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Candidates at the 68th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) in Palo Alto, California, had the opportunity to participate in an innovative “Design Thinking” workshop organized by Endeavor partner and Design Thinking pioneer SAP, and tour the company’s office.
The workshop, led by SAP Vice President of Design Thinking Andrea Anderson, took place as part of Candidate Day, a day of programming during the ISP designed to give entrepreneurs a chance to interact with local industry leaders and network with each other through planned activities. Twenty three entrepreneurs hailing from 12 countries attended the collaborative event.
“The partnership between SAP and Endeavor has evolved to include various facets of engagement,” said Nish Pangali, Global Director of SAP America. “Most recently, we have been able to take our core competency and problem solving toolset of Design Thinking, and offer pro bono workshops to Endeavor entrepreneurs and candidates, as a way of helping them address business challenges, scale growth, and approach innovation with a new perspective.”
SAP opened the day-long workshop by introducing Design Thinking as taking a creative approach to finding problems that are worth solving. SAP approaches the practice as “a mindset centered on user needs to create delightful, useful and usable products or services and balance desirability, feasibility, and viability.” Failure, Anderson noted, can help businesses discover things that they should be doing differently.
During the workshop, SAP led entrepreneurs through the Design Thinking process — empathizing, synthesizing, ideating, prototyping and testing — to explore the question of how to bring diverse people into a company in order to keep an innovative edge and grow business.
The entrepreneurs began by interviewing SAP staff members, then, in small groups, collectively broke down the interviews into key words and ideas, which they organized visually on post-it notes. Using the visualization, the entrepreneurs organized these ideas into clusters to develop a “point of view” and a prototype to solve the identified needs, which they shared with the group.
The day long workshop introduced the attending entrepreneurs to an innovative skill set and valuable resource increasingly used by young and seasoned companies alike to determine their next steps in the growth process.
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