A practical, immersive, interactive journey into the real world of business innovation

“Test” is the second workshop in the STEPS series where we put your ideas to the test and learn how to prove it will work!

STEPS is an exciting, interactive and immersive series of ONLINE workshops to develop innovation knowledge and skills to progress ideas to commercial value. It will focus on how to successfully realise innovation in your business. How do you turn promising ideas into realisable products and services in ways that are responsible, responsive and ultimately successful?

You can dip into just one or attend all of the sessions.

Develop your innovation knowledge

What is innovation really all about? Innovation has been a buzz word in the business world for decades yet in recent years, both academia and industry have researched and implemented new approaches to innovation that can contribute to sustainable and commercial success.

Delivered by the University of Brighton’s School of Business and Law’s innovation expert Paul Levy and guest experts we will explore the different types of innovation, how to start innovation projects and get authentic and feasible ideas off the ground, proving the underpinning concepts, testing ideas and building viable and motivating business cases.

During the sessions we’ll invite you to work in a confidential setting on real ideas, prospects and the potential of your own business to work on current innovation possibilities or to develop new ones. We’ll work with a range of powerful approaches including STEPS, which offers an effective narrative way of making innovation come to life in your business.

How we’ll work together

These hands-on, interactive, challenging will cover how to undertake deep market and community analysis, conduct pilots, effect trials, alpha and beta testing as well as moving beyond collusions of mediocrity, making bold decisions on whether to launch or let go.

Combining a mix of carefully chosen current innovation theory, practical approaches with stories of both success and failure, we’ll deep dive into the world of innovation, with a not always comfortable journey through what works and what sabotages success. Join us for a real, no-nonsense exploration of innovation in the 2020s and beyond.

Who is STEPS for?

It is suitable for business owners of Small and Medium-sized businesses, including social enterprises and any staff responsible for new product or service development or operational improvement.

The second STEP to Innovation is to TEST

STEPS builds towards the successful launch of an innovation idea. This evolves over five stages, building like a great story. These stages climb towards the realisation of the innovation idea in the commercial world, delivered effectively, ethically and responsibly. We SCOPE the innovation idea (or ideas) then put those ideas to the TEST. Having rigorously tested we enter the stage of EVALUATION before we PILOT and SCALE up. At any stage the idea might not survive or need to be reframed or reimagined.

If you have taken the first step of scoping your idea (not sure? check out our STEPS to Innovation – Scope session), then we can move onto exploring if the idea will work. More information on the full programme of STEPS can be found here.

So what will be covering in the Test session?

Test – 7th March 2023

We have an idea that might potentially be our next telling innovation. So, in step two, let’s put that idea (or those ideas) to the test.

That begs a big and important question: How can you prove that your idea and concept will work and what do you need to do to test that out rigorously?

In this session we’ll introduce some key approaches that enable your business to test out, and inquire into your innovation idea.

  • We’ll explore how to get a “proof of concept”. Is the idea credible, feasible and worth developing at core? What’s the evidence that proves its worth at a “thinking” level?
  • Part of that inquiry involves validation What validation do you need to prove the idea is worth pursuing? Here we look at how we can imagine our idea into the future, visioning its impact externally and internally to the business. With opinions, with responses and reactions, testing logic, budgeting and forecasting, and even imagining the disaster scenarios!
  • While looking outside we’ll test for strength and weaknesses of our developing ideas,  looking at the potential commercial offer and opportunity the idea creates and also inside at our current and potential and capability
  • We then go wider and explore the concept design, supply chains, risks and impacts as well as the tensions around legal issues such as how to protect the ideas when we start to talk about them.

The idea may not survive these tests. We may go back to square one, or the idea may need to morph into something else. We’ll challenge, be prepared to break any collusion, and these evidence and instinct-based conversations will need to be no-holds-barred real!

Decide which other STEPS you need

Evaluate – 14th March 2023

This session will look at developing a prototype or technical roadmap. We start to work up a version of the idea in action, and what the road ahead to implementing it could look like. We revisit the usual data and knowledge identified in step one – Scope.

We’ll look practically at how to build a minimum viable product (MVP). That’s the baseline version of our product or service. If we can’t build that, then we are heading for failure.

Pilot – 21st March 2023

If the evaluation results in a minimum, baseline innovation that is viable – genuinely realisable then we reiterate the earlier stage of “testing” but this time we “test out”, we pilot. This can be an exciting and sometimes frightening step.

Before you launch it is best to pilot the innovation. People get to test drive, to try out and the feedback is essential and can confirm or push back. We do this smartly and in this session we’ll explore how. From Piloting to prototyping, from focus groups and testing to destruction, from Alpha to Beta testing and beyond. It’s a learning cycle and we may need to take a step back before we take further steps forward.

Scale – 28th March 2023

Once you have the concept tested, evaluated, working and being given an impactful thumbs up by the market and key players in the field, the next step is the big one – launch and scale up.

How to develop a modern marketing strategy, one that is ethical, impactful and one that makes use of all the right data and market intelligence to hit the ground running.

How to deploy or launch the concept. How do we not only “launch” the innovation but also “land” it in a sustainable and commercially successful way?

Taking the STEPS together

As you can see, over the 5 sessions, the innovative narrative builds, a potential and fulfilling, sustainable and exciting story build and is delivered into the world. During these STEPS workshops, you’ll be on a journey of learning – plenty of conversation, discovery and inquiry, almost no slides but plenty of open windows into the realm of innovation, drawn from university research and real applied experience.

Start on which ever step is most applicable to your stage of innovation OR attend all the sessions to make sure you haven’t missed something critical in your research and development. Missed a session? Don’t worry we will be repeating them.

STEPS Clinics

Once you have taken part in one or more of our STEPS sessions you can book a 1-2-1 meeting with our innovation experts to discuss how you are going to implement the learning.

How can I take part?

Simply join RISE and we will check your eligibility for the programme. You need to be a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise and based in the West Sussex or wider Coast to Capital region.

Book your space and add your details on the button on the right.

Each workshop session is valued at £80 of State Aid support. If participants complete all five workshops the value of this workshop series will be £400. State aid information is detailed in our T&Cs.

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Date and Time:


Mar 07, 2023


Online - Zoom

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