Preparation of the prototyping

The entrepreneurial idea is now sharper and better defined. The group of young people framed the challenge they want to answer to with their enterprise. Now is the time to start testing!

In the next phase, we will do this by prototyping.

A prototype can take different forms. It can be a paper model, a 3D print, a scale model, a product for limited use. The focus can be on the function (functional model) or on the looks (display model). The choice for a specific prototype depends on its goal, the resources that are available and how long it must ‘survive’. It can be durable or disposable.

(source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/308724)

First determine together with young people what kind of prototypes they want to develop, before you decide how you will organize the prototyping session. If everyone is going for storyboards or animation, you need more digital tools. If most go for a simulation or wireframe, it can be worthwhile to go to a studio or fablab together, where material is available such as laser cutters, 3D printers, etc.

Also consider how much time you want to spend on the actual prototyping (next phase). Young people will be able to get some work done in a couple of hours, but depending on the complexity of what they want to create, and the available resources and experience they have, they might need (much) more time. Allowing a full day or even a few days for the phase is not a luxury.

Make agreements with the young people about when the experimentation will stop and they will start and work out one prototype more thoroughly. What is the deadline to start this? Who helps them to make a final choice?

Also make sure there is support available to help them during this phase, by providing them with a coach or a helpline. This can include technical support.

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