Enactus & Citi: Round Up of Action
On September 20th, 15 projects came to Citi and 10 were picked by a panel of judges to win a place on this years Pathways to Progress programme and €840 in seed funding for their project. This programme will run until April and will see project ideas transform from concepts into projects that are creating a social impact!
On November 2nd, Enactus & Citi hosted the first training event of the year. Students participated in an idea development workshop ran by the Citi Innovation Lab which focused on identifying the needs of each project followed by teams meeting their mentors. Marissa Appel from Enactus DIT and Jack O’Connor from Enactus UL share their experience of attending the training day with us.
Marissa Appel – Enactus DIT
‘A couple of weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to win a place on the Citi programme where we won €840 for our project along with a mentor who will guide us for the duration of the programme. After successfully winning a place on the programme, we were invited to Citi on North Wall Quay for our first training event of the year. We are arrived at Citi and to our delight on that cold early morning, we were greeted with hot tea and coffee to warm us up! While we were sitting on the couches, waiting to be called for the training day to begin, we were so excited to embark on this journey together and bring our project to life!
We were brought in team by team and had our table set up for us. To our delight, there were t-shirts with the Pathways to Progress and Citi and Enactus logo’s perfectly displayed and in my opinion, the cutest journals with our project names on then. When I saw our project name ‘Uncovered’ on it it made me realise that we
Then it was straight to work. We learned so much about our own projects and with the feedback from Citi staff, we were able to improve and refine our project ideas. We started out figuring what the ‘pains’ of our ‘customers’ was followed by hows our project an alleviate those pains and what ‘gains’ they would have. We also had to present our findings after each stage where we were able to hear the other amazing nine projects. Throughout the day we got great advice and guidance and at 12:30 we got to meet our mentors. Our mentor was great and very encouraging about our project which made us even more excited about what we are doing!
Finally, after a hard days work of brainstorming and refining out idea, it was time to pitch our ideas. A member of each team had to present the teams project and their future plans. We received invaluable feedback from professionals in Citi and after listening to all the other pitches, we know we have a lot of work to do. That day in Citi was one of the best experiences I’ve had so far with Enactus and I can’t wait to see our project grow in the Pathways to Progress programme.’
Jack O’Connor – Enactus UL
‘Towards the end of September, I was fortunate enough to represent Enactus UL’s new project Gemini at Citi and win a place on the Pathways to Progress Programme for 2018/19. As part of the programme, each accepted project receives a number of training days on a variety of topics. Two weeks ago, we had our first training day in Citi Dublin.
We spent the first part of the morning developing our needs assessments; by putting ourselves in the shoes of those who we will be working with. It was a brilliant brainstorming idea as we were forced to challenge ourselves with tough questions that impact the lives of many people. Once we had further developed our needs assessments, we met with our mentors. The time that we spent with our mentor Maciej was invaluable, I feel that the project as a whole really progressed, and we gained some valuable insights for the next steps and the future of the project!
Once we had met with our mentor, we moved onto developing the Value Proposition Canvas; analysing almost every aspect of the values that the project should, does, and could add for our stakeholders. Like the needs assessments, this part of the day was challenging as we looked at breaking down all aspects of the project that we had overlooked before the training day. It was very refreshing to have others come along throughout the brainstorming session and give new perspectives on ideas that we had tunnel-vision on. Being exposed to new thoughts about various parts of the project has grown the project hugely!
The day concluded with a three-minute pitch in front of the entire room; the students, co-ordinators, and three key Citi professionals who would provide feedback on the pitch and project. Even though we all know our projects like the back of our hand, its nerve-wrecking to stand up in front of a crowd and talk about it! Keeping in line with the entire day, the Citi members were nothing but supportive of us for speaking about our projects and gave some excellent feedback, so we can improve for the next time.
The biggest takeaway that I have from the Citi training day is to ask yourself the tough questions about your project’s needs and uses, even if you are afraid of the answers. Learning from such an established group of mentors and peers have accelerated our projects even further; and I am very excited to see what more we can achieve in collaboration with Citi’s Pathways to Progress Programme.’
Each team will return to Citi in February for project development training and they will go on to pitch in April for further seed funding!