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Hi-Phive, our first start-up

As part of our Design Thinking for Start-ups module we had to team up in groups and create a product or service as a real start-up.

Our group, consisting of five very creative women, coming from dance, design, film and marketing world decided that we wanted to do a service. One that had to do with performing arts and making a change in society.

We started brainstorming and came up with a socially conscious theatre based company. It all sounded great, we had the skills and the experience, as well as the passion for it. Then we were asked in class to create a Business Model Canvas. Then it started to sink in the reality of it. As you put everything into something tangible and something very specific that helps you see your business very clearly, you start to see the flaws and the pros.

What we realised is that maybe our service was a B to B instead of a B to C. But also that we were thinking of what we wanted to do but we were not necessarily solving any problems. So, instead of thinking about a problem first, we thought about what we thought was a good idea. We were not using the lean start-up method on thinking about the customer and the problem first. Luckily, we realised this as soon as we starting developing our business model canvas. Then, it was time to pivot, before we even started.

We decided to look for a problem. We wanted to create a product based on our own needs as independent students. Whenever we go grocery shopping we need to take a bag, or pay for one if we forget. And if you have, lets say, meat, vegetables and cleaning supplies, you don’t want them together, so you have to take more than one bag. Then we came up with the idea of Edamame: a three in reusable shopping bag for all your needs.


With Edamame, you can carry three bags in one and not worry about forgetting to take more than one every time you go out. It even has a pocket for credit cards, cash or keys.

We were very comfortable and confident about this product. And the great part is we worked as a team when realising that our first idea was not going to be viable for now. We used several methods of design thinking like brainstorming, observation, prototyping. And we decided to pivot completely when realising we weren’t solving any problems for our customers.

We should never forget that the customers are the key to every business, it could be a great idea, but without any customers, it doesn’t matter. Then, it was time to prepare our pitching and presentation for Dragons’ Den!

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