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The Designer Fund

The Designer Fund
Who we are The mission of Designer Fund is to help designers create businesses with meaningful impact. Our community gives angel funding, mentorship, and connections to entrepreneurial designers. We accept applications and referrals from talented designers and match them with resources to succeed at any stage of their development, ranging from incubation, seed to Series A and beyond. We also produce a designer-in-residence program called Bridge, organize educational events, and publish content such as the Designer Founders book to benefit the larger design community worldwide. Why we exist

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What does an innovation strategist do? The opportunity to become an “Innovation Strategist” catches people’s attention. Since our initial posting for the role in Toronto, we’ve received over 120 resumes from dynamic, brilliant young individuals all interested in joining the Idea Couture team. From the outside looking in, innovation strategy sounds incredibly sexy (and it certainly looks good on a business card). But if you ask a typical applicant what exactly they think an innovation strategist does, what usually follows is blank stares, buzz words, or my favorite, “They strategize innovation”. None of those are good answers.

6 Startup Lessons From Designers At Pinterest, Fuseproject, And Behance In 2011, over 60 designers started the Designer Fund, to give angel funding, mentorship, and connections to designers creating businesses with positive social impact. We believe that designers should be part of the DNA of companies from the beginning and partner with business and technology cofounders to build great products, user experiences, and a culture of innovation for the long run. That core principle has informed our Designer Founders book series, which includes interviews with designers about the path they took to create tech startups.

A Year In Review: 11 Things I Learned From Freelancer to Agency Owner I’ve spent the last 10+ years freelancing and bouncing back through different agencies. While there were plenty of perks both working for yourself and in an agency atmosphere, It always felt like something was missing. From the first day I opened up Photoshop and built my first website at the age of 13, I knew what I wanted to do for a living. Service Design Amsterdam Customer Journey Lab Design Thinking How to improve the Customer Experience of your Brand? The Customer Journey LAB provides an environment where TRUE customer centric service innovation takes place involving relevant stakeholders using a 'design driven' approach. We offer our creative LAB sessions for identifying improvements and new opportunities. Our creative thinkers can help your company improve the customer experiences of your brand using tools like: Customer Journey Mapping, Persona's, Stakeholder & Value Network Mapping etc..

The Future of Design Education Design schools have built up an expectation that they can equip students to tackle complex problems through the power of creativity alone. They can’t. They don’t. Divide And Conquer: A Tale Of Two Startup Founders, Two Cities, And One Great Idea I’m fortunate to meet and work with a wide range of industrious and passionate founders of early-stage businesses, and I'm always fascinated to hear about new and unique challenges they face when starting a new business. I met the founders of Sneakz Organic about six months ago while working with one of our other early-stage ventures. I was inspired by their vision and the challenge of starting a business with the two founders based in different locations. How Volvo Changed the Way We Travel? ← GoFoolish A decade ago, buses were built on truck chassis and were more or less a by-product of trucks. Body builders bought chassis primarily from Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland . The difference between city and inter-city buses, normal or deluxe, was just a stylish paint job . But the game changed when Volvo , a Swedish company bid for a tender by the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) in 1998 showcasing its B10LE low-entry city bus which drew a lot of attention. And thats marks the start of totally new era for luxury buses. This low-entry coach prompted more weighty concerns: Were India’s roads ready for rear-engine buses, and What about 10 times more cost than a normal state transport bus?

Remote collaborative sketching, brainstorming and design studio techniques I’ve been facilitating design studios with collocated teams for years. Many, including me, have covered the benefits of collaboratively sketching new ideas and concepts with a cross-functional team. Recently though, I was tasked with bringing this exercise to a distributed team. With the product and user experience team in New York and the development team in Vancouver, it proved to be an interesting challenge. What follows is a play-by-play of how we set up the exercise and executed as well as an analysis of the successes and failures of this first attempt.

Introduction to Design Thinking By Gerd Waloszek, SAP AG, SAP User Experience – September 1, 2012 Design Thinking is one of the more recent buzz words in the design community. In this introductory article, I will investigate what Design Thinking is, what its main characteristics are, and take a look at the process and the methods associated with it. I will also take a brief look at the history of Design Thinking. In a future article, I might present real-world examples of Design Thinking as it is taught and practiced at different institutions, such as the in Stanford, California, the D-School at the Hasso-Plattner-Institut (HPI) in Potsdam, Germany, and companies like IDEO and Intuit.

Life After Kickstarter: 5 Costly Lessons From A Kickstarter-Backed Designer For Jon Fawcett, Kickstarter success came with an unusual soundtrack: an air horn. The din started on May 7, 2012, the day Fawcett and his colleagues at Fuse Chicken, a four-person design outfit in Akron, Ohio, launched their first Kickstarter campaign. They were trying to raise funding for Une Bobine, a product of Fawcett’s design that stuffed an iPhone charging cable inside a metal gooseneck, allowing it to double as a flexible docking station and makeshift tripod. It was a simple, clever idea, and the team set out with the modest goal of raising $9,800 to put it into production. In anticipation of their micro-windfall, the Fuse Chicken office prepared a ceremony of sorts.

How to make more as a freelancer Do what you love. That’s what the career counselors tell you when you are young. That is what your parents pretend to instill on you when you are born. What they forgot to mention is that very few people are doing what they love and making a ton of money from it. part of Evernote's Creative Series - Evernote Blog Today we’re kicking off Evernote’s Creative Series, a collection of posts about creative uses for Evernote and the creative people behind them. Recently, we learned that lots of people use Evernote to create mood boards, which got us thinking…what the heck’s a mood board? Luckily, Julie Gomoll was kind enough to explain and show off her process. When dealing with a client, how does one elicit the kind of presence they want to convey?

design studies forum › Rethinking Design Thinking: Part I This article originally appeared in Design and Culture, Volume 3, Number 3, November 2011 Abstract The term design thinking has gained considerable attention over the past decade in a wide range of organizations and contexts beyond the traditional preoccupations of designers. The main idea is that the ways professional designers problem solve is of value to firms trying to innovate and to societies trying to make change happen. This paper reviews the origins of the term design thinking in research on designers and its adoption by management educators and consultancies within a dynamic, global mediatized economy. Three main accounts are identified: design thinking as a cognitive style, as a general theory of design, and as a resource for organizations.

5 Rules For Crowdfunding Success From The Queen Of Multitasking Underwear (You Read That Right) Technology probably isn't the first thing most people think of when they think of underwear. Joanna Griffiths is not most people. While studying at INSEAD, one of the world's largest graduate business schools, Griffiths saw an opportunity to create a product that did more than the existing options on the market. "Thanks to technology, almost everything has evolved, everything but our underwear," she says. "We created a product truly designed with women's needs in mind: underwear that looks great, fits great, and has technology built in to eradicate odor and wick away and absorb moisture." Griffiths needed a way to fund her new venture, Knix Wear.