during interviews already at an early stage was emphasized repeatedly. The discussion focused on determining suitable questionnaires that were instantly tested within the group. However, to successfully ask random people on the street about their needs and feedback, you had to think about how best to approach people so that they would be willing to give answers. This very insightful first day of the workshop ended with a joint Christmas dinner where there was plenty of networking opportunity and further discussing new ideas.
After a couple of coffees, the second day started with the first task, which definitely woke up the participants. The startups were now supposed to use the questions they had elaborated the day before in real interviews with real people in the streets of the city center of Nuremberg. It was interesting to observe how initial shyness quickly disappeared and every team managed to conduct several valuable interviews about their prototypes and got practically trained in generating feedback from potential customers.
Back at JOSEPHS, not only were these valuable experiences and new insights shared with all teams, but also further methods to identify target groups and to design ideas in such a way that they can be tested by potential customers were introduced and applied. These can be used by the startups for further iterations of interviews and tests of their prototypes. With many goodbyes and thank yous, the seven teams left to continue their start-up journey, packed full of new tools, methods, and insights.
Written by Johanna Hojer
EELISA Local Communication Officer – FAU
EELISA-InnoCORE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 R & I programme under GA No. 101035811