A group research project conducted for Leading Mind Labs, a human performance company.
Entrepreneurs live their everyday working life in unique environments, trying to bring their ideas into reality. Mentors, on the other hand, can play a major role in these life styles as they can mold and form entrepreneurs towards better results and performance. Through this mentors can also find the right skill sets for their own business. This can prove to be a fine additions to their already successful businesses. These unique life styles can be further enhanced through better and more effective connections to create a “symbiotic” system within an application
I had the role of team lead in this research. Our goal was to understand and inform the stakeholder of the essential needs to boost entrepreneurs and mentors’ potential interactions. We believed intrinsic motivation could establish a synergy within or outside these environments between entrepreneurs and mentors. Through our research, we analyzed many different data from a variety of effective research tools to incorporate the best possible synergistic environment for this application and between its members.
How might we design a digital platform for entrepreneur hubs to create the best possible “intrinsic motivated interactions” between its members and their mentors?
Creating an app to connect entrepreneurs and mentors based on their needs and synergy that can be created, taking into effect both parties needs and potentials.
AEIOU Observation Method
Our methodology was through using the AEIOU observation method to obtain organized and useful data in the field in micro level details. We used AEIOU standardized format and visited two different entrepreneur hubs “Communitech” in Kitchener, Ontario and “CSI” in downtown Toronto to increase the quantity of data. We visited these hubs in two teams and observed and recorded five main aspects of entrepreneurs’ work life. We observed and reviewed what their actions are, what type of environment they prefer, types of interactions they have, different objects that they use and finally how many different types of users were using these entrepreneur hubs.
After the quantitative phase, we analyzed our data along with data gathered by other research groups which were conducting this research through different methodologies. Ultimately, we came up with some insights and ideas which are presented in the following.
Competition Is A Great Motivator
A good dose of competition can always help when looking for the right people to get involved with. It always separates the motivated individuals from the rest and can prove to be a useful catalyst. This can be the case for both entrepreneurs and mentors who are active in the scene. Their goals can be reached free of any biases and their achievements can be directly linked to their performance in the field. This competition is not based on how they perform compared to others but more on how they can achieve the proper standard to seize the possible opportunities.
Let the A.I. Do the Work
Public recognition is easier to achieve when its generative rather than self-advertised. Entrepreneurs always struggle to be recognized in the market by their clients, their possible mentors or their peers for more connections. This can be made easier when their efforts are automatically shown to a wide range of already interested individuals and groups to find their potential and proven record. The convenience of technology surpasses the reach of self-advertisement which can have it’s own flaws and struggles saving time for the entrepreneurs or mentors to focus on their ideas and goals.
How Serious Are You?
Our research shows mentors are always more interested in entrepreneurs who take things seriously and professionally. They need to invest in entrepreneurs who are following up with their tasks and show more interests overall for the time the mentor is going to invest in considering their busy schedules. Same goes for entrepreneurs when it comes to trusting their mentors. This trust can be built when users have proven tracks of their activities in the field. In return, interested individuals have means to access these records resulting in more informed and trusted connections and investments on the base of eagerness and actual work.
Symbiotic System (Synergy)
Mutual benefits are always welcomed in a synergy. The entrepreneurs and mentors can both benefit from their connections whether through other mentors or other entrepreneurs. This is a two-way relationship which is not only to benefit entrepreneur but also can benefit the mentors as well. This synergy can help to create better and more tailored connections.
Tracking user hours can mark their success. Tracking both entrepreneurs and mentor hours can be very beneficial as it can mark their activities and the time they spend on for their tasks. This will be a very good and accredited source for anyone trying to contact them as it clearly shows their performance in entrepreneur/mentor relationships. The main point to validate these tracks is that it must be approved and validated (Anonymously) by both sides of those activities which is the mentor and entrepreneurs.
Teams Are Better (Diversity)
As per our research entrepreneurs and mentors always prefer teams to work with them rather than one to one interaction. They can start working towards a bigger goal and it will save them a lot of time. Connections between entrepreneurs and mentors are not mutually exclusive. There are many cases of these innovators seeking their peers. Entrepreneurs seeking to build new connections with other entrepreneurs to find new collaborations and strengthening their initiatives. As well as mentors seeking new connections to form better alliances and enhance their mentorship and business capabilities.
Click or tap on the link to find the full research Report :
Ideas and Concepts
Team Builder App
Though appropriate algorithms, the app will be able to promote a feature called team builder for the featured mentors. This new feature will give the mentors ability to make a team of 5-8 entrepreneurs who can be suggested to that mentor as they already requested to be mentored by them. The mentor can make this team basis of all the pending requests which are in his team builder profile to make the best team for a specific project and improve the overall efficiency of the entrepreneurs involved.
Entrepreneur / Mentors Rewarding Module
Entrepreneurs will have a chance to get promoted in the app as they follow and accomplish their projects to have a chance to be introduced to higher level mentors. The ranking system can be very beneficial to promote the more active users and ultimately rewarding them with more quality connections. Featured mentors will have the chance to get connected with other mentors as an unlocked feature after fulfilling required hours in a month with other mentors/entrepreneurs in their target industry. This can be a solid way of both tracking the mentor hours and incentivizing the efforts they put through mentorships.
Entrepreneurs and mentors can be promoted base on their follow-ups, project collaborations and mentor’s recommendations to more connections of their chosen criteria which are closer to their ideals. When reached a specific hour of actually proven activity with their entrepreneurs/mentors they will be promoted through the system to choose from a range of possible connections considering their preferred categories. Both the promoted user and the requested connections will have access to the records of each other's work and tracked records to establish a better connection and trust. These requests will be pending decision upon the approval of the other side of these connections.
This approach in user research and the collective effort was very exciting for me and I enjoyed every challenge in this project. I understood the fact that if we look at the problem long enough, the answer will eventually present itself.
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