13 12, 2018

CSIRO ON Accelerate 5 – Reflections on lean/design thinking

By |2019-07-12T12:02:08+00:00December 13th, 2018|Commercialisation, CSIRO ON Program, Lean/Design Thinking|

I recently put in another week at CSIRO ON Accelerate program in Sydney. David Ireland and I run the ON Accelerate program (sits under the National Innovation and Science Agenda) for CSIRO and the broader research sector including all publicly funded universities and research centres and partner organisations like the Defence Science and Technology Group. ON Accelerate is the premiere national science and technology accelerator open to the top 10 teams from institutes across Australia (20 teams get into the bootcamp and up to 10 are selected to go on to the Accelerator). Over the course of the bootcamp we facilitated a series of great interactive sessions on the importance of Structured Customer Discovery, Value Proposition Design, Business Model Design and also facilitated mentoring sessions for the teams. The program is called ON Accelerate 5, celebrating the fifth time we have run the program.


I have recently written a lot about developing a deeper understanding of the customer and using lean / design thinking and value proposition design within organisations.


It is great to see 20 teams who have all experienced the value of quality customer discovery and lean / design thinking and value proposition design. They have all de-risked their projects and enhance the potential uptake of their product or service (solution) before launch.


I have also seen corporate product management teams experience workshops like this in action. The workshops enable teams to understand the need to develop a deeper understanding of the customer and to focus on early adopters and innovators in their customer groups.


Having now run many of these workshops for research teams and product managers, I’ve made some observations about the typical things that surprise participants when they undertake these programs:

  • How valuable it is to have a deeper understanding of the customer,
  • how valuable it is to identify potential early adopters and innovators, and
  • how valuable it is to enhance your solution language to resonate with customers.


This clearly highlights the importance of structured customer discovery and value proposition design processes, both for new innovators and for existing businesses.

I have been amazed at the exciting new projects CSIRO ON Accelerate 5 teams are

working on. I can’t wait to see these products and services in the market!

1 04, 2018

CSIRO’s ON Accelerate teams showcase their journeys in entrepreneurship

By |2019-07-12T12:13:45+00:00April 1st, 2018|CSIRO ON Program|

Over the past few months I’ve been having an amazing time embedded in CSIRO’s ON Accelerate program, the pre-eminent science and technology accelerator in Australia, involving 30 universities and other groups and departments across the country.


As one of the national program’s two facilitators, together with my colleague David Ireland, I have travelled around Australia’s cities with the 10 finalist teams to deliver a 13-week series of workshops to them and expose them to top experts in IP portfolio development, finance and financing, team structure and development, and pitch development and skills. These teams of scientific researchers were chosen from some 40 entrants and have been working through the ON Prime program and then the ON Accelerate program to develop their research into marketable products to address the needs of customer segments in the community. For example, Genics has developed a new pest detection system that cuts cost and time delays for Australian prawn farmers; Diffuse Energy has produced a small wind turbine with nearly twice the power output of existing same-sized wind turbines, and Noisy Guts is using the natural noise of guts for health screening.


For these scientists, the program and upcoming showcase of their journey at the Demo Night on the 19thApril represent an exciting time for their research.


For me personally, working with David in designing and leading every workshop in the ON Accelerate program, it has been a personally rewarding journey to see our models and delivery methods in action and spending time refining them to provide participants with maximum value. It’s been fantastic to see the scientist teams develop their entrepreneurial skills, learn about product-market fit and develop business models to take their technology to market-readiness.


The invitation-only Demo event will be live-streamed and you can access the video link or find out more about participating teams.