I’m the founder of Freestyle Innovation. I also work with the Corporate Internal Innovation team at Rainmaking, supporting and coaching client teams on programmes which deliver culture and mindset shift; upskill corporate employees in the skills used by best in class startups; and lay down the process needed to rapidly validate and bring new ideas to market. And with Innovation Coach helping to grow people and companies as part of a community of carefully curated independent coaches and mentors connecting leaders of startups and the enterprises they are disrupting whilst sharing leadership best practice. And finally BEAF, who are an innovation agency that turns ideas into new products, brands and services.
A Coach is an experienced entrepreneur, someone who has been there and done it before, taking a company from launch to successfully trading (and in some instances, an exit) They have a full understanding of what it takes to build a business across it’s variety of disciplines and have experience in coaching other founders / startups / in educational settings.
A Mentor is a subject matter expert, someone who can dive deep into a topic and knows the ins and outs to share their experience with first-timers so they can make a demonstrable impact on that area of their business – ie: you might be an expert in User Experience and be able to share this with people as they are creating their first landing pages or you might be an expert in People & Culture, and be able to help in understanding how to find the right skills for your company
2020 saw the surprising combination of the global pandemic and technology advances which resulted in a “decade in days” adoption of digital. It might sound counter-intuitive but this creates opportunity.
History shows us, recessions and unstable periods present the best opportunities to start new companies. During the 2008 Financial Crisis, billion-dollar startups like Uber, Airbnb, and many others were founded partly as a response to changing market dynamics.
As highlighted by Entrepreneur and an article by Alex Gold, CMO of Myia Health, “The present-day is no exception, offering once-in-a-lifetime opportunities and unfair advantages to potential entrepreneurs. Among these are increased access to people and talent at lower and negotiable costs, and an environment in which consumers are more willing to try new products and services — often out of necessity. “
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