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Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Tips, Tools and Tricks

  1. Dr John Breslin, Director, TechInnovate, NUI Galway Connacht Rugby / IRUPA Talk Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Tips, Tools and Tricks 1
  2. About me 2
  3. What is TechInnovate? 3 ● New programme at NUI Galway to create more entrepreneurs (through a 10-month fellowship programme) and more “intrapreneurs” (for companies who take part in our industry training workshops in January) in the West of Ireland ● Two fellowship teams: defence and agriculture ● Various organisations take part in our industry training starting in January, including Bank of Ireland, Defence Forces, etc.
  4. Definition of innovation (Edward Roberts, MIT) Innovation = Invention * Commercialisation 4
  5. Types of innovation (Bill Aulet, MIT) 5 Type / Category Disruptive Incremental Lateral Technology       Process       Business Model       Position       Other      
  6. ● Not about charisma! Effecting change (leadership)... 1. Do you have a vision (possible state / future state)? 2. Do you have a sense making capability to understand what’s going on in the world (as-is state)? 3. Do you have the relationships to make that happen? 4. How do you take where we are today (as-is state), and get to a future state that hasn’t existed before? 5. Can you do that with your own personal signature? 6 Entrepreneur characteristics (MIT Leadership Center)
  7. Steps to an innovation-driven enterprise 7
  8. 8 ● SME = small-medium enterprise ○ Local / regional market; You and family; Straight-line growth in cash flow, then plateaus ● IDE = innovation-driven enterprise ○ Global market / super regional market; Lots of shareholders; Significant initial burn rate, transitions to exponential cash flow ● Sometimes you can transform from one to another, doesn’t always work as rules are different ○ Michael Jordan was a great basketball player, but as a baseball player, not so great SME vs. IDE
  9. 10 “Don’t download your eyes and ears.” - Bill Aulet
  10. 11 ● Essential for entrepreneurship to be disciplined ○ You are the attacker going up against the defender ○ You don’t have a lot of resources ○ You don’t have a lot of time ○ You don’t have cash flow ○ All that belongs to the defender ● You just have this small thing called passion ● How you execute against this bigger foe requires an extraordinary amount of discipline ● “Spirit of a pirate” + “execution skills of a navy seal” “Disciplined entrepreneurship”
  11. Disciplined Entrepreneur- ship’s 24 steps 1212
  12. ● Mentors are typically unpaid (short time) ● Get one for free at (Irish Executive Mentoring Programme) ● Or free 15-minute call with Irish leaders at Get some mentorship 13
  13. Get an advisor ● Advisors are either paid or have some equity (shares) in your venture ● How much they get (paid/equity) or what they do for you is often a matter of some confusion/debate, so thankfully the Founder Institute have made a free template (legally binding), which is called the Founder/Advisor Standard Template ● 14
  14. Just ask 15
  15. Be efficient with your time 16
  16. Be selective: can’t do everything 17 “I’m actually as proud of the things we haven't done as the things I have done.” - Steve Jobs
  17. Getting things done ● Yes, it’s a method (and a book, GTD, by David Allen) ● Also, do the hard stuff early in the day, when you have most energy ● Don’t let emails dominate your day (wait a little while, they sometimes solve themselves), but don’t be an email black hole either ● Try the Pomodoro method to get through mundane tasks (exam correcting!) 18
  18. Actionable? Organizing Bucket TRAF Four D’s N Trash Toss Delete N Someday/Maybe - - N File File - Y + delegate Waiting For Refer Delegate Y + < 2min Do it Act Do Y + > 2min Defer It (Calend- ar, Next Actions) Act Defer Processing stuff (e.g. emails) 19
  19. ● ...but don’t waste time making (and moving messages) into hundreds of folders ● Email search can nearly always find what you need ● I usually just create folders for each six-month window and move stuff from my Inbox into them: ○ 2016 Q3, Q4 ○ 2016 Q1, Q2 ○ 2015 Q3, Q4 ○ 2015 Q1, Q2 ○ etc. Tidy up your email... 20
  20. Manage your to dos ● Try and the Wunderlist app ● You can create to dos, lists of to dos, categories of to do lists, and even better, share to dos or to do lists with others, assigning tasks to them if appropriate 21
  21. More tools, from Google ● Google have lots of great free tools ● Google Docs, Slides and Sheets are great office tools for collaborating with others, in real time (this presentation is in Google Slides) ● When travelling: ○ Google Maps allows you to download an offline area for your mobile, so no data needed to navigate ○ Google Translate app for translating signs, labels via camera ○ Google Play Music allows you to upload 50,000 songs from your computer/iTunes library, that you can then listen to for free from the Google Play Music app or website 22
  22. Phones are a waste of time... ● ...if you spend all your time checking notifications! ● Turn off notifications apart from the key ones (messages, phone calls, calendar events) or optional ones (WhatsApp, Skype) where people need to contact you ● You don’t need notifications for emails, social media, news, etc. as you can catch up on those in batches rather than one every five minutes 23
  23. Say no 24
  24. Personal branding 25
  25. Starting doing some work 26 ● “Stop Asking Me About Your Personal Brand, and Start Doing Some Work”, Gary Vaynerchuk, ● Summary: ○ Decide if you’re ready to put yourself out there ○ Use email marketing to its full advantage ○ Make video content (the right way) ○ In fact, create as much content as possible ○ Never automate ○ Keep scaling your content ○ Hustle
  26. Social media tricks ● Try and use the same username across platforms ● Get a professional picture (not one taken at a party) ● Make use of your social media header, it’s like free ad space (the picture shown on the second slide is mine) ● Get a short URL on LinkedIn (get rid of those long URLs) ● Put your LinkedIn link in your email signature, and any other links you want people to click through to 27
  27. ● Set up searches in Twitter, TweetDeck, etc. like: ○ “Connacht Rugby” OR connachtrugby ○ “NUI Galway” OR nuigalway OR nuig OR “National University of Ireland” ● Similarly for Google News, it’s a great app/website for keeping up to date with your favourite topics: ○ Set up searches for those topics that you can go back to again and again ○ Also try variants of search terms (e.g. irish rugby and rugby ireland will often throw up different stories) Make good use of social search 28
  28. Website tips ● You can pay (lots) for a website design, hosting, etc. ● There are also some great free and easy-to-use content management system options, like WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, BuilderEngine (from Galway!), etc. ● If you don’t want a content management system, you can download professional (and mobile-responsive) free HTML templates from 29
  29. Logo tools 30 ● Mock something up using the various free tools that are out there ● Use or to generate a logo typeface (put your brand name in the sample text box to see it); a lot of these fonts are available under open licenses so you can use for free ● Also have a look at for free graphic icons to use (21st century version of Wingdings) ● Need some free graphic packages? Inkscape or Gimp
  30. Lots of great free or reusable images for websites (or talks!) ● Public domain = no credit required ● Creative Commons = need to “attribute” (reference) the image creator, usually by name and with a link ● Variants on Creative Commons may allow you to modify the image, use them commercially, etc. ● Two useful sources of images: ○ ○ 31
  31. Caroline Léna Becker, 32
  32. Thanks! 33