The Karmic Cold Pressed Juice team snap up third place on Day 4 of the COSBOA Innovation Games

May 02, 2019
By Kim Fernandes

The COSBOA Innovation Games (Victoria) 2018/19 are a series of 5 one-day innovative challenges - developed by Paddl Co. and sponsored by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) and the Victorian Government as innovative applicant assessment experiences. By participating, Challengers develop workplace experience, and local businesses have the opportunity to develop IP tailored for their business. Each day is additionally sponsored by a major corporate who sets the overall theme for the day and engages their employees to participate on the innovation teams. Day 4 of the Games was sponsored by GrowthOps, a growth services partner. The event was held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) on March 13th and had almost 80 Challengers working alongside 11 local businesses, representatives from 9 corporate sponsors, 30 GrowthOps mentors and 12 Paddl Crew. GrowthOps, as the host sponsor, set forth the Challenge Theme for the day - surfacing high-impact growth solutions for your business’. All the solutions developed would have to centre their innovations around this core theme!

Karmic Cold Pressed Juice was one of the 11 small to medium businesses who participated in the GrowthOps Games and their team was successful enough to snatch up a third place win for the day. Established in 2013, by Sam de Bruin and his partner, who have been personally making cold pressed juice since 2005, passion and expertise enabled them to create and produce the world-class cleanse programs they sell on their site. Karmic was nominated for the day by Master Grocers Australia (MGA), who are the national industry association for independent shopping retailers across Australia.

Mixing the Perfect Team

The Paddl Games creates quite a buzz amongst the Paddl community and beyond due to the nature of this unique experience in helping emerging talent gain workplace experience and expand their professional network (we were nominated as a 2019 finalist for the Trendsetter Award in education technology by EdTech!) Candidates come from far and wide to participate in the event - from new users who find out about the opportunity through their educational institutions and other marketing channels, as well as the existing Paddl Community of 13,000 + users who receive email updates or follow Paddl on social media. Applications are submitted through the Paddl platform, and are competitively selected to form multidisciplinary teams based on their area of study, level of experience and quality of application and interview.

The Karmic team, who named themselves ‘The Zen Masters’, had a diverse mix of members - a GrowthOps Partner, Armin Kroll, and Portfolio Director, Josh Dickerson, who acted as team mentors, two of Karmic business owners, Sam and Will de Bruin, Jos de Bruin, CEO of Master Grocers Association, and eight Challengers from various educational institutions including - Deakin University, General Assembly, RMIT and The University of Melbourne. A professional Paddl Facilitator ensured the team was working together well and moving along towards an outcome for the end of the day’s presentation.

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The Innovation Kicks Off

Challenge Day is always an exciting day to be a part of - there is a buzz in the room right as the doors open and teams start to gather at their tables! The day itself is broken up into three 2-hour sprints, that follow design thinking methodology to help the development of innovative outcomes and ensure the teams stayed on track and complete the challenge on time.

Sprint 1 focused on ‘Problem Framing and Ideation’. This is where the Zen Masters began to understand the inner workings of the business, and the problems they were facing. Building on some of the conversations had before game day, The Karmic team settled on a problem statement that focused on growth, in line with the days theme - how they might increase sales through the education of Karmic customers. The crux of the problem here was that Karmic intended the cleanses as client-curated, but found their clients often did not understand why or what the true health benefits were short-term and long-term. Bringing in an education component would help develop further understanding, as well as open doors to a more sustainable and long-term relationship with the customer.

The second sprint, ‘Concept Design and Development’ involved the team designing a solution to the business problem they identified. It was all hands on deck here to understand the real opportunities open to Karmic and centre a solution around these. The Zen Masters effectively categorised the main business opportunities into four categories of focus: market, production, technology and customer service. Having identified the areas in which to exploit a solution from, the team started to form what would be an all-encompassing idea - automating the on-boarding of customers through a ‘Karmic Concierge’, which involves a tailored buying and educational experience for the user.

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The last sprint, ‘Storytelling and Tuning’ involved the team banding together to create a compelling pitch of the concept they developed. Limited by a 5-minute window, and the fact they introduced an education component pre-purchase, the Zen Masters decided to mockup what this experience would be like! Utilising their creative team members, they developed a short pitch deck with the actual click-through experience, and listed clear benefits of a program such as this.

The Results

The Karmic Team’s presentation was interactive, clear and addressed the major points of the judging criteria - focusing on a growth solution, potential of implementation, effectiveness in market and creativity. The Zen Masters were awarded third place, for addressing Karmic’s original issue of heavy front end of customer education by automating the on-boarding of customers online. Having a big team paid off - they were happy with the results after a big day of innovating! Sam De Bruin, CEO of Karmic, was also very pleased with the solution and has taken advantage of his third place prize of a strategy session with GrowthOps to begin implementation of the Karmic Concierge!

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The Feedback

“This was my first Paddl Games and I really loved it! The challenge was not easy, but at the same time very fun and engaging. The guidance from the Alumni, all the Mentors and Facilitators really pushed me out of my comfort zone. Can't wait for the next one!” - Evelyne Setiono, Master of Engineering (Civil), The University of Melbourne

“I loved networking and collaborating with new people from various industries. Paddl Games are a great setup!” - Daisy Tsen, User Experience Design Immersive, General Assembly

“The highlight for me was seeing our team suddenly think in unison and focus on the same solution during the last sprint after so much discussion! I think that willingness to be a team player is really amazing and it’s what helped us be successful.” - Anthony Luu, Bachelor of Communication Design, RMIT

“I really liked how this was organised as a one-day event commitment, the event went really well due to the support from everyone - the Paddl Alumni, GrowthOps Mentors and Facilitators!” - Min Nanda Oo, Bachelor of Commerce, Deakin University

“It was professionally run with a high level of engagement from the students. The solution was already something I was interested in implementing, and the other ideas from the team about improving the website were very helpful too.” - Sam de Bruin, Business Owner, Karmic Cold Pressed Juice

Now it’s your turn

Paddl Co. takes pride in the positive experiences everyone walks away with from the Paddl Games - from emerging talent to business owners to sponsor participants. The next instalment of the COSBOA Innovation Games is here - Day 5 is sponsored by EnergyAustralia and will be held on May 15th at MSAC - applications are now open! If you are a small business interested in participating, please reach out to caitlin@paddl.co for further information.