by Kirsten Eldridge, Jolkona Volunteer
The Catalysts got hands-on with their business ideas this week with Ewelina Kieley, Founder of Makapen Co. Ewelina is an entrepreneur helping startups build prototypes and MVPs with less waste and less upfront costs. She began her career in biochemistry research where she became intimately familiar with the scientific method. Next she jumped on a business opportunity and cofounded a bakery and cafe in Atlanta Georgia. Once the cafe was up and running, she moved to Seattle to continue working with early stage startups. At Makapen, she supports non-technical founders in the process of building out their web products.
Ewelina’s workshop with the program participants was titled “Early Stage Startup in a Box: How to Validate Your Business Hypothesis with a Prototype”. The workshop taught the entrepreneurs how to identify a business hypothesis, test the hypothesis through customer interviews and prototypes, and approach building these prototypes.
After introductions were made and Ewelina explained the process, the participants were challenged to define their own business hypotheses and design prototypes to test them. The Catalysts teamed up and quickly got to work, spreading out throughout the room to sketch plans and discuss their ventures. It was an exciting, hands-on workshop and the hard work of the participants was evident when they presented their prototypes to the group.
Project Catalyst brings high potential social entrepreneurs from emerging countries to Seattle for an intensive 3-week mentor-driven accelerator. These entrepreneurs are solving some of the most challenging societal issues in their communities. Our mentors include some of Seattle’s best startup talent who prepare these founders to scale and engage with investors at home and abroad.
Don’t forget to register for our Jolkona Catalyst Showcase on November 11th in the beautiful, new Galvanize co-working space in historic Pioneer Square. Click here to RSVP!