The CivTech® workshop system
The workshop system is designed to drive everyone’s understanding of what it takes to run a truly great business with public sector clients, covering both tech and business development areas.
As we welcome businesses at many different stages—from pre-starts through to experienced SMEs—we have a culture of intelligent engagement in which we require the complete 'beginners' to attend everything and the more experienced to those they can most benefit from. The vast majority of the workshops are half a day or less and many of these are two hours or under, so you can focus most of your time on developing your business and product.
The system has been designed so that pre-starts and start-ups can build their knowledge as fast and effectively as possible, but also so established businesses can use it both as a 'booster' system, and a way to build deeper understanding of how to work with public sector organisations. It's scheduled so that it creates a coherent and understandable narrative for the participants, and—being agile itself—the CivTech® programme will adjust the workshop system to reflect the state of knowledge in the overall cohort.
Expectation of involvement - is it full time?
It’s not Monday to Friday 9-5 but we do expect a significant physical presence at the accelerator from each business on it. We're flexible and know that this can translate differently for different companies—particularly those outwith Edinburgh. This is something we will discuss as companies move through the programme.
The benefits will be huge. Every week there’ll be people coming in that you can make connections with: mentors, public sector organisations, funders, investors and major tech players. You’ll be sharing the space with other extremely talented businesses with skills, knowledge and experience that are different to your own and, because no-one’s competing with each other, willing to share things in a collaborative manner. Plus three months of building a real relationship with your own Challenge Sponsor—so that come demo day you may well have your first/next major contract in the bag.
And in particular, we want to encourage the cross-pollination of innovation between 7 talented companies. The whole point of this programme is to create the environment for talented businesses to come up with solutions—and what if as a result something unthought of does come out of it? New products might be created and other opportunities to deliver better public services will have emerged from it.
You get what you put in: a significant presence offers significant new networks, leads, knowledge, insight and contract opportunities.
Mentoring and Coaching
Mentoring and coaching run alongside workshops. A range of people will be coming in to share their knowledge and experience: the CivTech® team will be around continually, and every week there’ll be business and tech people alongside professional advisors. Again, the huge emphasis will be on people who have been there, done it, and continue to do so.
Keeping it focused
There’s a difference between giving people everything they need to know in short, sharp focused sessions, and creating a bloated programme that insists on whole day sessions because that’s what professional trainers insist on [usually because they want to justify the fee]. The CivTech® approach is to say to its workshop leaders—who aren't professional trainers but the people who’ve been there and done it—the sessions should cover everything that’s important in the most effective, punchy, interesting and time-efficient way possible. So if everything gets done in two hours, that’s fine. But if they need a day, that’s fine too.
There’s another angle on getting on with business: we’re stacking as many of the workshops early in the accelerator as possible. Getting the basics done and bringing in key themes such as user-centric design as soon as possible means that the important things are well embedded early and can impact on the work at hand as much as possible. This approach also leaves the second half of the programme as free as possible for companies to do the hard graft—coding and business developing, building the MVP, and securing that vital first contract.
This is the current workshop programme, which will evolve and adjust according to the teams on the Accelerator—so make sure to keep up-to-date! All workshops are be delivered by industry insiders who have relevant and recent experience.
This is subject to change depending on the type of applicants and proposed solutions.
|Welcome and introduction to the CivTech® Exploration Stage||What's going to happen, when it's going to happen, how it's going to work, and what you'll be expected to do!||3 hours|
|Challenge Sponsor sessions||Initial workshops with your Challenge Sponsor to delve further into the challenge in question. These will be group sessions in which you'll be working with other potential solution providers. Yes, they're competitors, but you'll be expected to contribute to a cooperative and collaborative environment because there's so much to gain!||4 hours|
|Law 101||The basics, including company formation must-dos, what you need to know about company law, what IP considerations you need to make straight off.||2 hours|
|The Scottish Approach to Design||There is a clear set of standards that the Scottish Government expects all digital and tech projects to adhere to. They are vital in regard to procurement and delivery, and so key to any CivTech product. This workshop will set these out so you can start thinking about developing your solution in the right way.||4 hours|
|The lean start-up||What are the principles of a lean start-up, and how can you apply them as you develop your product? How can you validate your approach as early as possible, with minimum risk and investment? How can you ensure you keep learning from the market and users as your product develops? The 80/20 rule as applied to product development...||2 hours|
|Accounts 101||The basics, focused on financial management for non-financial managers including finance and accounting basics, the P&L, the balance sheet and cash flow.||2 hours|
|User-centric design 1||Another key tenent of the Scottish Approach to Design - and the CivTech® Accelerator - is user-centric design. This workshop explores this from the government perspective, and how you can make service design and user research central to your business. It’ll look at how great design thinking drives great products and businesses, service design principles, user research, and input and control from users||2 hours|
|Growth Hacking 1: technology driven growth||While your main direct clients coming out of CivTech® are likely to be Public Sector organisations, many of the Challenges will rely on mass take-up of the products and services created, and so growth hacking will be key to their success. Starting with the fundamental building blocks—customer acquisition cost, lifetime value, the sales funnel and cohort analysis—this workshop explores how a highly measurable growth hacking framework can be baked into your product and thinking.||2 hours|
|Agile methodology, and continuous delivery||Agile methodology is the cornerstone of speedy and effective product development: the workshop will ensure everyone has a common understanding, and an appreciation of how it affects the product they're developing. The workshop will also cover how to organise the technical delivery of your product so that you can release early and often, to gain immediate feedback from real users.||4 hours|
|The public sector landscape||The public sector in Scotland spends over £800m a year on digital products and services, and there is an ambition to spend a significant proportion of this with SMEs. But SMEs often have misconceptions about how the public sector works. This workshop will map out the landscape, suggest ways how you can navigate it, and how you might make best use of a vital advantage you have—the CivTech contract itself!||2 hours|
|Presentation 101||Presentation skills are going to play a big part in the upcoming CivTech Accelerator. But they'll also play a part come the climax of the Exploration Stage. So this 101 sets out basic presentation principles, what you should do and mistakes to avoid when you make your CivTech pitch.||2 hours|
|Cyber security 1: the public requirement||The government and the wider public sector has a clear approach to cyber security, and clear requirements in terms of data security. This workshop explores the basics around these, and how you as a business can not only deliver on them, but benefit your business as well.||2 hours|
|Accelerator Week 1|
|Introduction and orientation: the CivTech® Accelerator||Orientation for the programme; introductions; the programme explained; facilities and space; practicalities; accelerator expectations and checkgate reviews; ethos and culture; collaboration and networking; the workshop system; towards demo day.||2 hours|
|The value proposition||A clear value proposition is key to understanding and articulating why people will want your product, but it's just as important in understanding how you draw value from your customers and users. This workshop examines this exchange of value in digital businesses, and how to weave it into your growth strategy.||3 hours|
|Pizza night 1: team presentations||Pizzas, a chance to get to know everyone on the Accelerator—and the first time you'll present to each other. Every team does a quick slot to introduce their proposition. Short, sharp and to the point!|
|Entrepreneurial profiling: Wealth Dynamics||Wealth Dynamics is regarded as the world’s leading online profiling tool for entrepreneurs. The report will give you clear direction of the entrepreneurial approach that best suits your personality. We encourage all members of your CivTech® Accelerator team to take part on the profiling—the costs will be covered by CivTech®. In this moderator-led session results are discussed to develop understanding and an optimised dynamic.||4 hours|
|Business modeling, planning, and the Opportunity Matrix - Day 1||Business modeling and planning are key elements to successful growth, and the Opportunity Matrix is a highly sophisticated and extremely robust approach to developing these things. It turns received wisdom about how you model and plan on its head, developing a clearly articulated understanding of the proposition, USPs, competition, product possibilities, with hard-numbered outputs in regard to all potential revenues streams.||1 day|
|Business modeling, planning, and the Opportunity Matrix - Day 2||This in-depth, 2 day workshop will explore your proposition, and set you on the path to a fully formed, and fully understood business plan—which you are in control of.||1 day|
|Official opening event||The CivTech Accelerator official opening||2 hours|
|User-centric design 2—interactive workshop||Following on from the first user-centric design workshop, this focuses on building your user groups, and follows up on questions you may have from the first session.||4 hours|
|Insights team profiling||Insights establishes how individuals work most effectively, how they interact with others on a team, and the team roles that fit them best. We encourage all members of your team to take part in the profiling—the costs will be covered by CivTech®.||4 hours|
|Sales and marketing, and business blueprinting 1||Understanding your sales funnel and the lifetime value of your customers is crucial in building a sales and marketing plan or budget. What is a sales funnel? What are the steps in it? How do you measure conversion? And how do you work out how much you can afford to spend on customer acquisition? The workshop will also establish that selling is not a ‘black art’ and that everyone is more than capable of doing it.||1 day|
|Sales and marketing, and business blueprinting 1||Day two of this vital workshop.||1 day|
|Show and Tell 1||Syncing with your sprints, these all-teams show and tell sessions will drive cooperation and collaboration in the room. It's your chance to update everyone, get their feedback—and get insight into any problems you may be facing.||3 hours|
|Cyber security 2||This workshop follows on from the Exploration Stage 101, and delves deeper into cyber security and cyber resilience. Delivered—as with all our workshops—by people who have genuinely been there, done it, and continue to do it, this workshop will build a deeper understanding of the area, and how you can navigate it in a practical and truly effective manner.||4 hours|
|Mission, Vision, Values||Companies with strong Mission, Vision and Values allied to a clear strategic plan outperform those that do not. In this unique workshop you'll get the chance to find out why this is, and what you can do to develop the kind of Mission, Vision and Value statements that will serve you best - and then act of them. It also forms a key lead-in to the branding and company narrative workshops later in the programme.||2 hours|
|Growth Hacking 2: inbound content marketing, thought leadership and reputation management||Growth hacking is about both the technology involved, and the messages you send. This in-depth workshop carries on from the first technology-focused one, and focuses more on the message, its channels, and what you need to develop the best possible online profile.||1 day|
|Growth Hacking 2: inbound content marketing, thought leadership and reputation management||Blogging and social media can provide efficient ways to reach your target audiences, and help you become thought leaders in your field. But how do you strategize your approach to inbound marketing? How do you manage it, and what does it take to do it well? And how do you ensure your brand and personal reputation are as effective as possible – and kept that way?||1 day|
|Pizza night 2: networking 101||Pizzas! And a chance to get to know the secrets of really successful networking from someone who really, really knows.|
|Investment 101: first principles, from the SME point-of-view||Investment from the founders' point-of-view; is it right for you? What are the different kinds of investors? What are the opportunities and potential pitfalls? What should you expect to change in your company after investment?||2 hours|
|Accounts 2: planning and fundraising||Following on from the Accounts 101, this session focuses on planning, and how the right kind of planning can help drive fundraising opportunities||2 hours|
|Investment 2: what investors really want||Investment from an investor's point-of-view; what they want and how they think; the terminology and language used; good and bad approaches.||2 hours|
|Scottish Enterprise - general support 1-on-1s||Members of Scottish Enterprise's support team will be on hand to do one-on-ones with each team.||1 hour per team|
|Show and Tell 2||The second chance to update everyone, get their feedback and get insights on your development.||2 hours|
|Checkgate 1: progress review||Single team sessions; CivTech® team and Challenge Sponsors assess teams' progress; business planning reviewed; achievements and catch-ups noted; forward plan including targets defined; linked to tranched payments.||1 hour per team|
|Checkgate 1: progress review||Meetings will have two parts - one with the Challenge Sponsor [arranged separately], and these sessions with the CivTech Accelerator team.||1 hour per team|
|User engagement—first burst sessions||This is a right time to ramp up your user engagement - you're expected to develop the links with appropriate and relevant user groups, and to do develop the kind of dialogue needed to really drive the product...|
|Brand and the company narrative 1||These days the company story—the narrative—is all-important: a brand, an identity and logos are really just aspects of what you are, and what you stand for. So this workshop will look at how you develop that story, and utilise it through a coherent set of assets including the brand. Includes what is a brand; principles of brand development; brand as a genuine reflection of what the business is, does and believes; branding for company and product; exemplars.||1 day|
|Pizza night 3: building teams||Pizzas! And insight into how to build and then develop teams. Because you will be.|
|Sales and marketing, and business blueprinting 2||Follow-up sessions to further help you develop your sales and marketing understanding and skills. Focused on radical 1-on-1-on-2 sessions.||4 hours total per team|
|Scottish Enterprise—IP support 1-on-1s||Members of Scottish Enterprise's support team will be on hand to do one-on-ones with each team.||1 hour per team|
|Sales and marketing, and business blueprinting 3||The intensive sessions continue...||4 hours total per team|
|Show and Tell 3||Time to update everyone, get their feedback and get insights on your development.||2 hours|
|Business modeling, planning, and the Opportunity Matrix—remote support sessions||By now you'll have worked on your business model, and may well have follow-up questions. This is the period - before further face to face 1-on-1s - you can benefit from advice online or over the phone...|
|Pitching 1: slidedeck development||You're heading towards demo day, with an audience of public sector buyers and private sector investors. You need to be able to present, but first you need the right proposition on a great slidedeck. This is the start: an all-team session followed by 1-on-1s with Joe Tree, our Head of Product and a highly successful pitch developer.||2 hours [all team session]|
|Pitching: slidedeck development||1 hour per team|
|Pizza night 4—fireside chat||Pizzas! And an open discussion with a well-known veteran of the tech startup scene.|
|User engagement—second burst||This is the right time to review your user engagement and build on what you've already achieved|
|Brand and the company narrative 2—follow-up sessions||Building on the first session, this is your opportunity to progress your work so far and further shape these key assets of your business.||1 day|
|Show and Tell 4||Time to update everyone, get their feedback and get insights on your development.||2 hours|
|Pitching 2: presentation skills||Demo day is fast approaching and you need to be able to present, so this is the full-on skills day. Following on from the 101, you'll be building the skills and knowhow to really nail a great pitch.||1 day|
|Pizza night 5—fireside chat||Pizzas! And an open discussion with a well-known veteran of the tech startup scene.|
|Checkgate 2: progress review||Single team sessions; CivTech® team and Challenge Sponsors assess teams' progress; business planning reviewed; achievements and catch-ups noted; forward plan including targets defined; linked to tranched payments.||1 hour per team|
|Checkgate 2: progress review||Meetings will have two parts - one with the Challenge Sponsor [arranged separately], and these sessions with the CivTech Accelerator team.||1 hour per team|
|Show and Tell 5||Time to update everyone, get their feedback and get insights on your development. These sessions are key, and not to be missed||2 hours|
|User engagement - third burst|
|Pizza night 6—fireside chat||Pizzas! And an open discussion with a well-known veteran of the tech startup scene|
|Pitching 3: presentation skills follow up||More building the skills and knowhow to really nail a great pitch.||1 day|
|Show and Tell 6||All teams update, feedback and insights.||2 hours|
|Just keep working...|
|Pitching 4: presentation rehearsal day||Rehearsal day - a full on session for all teams, with invited guests to play a role in the Q&A session...||1 day|
|Demo day. It's arrived. You're ready.|