After being selected as a winner of funding from the Jisc Summer of Student Innovation competition to develop our idea, PlanitUni, we were invited to attend the first event in Bristol from July 14th to the 16th. Two of our team, Jordan Aird and Calum Stapleton, headed down to the event to learn more about exactly how the funding won from the competition could be used to develop PlanitUni from being an idea to a reality. Here’s their account of the trip down to Bristol:
“We set off down to Bristol in the very early hours of Monday morning (6am) not really knowing what to expect from the event. After finding out we had won the grant for the funding over a month ago we’d not really known what route to go down to get the ball rolling with the app, so we hoped that attending the Bristol event would provide us with an understanding of how to transform our concept into a fully-functioning app. After a 4 and a half hour journey down to the South from Huddersfield, we finally arrived at the Mercure Holland House hotel for the first day of the event. Here we received an introduction as to who Jisc were, what they did, and what to expect from the afternoon sessions. During these sessions we got to choose which aspects of developing our idea we would like to find out more about; and so we attended three sessions; Receiving help from Jisc and the co-designers, Design and Innovation, and Technical. Throughout these sessions we built key relationships with both the Jisc experts and also from the other projects that had been selected and attended the event. Drawing from such a wide range of expertise, knowledge, and access to potential key contacts we took a lot out of the first day and enjoyed it at the same time!
Once the sessions for the first day had finished we headed over to the accommodation Jisc had put us up in where we had some time to chill out and have a couple of beers before heading to ‘Racks Bar’ where we would be having some food (and probably a few more beers) with the other teams. We both enjoyed the meal, and surprisingly managed to fit it in after the carvery we had devoured earlier in the day… and as anticipated a number of beers followed the meal. After struggling to drag ourselves out of bed the following morning we headed over to Jisc HQ for the second day of the event, and surprisingly had a very productive day. Throughout the day there were a number of scheduled tasks and meetings to attend, including a consultation session with our mentor, and also with our mentor’s other projects. Before lunch we completed a stakeholder analysis for the idea, identifying who the key stakeholders/groups of people were likely to have the most interest and influence on our project. Further tasks followed which allowed us to gain more of an understanding on certain aspects of the project we hadn’t fully explored, in particular sessions regarding contracts and also the design element of PlanitUni. During day two we also worked hard on setting specific goals and targets, both long, but more importantly short term, as we now have clear objectives to reach before the second event in August.
Here’s a few examples of the short term targets we are aiming to complete before that event: – Publish a survey for students to complete to gain more understanding on what their needs are.
– Clearly define our mission statement and vision/values for PlanitUni.
– Develop a basic ‘wire-frame’ for the app.
– Set up financial documents for budget allocation for the grant.
In summary we believe we have taken an awful lot away from our trip to Bristol. Although the journey home was even longer than the journey there, we have returned with clear goals and targets for us to complete. We would like to thank everyone at Jisc, the experts, mentors, and also the other projects who attended the event, we developed some good relationships and we had a brilliant time in the process!”
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If you have any questions or comments regarding PlanitUni, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Keep an eye out for our next post in the coming week or so, as we bring you further key updates in the development process!