Monday, 15 May 2017

From sales and strategy to social innovation: where Master of Marketing led me

With many Master of Marketing (MoM) students graduating from the University of Sydney’s Business School soon, Marketing Matters is shining a light on some exceptional alumni. Will Wang is the first of two alumni in the graduation series to share where the Master of Marketing Program has led him and how it the consulting project in particular has benefited his career.

Who is Will Wang?

Hi MoM! My name is Xiaole Wang (Will) and I am originally from Shanghai, China. I finished my Master of Marketing degree at the University of Sydney in July, 2016. My early career saw me working as a sales leader at Fortune 500 companies; including BestBuy and Apple.

By undertaking a Master of Marketing, my goal was to make the transition from a sales role to a corporate strategist role. Now, I am an entrepreneur, with a strong strategic partnership with Founders Space for corporate innovation program in China.

The Master of Marketing program has certainly helped me to pursue my professional dreams and enabled me to develop all the essential skills I need as an entrepreneur. Now I am very excited about the prospects of my business’ future and I’m looking forward to all the challenges ahead.

Key learning from the marketing consulting project

One of the most valuable aspects of the program was the ability to conduct a real-world marketing consulting project. My consulting project’s mission aimed to bring business thinking into small charities, in order to amplify their social impact.

My research led me to the idea of connecting small charities with large corporations. Tapping into large corporations’ business capabilities, such as accounting, marketing and HR professional skills would help small charities to build sustainable business models.

The consulting project experience led me to apply my learning to investigate opportunities in China by becoming a Founders Space partner for Corporate Innovation.

The value we offer to large corporations is that we help them to move from CSR (Corporate Social Responsibilities) to CSV (Create Shared Value). So, our SBV (Skills-based Volunteering) programs are strategically designed to align with corporations’ visions and strategies, which not only will benefit the charities, but also help corporations for their employees’ future leadership development and business growth. Therefore, it is a win-win situation for both small charities and large corporations.

How I became a Founders Space partner

My one minute pitch to Steve Hoffman, the CEO of Founders Space was about connecting founders space with large corporations. By helping corporations implement the same innovative methodologies and processes as Silicon Valley startups, corporations would be able to “Think Like a Startup, Innovate like Silicon Valley”.

Steve agreed to collaborate straight away without any hesitation. He took me to his hotel, and we had about 15 minute chat about the idea in the lobby. The next day, I started to work with Founders Space to launch my business project in China.

My strategy creates a win-win situation for both tech-startups and large corporations.

1. For large corporations, they can gain innovation mindsets and new technologies from small startups, in order to innovate their businesses;

2. For startups, they can validate and scale their businesses by leveraging large corporations’ business resources

Silicon Valley innovation methodologies and processes are perfectly aligned with what I have learned from Marketing Consulting Project

The consulting project taught us exactly how to tackle these two issues through the framework of the Value Proposition Canvas and the Business Model Canvas, which is from the first part of marketing consulting project.

The purpose of Value Proposition Canvas is to help businesses to create a perfect fit between your core offerings and the customer needs. The purpose of the Business Model Canvas is to ensure you have a sustainable business model of how to acquire and lock in customers for an ongoing revenue stream in a long term.

By using these frameworks I discovered the top two reasons why startups fail.

1. No product market fit

2. Run out of cash

Silicon Valley Innovation Process: “Don’t fall in love with your product, fall in love with your customer.”
Engaging your customers and gathering customer data is critical for innovation. During the innovation process, you have to fail fast & move fast in order to validate and figure out the Perfect product market fit that nobody else has ever discovered before.
The second part of consulting project taught us how to validate our business proposal through conducting in-depth interviews with your customers. So, we can

- Collect and analyse customer data

- Gain new learnings from the customers

- Pivot your offering

This is the same ongoing innovation process used by Silicon Valley startups. The success of your innovation will be highly affected by the speed and quality of these experiment cycles.

About Founders Space
Founded in San Francisco, USA, Founders Space is one of the Top Incubators and Accelerators in the world. Forbes magazine ranked Founders Space as the No. 1 Accelerator for oversea startups coming to Silicon Valley. Founders Space has over 50 global partners within 22 countries and they have trained hundreds of startup CEOs and corporate executives about the Art of Innovation.

About Founders Space Corporate Innovation Program

Our Mission
To help corporations implement the same innovation methodologies and processes as Silicon Valley startups

Our Innovation Program’s Unique Value Proposition
We are laser focusing on educating & mentoring corporate leaders about 0 – 1 Innovation, which include design innovation, business model innovation and technological innovation, in order to help corporations to achieve radical innovation.

Our Vision
Become the No. 1 strategic partner of the most innovative companies in the world.

For more information on graduation dates, visit this link.

Xiaole Wang (Will)
Graduate of the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School.

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