You can follow the story of “Maxmyrate” here.

The opening pitch…

Where it all began

Like all good entrepreneurial stories it started with a couple of guys over a beer in a pub. The question was asked “Where is the market place for financial services where the customer is the centre of the experience?” The discussion went on for a long time. The conclusion was drawn, why can’t the Banks and Credit Unions bid for deposits?

The next stage was to form the core team and these are the names of the future leaders in financial services innovation in Australia.

  • David Nelson
  • Wes Roach
  • Alan Holmes

The team has a mix of youth, experience (The euphemism for old!) and enthusiasm. We have about 50+ years in financial services.

Why are we at MBS?

This was an accident. This is a good lesson for sharing your ideas, even if you think they are ground breaking and want to keep them to yourself. A mutual friend had recently completed the entrepreneurial course as part of the MBA at Melbourne Business School and mentioned that we could use the course to advance our idea to a stage where we could launch the product. (We are fortunate to have been able to attend the course as a “Proof of Concept”, demonstrating  that the course can enable companies to take early ideas through to a validated business model.)

Week 1 “The Pitch” and “Drama Triangle”

There are no soft launches in this class. If you want to compete for the business students to join your crusade for customers in financial services you need to have your pitch ready. Lucky for us Dave did a great pitch.

Week 2 “Who Joined the Crusade” and “Where Are Our Customers”?

We picked up two great additions to our team and the introduction as follows.

  • Dave Michell
  • Viriya Plodpliew

After David shared some of his real world experience in “Customer Whispering” (this is my term not his), we started to discuss how do we find our customers? And are they looking for what we have to offer?

Week 3 “Speaking to the Customer”

The best way to describe week 3 was a lot of discussion about how do we find our customers. The customers in our target market are the ones coming to the website. The group discussed ways to attract more people to register. The group decided that if we can get a MVP (Minimal Viable Product) up we will be able to get more of the people we want to speak to via the website. The two Dave’s have developed a new survey to get more of the information we need to test our potential market. If you look for financial services only, please feel free to complete a survey.

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VHYP3KB

Lecture 4  Presentation

This week has been a bit of a flat spot in terms of progress. The group had become obsessed with the customer component of the business canvas. The group has split to run some of the tasks concurrently so not to get bogged down in one area of the business.

This week we got some great advice from our colleagues in the course. We like it so much we decided to share it on the blog.

Comments

  1. Great idea with the mock up, don’t forget to include customer preferences / behaviour in the design.
  2. Looks great only thought is to spend 1 on 1 time with the potential customers and keen to see how you will progresses.
  3. If I’m a customer, I will be more worried about the security of my money in this case.
  4. Less animation on the class presentation and the information will be more will be clearer.
  5. There needs to be a better understanding of why people will (Trust) you more that the current solution out in the market place.

Questions

  1. Will people want to bid on their rates for Term Deposits?
  2. Have you thought about open API’s (Application Program Interface)?
  3. Can you leverage your target market?
  4. What is you product differentiation?
  5. What about competition? What will you do if someone else launches the service?
  6. Have you interview people you believe that will use the service?
  7. What is import to people about deposits their Term Deposits? Have you considered psychographic analysis? Keep going!!
  8. What kind of customers would you be interested to finding? And how are you doing it?
  9. What assumptions have you made and have you under estimated your target market? Very good progress!
  10. Is it about maximising the customer’s rate on their term deposit or about safety and convenience for the Bank? Is price the only issues to your potential customers?
  11. What is the single biggest assumption that your business model rests on? You talked about having a number of things on the go and seemed eager to get an MVP up (It would be fun to see it in action) but I was concerned that you were perhaps more driven by the desire to get something up and running rather than proving / disproving the key assumptions on which your success will ultimately depend (Who are you customers old/young).

The MVP has made some excellent progress and this will facilitate better testing of the Value Proposition and whether we have genuine business.

Lecture 6 Presentation

Lecture 8 Presentation

Lecture 12 Presentation

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