So you’re lying awake at 3:00 am and an incredible idea for a business has just popped into your head. You think of every angle of it until it’s perfect, but then morning arrives and reality sets in.
You think, “That’ll never happen,” and the idea is dumped in a box marked ‘Dreams’ to gather dust on the shelves of your brain.
Well, it might be time to blow off that dust as the Canberra Innovation Network is hosting a competitive program for wannabe entrepreneurs next month, designed to help you turn those ambitious ideas into real-world, high-impact ventures.
‘Idea to Impact’ is a 10-week competitive program comprising five online workshops and four online sessions beginning 2 September, 2021. Budding entrepreneurs will be able to join a cohort of likeminded innovators, and learn to apply practical tools to building a business, identifying critical assumptions along the way, and learning how to do it all in a rapid and lean way.
Dan Rawson had been in the DJ industry for more than 17 years, and came up with an idea while setting up his gear for a wedding in 2019.
“Multiple trips back and forth to my van, up and down the elevator, across the hall into the function room just to spend 60 minutes setting up and looking professional,” he says. “What a waste of time.
“From that day, I couldn’t shake this idea that I needed to make it a reality and change the way I delivered entertainment. After months in my garage and many trials and errors, the first BoomBox Booth was born.”
The all-in-one mobile DJ unit provides people such as Dan with all the equipment they need in one wheeled box to help them move and easily set up for service functions, corporate parties and events.
Dan says Canberra Innovation Network’s ‘Idea to Impact’ course helped him immensely.
“It unlocked my brain to think more about what my potential customers wanted, what their problems were and how I could help,” he says. “It taught me to look at my product from a consumer’s point of view, and allowed me to make changes to my current business model. The connections I’ve made have been unreal.”
Before the program was even finished, Dan says he was on the phone to CEOs spruiking his new business.
“I want to make a difference in the industry I care most about,” he says. “So why not help other DJs and event managers create their own businesses and work-life balances, rather than relying on the schedules of deliveries and tech rehearsals and equipment hires, etc.”
Canberra Innovation Network hosts several other programs, all designed to help get local business ideas on their feet. People who are new to the organisation can book a free 30-minute consultation to assist in finding the right information, opportunities and connections.
Dan describes Canberra as a “great city for entrepreneurs”.
“Do your research and go with your gut,” he says. “It’s that easy wherever you are, but especially here in the ACT. The support and resources are available, and Canberra Innovation Network is a fantastic space to share and grow your idea.”
Applications are now open to join the ‘Idea to Impact: 10 Week Customer Challenge’.
For the online application form, you’ll need to summarise your business project in one sentence, and spell out what problem your customer is experiencing and how your product or service solves this problem. You’ll also be asked how your product or service is different from competitors or alternatives, what you’re hoping to get out of the program, and what your biggest challenge with your project is.
Then from Thursday, 2 September, to Thursday, 28 October, 2021, you’ll take part in five fortnightly, half-day online workshops, and four one-hour online sessions on the alternating weeks. The workshops will be held from 1:00pm to 4:30 pm, and sessions from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.
Canberra Innovation Network anticipates four-to-five hours a week as a minimum commitment for participants.
Applications close on Friday, 27 August.
Dan launched his website on International BoomBox Day, on 20 July, and is well into manufacturing his BoomBox booths.
“In the next two-to-three years, I’d like to be manufacturing on a global scale, and create a community for mobile DJs and other clients with monthly updates, programs, and additional tools to help grow and develop more products,” he says.
“I’d like to change the future of event soundscape.”