WIMin Ideathon 2018 - University of Waterloo
CONCEPTUALIZATION // IMPOSED SOLUTION
Mentorship/Mentee pairing app, Technology in education and self-growth
Project documentation, user analysis/profile and value proposition, problem refining, pitching
Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty, Donata Gierczycka, Leah Nacua, Jessica Wong
TWO-DAY, ALL-FEMALE NETWORKING
The WIMin Ideathon was the first networking/personal development-esque event I had ever attended. It was a two-day, female-only event that was structured in a way where the first day consisted of speakers and networking which lead into the second day where attendees could pitch their ideas concerning social issues. I met some amazing women that weekend and I'd say my love for networking and outreach began there.
TRACKher is what my group came up with. It is an app concept that serves to link mentors with mentees in response to the decline of women staying in STEM as their studies/careers progressed. It was an idea that was formulated around a real problem that some of my group members faced. They found that many women turned away from STEM even once they were already within these fields due to a variety of factors; family life being the main one.
FRAMING THE PROBLEM AND CREATING A PROBLEM STATEMENT
Each group member made sticky notes individually to gather a broad range of topics for discussion and consideration. Once the notes were compiled, we grouped common ideas to help categorize our thoughts. Finally, we voted on ideas that had the most versatility to provide the best solution possible.
The good thing about this event was that it really provided attendees with the necessary knowledge and direction in the ideation process. They provided us a skeleton for what our problem statement should look like and this was our final statement:
There is a problem in the demographic of female students in STEM who cannot find mentors and mentors who cannot find students.
This problem has negatively impacted the retention of women in STEM fields;
As evidenced by the drop-off of women in STEM as their careers progress.
VALUE PROPOSITION and CUSTOMER PROFILING
A crucial thing to consider during conceptualization is who are you targeting? Who is impacted by the problem? Something we were taught was to analyze our "customer" to ensure we were targeting the right audience. We did so by creating a customer profile equipped with "pains, gains, and jobs".
Image from Expressive Product Design
We asked ourselves questions such as:
What keeps the user awake at night/ wakes them up in the morning?
What feelings are evoked by the user?
What already exists?
Which allowed us to identify our pains, gains, and jobs of the customer.
JOBS- the customer needs/wants and the tasks they may be trying to perform
-Wanting more equality in the workplace
-The need for more support in career development
PAINS - the negative feelings/components associated with the jobs
-Feeling like there is not enough support within the workplace/classroom, gender gap
GAINS- the positive takeaways/ user benefits
-More connection and integration into STEM through heightened support, more opportunity for growth and development
THE SOLUTION: AN APP TO CONNECT MENTORS AND MENTEES
TRACKher is an all-female app allowing mentors to find mentees at any stage in their career. It works by collecting data from the user through an initial survey to assess their needs. Once this has been assessed, the user is directed to a mentor and is able to connect with them in a safe and stress-free way that enables both parties to learn from each other. As you grow and develop, you are able to track your progress and meet with other mentors- additionally, mentors are able to connect with each other within the app.
This was the 3-slide presentation we used for our pitch.
This event really helped me grow as an individual and realize what more I could do now as a student in university with all of the support and guidance offered. I think this was quite the learning experience and it really opened my eyes up to what a supportive and inspiring community exists out there. Leaving this event made me excited to attend more networking events and turned me eager into starting my own side project.