Vertex Entrepreneurship Academy

The Vertex Entrepreneurial Academy is based on a combination of Design Thinking and LEAN methodologies. According to the Vertex approach, the basic principles used in the entrepreneurship support program are:

- Focus on people - every creative activity is social in nature, and every social innovation brings in the focus human problems and needs;
- The ambiguity rule, according to which creativity needs to experiment with the limits of knowledge and abilities, allowing things to be considered differently and from other perspectives;
- The re-design rule, according to which the design process is actually recycling existing design (re-design). Re-design is the result of a change in social relationships, new technologies and the evolution of human needs.
- The Rule of tangibility; the concept that making the idea tangible eases the communication and allows designers to treat prototypes as "communication media".

In line with design thinking and the LEAN process, the Vertex Enterprise Program consists of five modules:

1. Empathize with a particular population that is exposed to a particular problem or which focuses on a particular need. By examining the problem, the participant understands its aspects, dimensions and context.
2. Defining the problem - the phase of structuring data, information and emotions collected in the first phase. The result is clear description of the problem /need;
3. Ideation, a creative process for generating divergent, convergent or lateral solutions for a given problem.
4. Prototyping, development of pilot solutions candidates, conceptualized in the previous stage. Prototyping usually involves a whole range of different models analysed from the effectiveness and efficiency perspective;
5. Piloting, testing pilot solutions in practice - with the real target population, in real environment, and in market conditions (constraints and opportunities). It is only by measuring the prototypes' performance possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the offered solution and the possibilities of its exploitation in market conditions.

The key part of the Vertex program is the rapid-iteration of steps 4 and 5, based on the market assessment of the offered innovation, in accordance with LEAN principles. In real terms, it is necessary to carry out multiple iterations of these steps in order to fully confirm or dismiss the solutions offered. If properly implemented, the methodology enables the inclusion of end-users (market) to participate in the designing process.

In the implementation of the Vertex Academy, the time required for the implementation of all modules is from 3-9 months (average 6 months), depending on the required number of repetitions of prototyping and testing in proving the success of the model or its dismissal.

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