Journal: Rippl

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Journal entry: 12 Nov 2017

Horace Lee: Our prototype is finally on its way to us in Auckland and we can't wait! We’ve also been speaking with, and gathering more feedback from, our user group. And more good news – we’ve finished the first draft of our slides for the Judging Day, and will soon to a ‘practice pitch’ to one of our mentors from Dotteral.

One thing we’ve learned since the last journal entry is how much we can achieve in a single week, and how difficult it is to manage time efficiently. With the stress of exams nearly over, we're ready to go full steam ahead.

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Journal entry: 27 Oct 2017

Horace Lee: The past two weeks have gone by so quickly. Alongside our RIPPL work, we’ve had school, university and scholarship examinations to contend with!

With the C-Prize nearing its end, we have a long list of priorities. This includes establishing a sound connection and validating our idea with users, ensuring a backup plan is drawn in case a hiccup occurs during the processing of our prototype and seeing where we can extend and elevate our current technology prepared to further develop what we have.

We’re very lucky to have Shaun from Dotterel, a previous C-Prize finalist, as one of our talented mentors. It’s great to have access to their feedback, support, and valuable knowledge, so we’ve been chatting to them a lot in the past few weeks. We are very appreciative to everyone who has helped us get to where we are.

Bootcamp #2 reminded us how quickly the final judging day is approaching – though we’ve been running since entering the competition, now that the finish line is in sight, it’s becoming more of a sprint! The day we spent at AUT Millennium was amazing – we learned so much from the other finalists, and from the Callaghan team on how best to pitch our idea.

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Journal entry: 12 Oct 2017

Horace Lee: For the past two weeks we’ve been in constant communication with Enoch, our contracted engineer, who is helping us to build our prototype. Thankfully, all is going smoothly on that front, and it is due to be completed by the end of Oct - early Nov. We’ve also begun contacting consumers – we need to build a user panel to help us test and optimise the prototype.

Furthermore, we are progressing well in the wrap-up of the Young Enterprise Scheme – we’re very proud to say that we’ve received an award for our earlier work on rippL.

It hasn’t all been easy though – unlike the other teams, we’re still in high school, so we’ve found it difficult to balance our school work, our business start-up, and our personal time. But communication is key, both within the team and externally, with contractors, consumers and our friends and family. This ensures that we are all on the same page as we approach the final few months of 2017.

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Journal entry: 1 Oct 2017

Horace Lee: Here at Team rippL, we have been focused on creating an annual report. This is part of what is required in the Lion Foundation's Young Enterprise Scheme, as well as it being beneficial to us as a resource for investors if necessary. With this, we have also begun looking into legal providers although we are speaking with mentors in a bid to help us prepare what to say, ask and do when doing so. 

We’ve also finally secured an engineer who is willing and able to produce the initial prototype of our device at a reasonable cost. We are very happy with this, and with the contract signed, we’re expecting to have it in hand in late October - early November. 

We’re in a war with time, though – our Young Enterprise Scheme deadline is approaching (and we hope to do well in that), as well as the C Prize's final pitch in front of the judges…it’s all hands on deck to achieve our goals.

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Journal entry: 20 Sept 2017

Horace Lee: Our recent focus has been on continuing to work closely with an experienced engineer, exploring legislative issues around using our device, and completing competitions as part of our Young Enterprise Scheme challenge.

We have a lot of things going on at the moment, but the morale within the team remains strong – we are more determined than ever to develop our idea into a real-life technology, and we’re delighted to have some help on that front. We are still looking for legal help though, and progress on that has been slower than expected.

In addition, the low-cost early-stage prototype that we ordered from a Chinese manufacturer failed to arrive, so we are looking to get a new one. Our key learning from the past few weeks has been the importance of communication – not just through emails, but face-to-face.

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Journal entry: 22 Aug 2017

Image: We visited the anechoic chamber at Callaghan Innovation, which is used to characterise microphones and speakers

Horace Lee: Our wearable aims to change the way deaf people interact with the auditory environments around them, and we are very excited to take it forward into the finals of C-Prize 2017. The last two weeks have been busy, with lots of tasks to manage. We’ve delegated everything equally, which has helped us progress. To be honest, before the bootcamp, we’d been pretty bad at communicating with our various stakeholders and mentors, but, in the light of the advice we’ve received, we’re determined to change that!

Some of the other tasks that we’ve been focused on include creating a timeline that will help us plan our activity between now and the Grand Final, making sure that we’re complying with all legal and contractual guidelines, and carrying out further market research. Alongside all the information-gathering, the Bootcamp also gave us an opportunity to explore a new city (Wellington) together, which has really helped us bond as a team.