Thursday, March 23, 2006

Off to the BBC Innovation Labs

Next week, a delegation of two Headshifters - myself and designer Rik Abel - will be heading down to the BBC Innovation Labs for an intensive residential workshop.

The Beeb have invited submissions of ideas for innovative projects, chosen the best ten, and invited all the ten chosen teams to the alarmingly-named Spread Eagle Hotel for a week-long "intensive creative workshop", which culminates in each team giving a ten-minute pitch to the BBC Commissioners. At the end of it, the Beeb can give the green light - and funding - to whichever projects they think deserve it.

It's by turns exciting, inspiring, and nerve-wracking - from looking at the blogs of the other labs around the country, it seems almost like a cross between Big Brother, The Apprentice, and Dragon's Den. You spend the week doing group-based collaborative tasks like : explaining your idea to another team and then listening as they pitch it to the rest of the group, defending your idea against Good Cop/Bad Cop sessions, etc etc - and the success or failure of the whole week hinges on your ten-minute pitch on Friday.

Whilst I'm sure that our idea has great potential, and I know that we could take it in several different directions, the actual pitching of an idea to potential investors is not something I've had much exposure to. I've done plenty of CFUG presentations, of course, but this is different - the crucial distillation and communication process of getting the myriad possibilities in your own head across to someone who may be from a completely different background to you, in ten minutes, without boring them or losing them in jargon, or giving them any reason to say no. It's definitely a skill - and I'm always looking to expand my skillset....

Should be fun :)

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