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Design Sprints for Scale-Ups

Leah Oliveira, Co-Founder AdaptiveX
Kate Tomen, MMIE 2019 Candidate

Companies – no matter the size or stage – are under increasing pressure to be more “innovative,” and to solve problems sooner and more effectively. Companies in scale-up mode face a unique set of challenges, especially as they begin to outgrow the systems, structures and processes that worked well when in their “start-up” phase. The growing pains of scale-ups are tough, and gathering data and information from real stakeholders to make better business decisions is often hard to do.

As a tool, the Design Sprint offers organizations an effective and transformative formula for exploring ideas and testing solutions with real people - fast. The Design Sprint condenses an otherwise lengthy, expensive, and uncertain process into five structured days, producing a tested, high-fidelity prototype that offers clarity and confidence in the solution direction. It provides a structured execution process that combines the best of design thinking, lean start-up and agile.

Design Sprints for Scale-Ups is an interactive, hands-on workshop that takes participants through a fast-paced, modified version of the design sprint called a “Rapid Decision Making Sprint.” Rapid Decision-Making Sprints leverage the same principles as the original Design Sprint process but use adapted activities that provide a clear decision-making process that replaces unstructured and unfocused discussions, meetings, and traditional brainstorms. The workshop introduces participants to the principles of the sprint process and its relationship to design thinking, while offering the opportunity to experience some of the key activities that make it such a powerful problem-solving tool.

Participants will leave the session with a solid understanding of the power of design sprints, and the ability to use a Rapid Decision Making Sprint to run purposeful meetings that result in a real action plan.



Movers and Shakers

Leah Oliveira

Co-Founder & CMO, AdaptiveX

A 16-year communication and engagement professional, Leah has always been an intrapreneur dedicated to helping organizations build meaningful engagement opportunities, collaborative cultures, and environments that facilitate growth.

Having worked in the public, private and non-profit sectors, Leah's covered a lot of ground! Some of her broad experience includes leading innovation and change management, marketing communications, government relations, recruitment/engagement, fundraising and brand management. She's worked in a variety of fields, including consumer, international economic development, and post-secondary education.

A self-identified learning addict, in addition to her BA in English Literature & Critical Theory, Leah holds multiple post-graduate, Graduate and professional certificates (we won't bore you with those details - check out her LinkedIn for that). She's currently completing a Master in Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business (Queen's University).

Kate Tomen

Smith School of Business MMIE 2019

Kate has recently completed her Master of Movement in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, where she focused on closing the funding gap for women and minority-led ventures. She’s worked with Angel Investors Ontario on diversity driven projects and with Dream Maker Ventures, Canada’s first diversity-focused fund. She was the project manager for the Angels + Refugee joint program between Angel Investors Ontario and Refugee Jumpstart Talent, and hosted 5 Syrian Refugee for two days of workshops and a pitch competition. Prior to starting at Queens, Kate worked at the University of Windsor directing strategy for non-degree and certification based programing to help bridge the gap between school and employment for students.  She is passionate about sharing her love of learning and entrepreneurship with the next generation though Junior Achievement and various other workshops.