How Many Innovators does it take to Change the World?

We are nearly one month into the Fusion Founder program and what better way to give an update on what has been happening than through the eyes of a fusion founder? Below is the first guest blog by Rachel Stein who will be sharing her experience and learnings throughout the program with us. Rachel is the founder of FitJak, an online platform that allows users to search, book, and pay for their next fitness session. Rachel joined the program as the winner of Beacham Group‘s Fusion Founder scholarship last month. Here is her take on the program so far…

Fusion Founders on day 1 of the program

Fusion Founders on day 1 of the program

How Many Innovators does it take to Change the World? – by Rachel Stein

I find myself sitting in a room filled with strangers; some younger, some older, some dressed to impress and some rocking the ‘I just rolled out of bed’ look. There’s little commonality and very little cohesion but we’re sitting here together, with great knowledge that we’re here for the same purpose.

As I look over to my right I find out that I’m sitting next to the founder of the next great resource space for lawyers. On my left is the creator of a revolutionary social tracking device based on hipster-gnomes figurines. Welcome to just another day at Fusion Founders, an accelerator program located at the Tech Hub in Perth. 

At first glance, you would think that we’ve been pulled together at random, yet as we begin to mingle, certain qualities start to unfold in to strong and coherent chemistry. We discuss our drive, our ambition, our crumbled social lives, our sleepless nights, our stress and our utmost confusion of ‘what the hell we are doing?’. I find it comforting knowing that I’m not the only one suffering with mild breakdowns every second day and learning of all the cafés that act as offices for my fellow founders.

“I find it comforting knowing that I’m not the only one suffering of mild breakdowns every second day.”

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One might joke ‘how many people it may take to change a light-bulb?’, yet the Fusion Founders program flips it around and asks ‘how many innovators does it take to change the world?’. The answer, not many and possibly someone sitting in the same room as me. The Fusion Founder program has provided invaluable tools, tricks and hacks in to company creation and market disruption. It is pulling apart our ideas, questioning our business models, questioning our products and questioning our market.

I write this post in the first month of the program and so far I have had two words drilled in to my brain, ‘customer validation’. At first glance I thought to myself, ‘wicked, another bloody survey – I get it, market research is important, however, we’re creating something new, something that the market doesn’t even know they want.’ Oh boy, how wrong I was… The Fusion Founder program has taught me that customer validation is not about asking whether your customer wants what you’re offering but finding out the problems your customer faces and creating a fun way to fix it. Teamed up with inexpensive ways to test this and no, not just another survey, the program has flipped my way of thinking and probably saved me a few bucks along the way.

Finding myself in this room, amongst all of my fellow founders, I realise that this program is not only about accelerating our individual businesses but working together to create, change and innovate. We may be strangers – some younger, some older. We may not look the same and we most definitely may not act the same but we turn up to the program each day knowing that we’re here with a collective purpose.