Undercover at Two Feet: Intent

Welcome to the first instalment of Undercover at Two Feet, where we’ll be covering each Two Feet topic as they unfold. From Intent, to Funding and Pitching, to Team and Governance, our Two Feeters are covering a lot of ground this year, and we want to take you inside.

Last week was Week 1 of Two Feet topic 2: Intent, read on to go inside the session and find out what happened..

Date: May 17 2017

Location: Melbourne

Facilitator: Bessi

Session: Intent

Vibe: experimental, deep, slightly cheeky with a sprinkle of sass

Lunch: Pretty gourmet sandwiches served on fancy bread boards and arranged superbly (kudos Bis)

Playlist: we got a taste of Bessi’s experimental streak with a mixture of refreshing old school, Mumford and Sons-esque energy lifters, Portuguese Fado to take us deep into our souls, and corny pop to bring us back to reality.

"I'm allowed to talk about the big, fuzzy vision??"

— Quote of the Day

Key Takeaways: Intent taps into a higher level drive towards that ‘thing’ you want to be part of creating. It starts with an internal search for meaning that resonates with the entrepreneur and organisation first and foremost and anchors you to what is important.

Key Attendants: A saucy mix of international development gurus, local and indigenous food advocates, a housing organisation calling out the lack of integration in housing, a dollop of true mission-driven storytelling brilliance topped with a sprinkle of legal advisory that actually wants to transform our current system.

Key Moments: Hearing and sharing stories of when we had all taken a particular value too far and using this as a measure of truly core values; people thinking that they were ‘crystal clear’ on intent but in some instance being most challenged about their intent.


Introducing 2017's Sydney & Brisbane Two Feeters!

Sydney

Brisbane


Introducing 2017's Melbourne Two Feeters!

Melbourne Cohort 1

Melbourne Cohort 2


A Two Feet Retrospective: m-Time

In the lead up to Two Feet 2017, we want to look back on some of the incredible work our alumni are doing.


This week, we look to m-Time, an enterprise run by Dr Yan Ting Choong and Sarah Agboola out of Melbourne. Yan came up with the idea for m-Time after reflecting on a custom in Chinese culture. After a woman gives birth, a nanny is sent to her home to support the new mother emotionally and physically through the child’s first month. This gives the new mother the space and time to recover from birth and to focus on bonding with her child.

Sarah came on board when she realised her social engineering and digital community skills could help to create a shift in the mindset of new parents toward normalising accepting help.

Through further research, Yan and Sarah discovered that new mothers with adequate support form better bonds with their babies and have higher sense of self-worth. When mothers take regular time for self-care, they are likely to be happier. Yan reasoned that if having dedicated time for self-care helped new mothers in other countries, it should also be a norm in western cultures.

Last year, the duo were part of our Melbourne Two Feet cohort. We chatted to them about how m-Time is going and what’s coming up for the enterprise this year.


"It shouldn’t be considered taboo to admit that it’s hard or that sometimes you need help. Instead, we’d like to see a new narrative about the importance of parents taking care of themselves physically and mentally".

- Sarah Agboola (L) and Dr Tan Ting Choong (R), co-Founders of m-Time

Hi Sarah and Yan! Why did you start m-Time?

m-Time came to life through a desire to support transitions into parenthood. After a series of interviews and product testing with parents of all backgrounds, we quickly determined that working parents of both genders desired more time to bond with their children, and have more time for self-care.This insight shaped m-Time as it stands today and led to the development of our signature Mumcierges, all-in-one personal assistants for parents.

Where was m-Time in its growth before taking part in Two Feet?

When we started Two Feet we had done one round of testing based on our original model (baby shower gift packages). Through the workshops on Theory of Change at Two Feet, we were able to understand what type of complementary activities and services we needed to offer in order to help parents on a long term basis rather than as one off “treats”.

Why did you decide to take part in Two Feet?

We were blown away by the mentors. We had originally come to TDi to get some general advice on social enterprise but after only a 30 minute conversation, we walked out feeling energised about how big m-Time could be, and how much we could help change cultural attitudes about parenting.

What did you learn, and how are you applying those skills or lessons to your business today?
The biggest takeaways for us were the learnings on the theory of change and social impact measurement. These tools have helped us keep our social values in check while we work toward creating a commercially viable business.

What would you say to a start-up considering Two Feet?

Take the workshops seriously and make actionable plans for how you’ll use the tools you’ve been provided. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information being thrown at you but if you take the time to write what actions you want to take after each workshop, it’ll be easier to keep track.

What do you hope to achieve with m-Time in 2017?

By the end of 2017 we hope to be providing Mumcierge services to parents all over Melbourne and be preparing for an expansion to Sydney and Brisbane.


A Two Feet Retrospective: Spare Harvest

In the lead up to Two Feet 2017, we want to look back on some of the incredible work our alumni are doing.


This week, we look to Spare Harvest, an enterprise run by Helen Andrew out of Queensland. When Helen and her family moved to the Sunshine Coast, they moved to a property that had many established fruit trees. As the fruit came into season, the trees produced more than Helen could consume and share with her family and friends.  She finished the season by burying what she couldn’t share into the ground.

With global food wastage at an all time high, throwing away this produce made Helen uncomfortable, but it inspired her to start Spare Harvest. The online marketplace allows people to post their excess produce that can be bought, swapped or simply shared. We love the enterprise’s roots (pun intended), philosophy and mission.

Last year, Helen took part in our Two Feet program in Brisbane. We spoke to her about her experience with the program and how Spare Harvest has grown.


"Burying that fresh food left me with an uneasy feeling and motivated me to find a way to share what I had spare with people in my community that I didn’t know and who didn’t have access to their own produce"

— Helen Andrew, Spare Harvest founder

Hi Helen! Tell us, what impact do you want to have in the community with Spare Harvest?

Spare Harvest impacts the community in two ways.  It creates stronger community engagement by facilitating new connections;  members of Spare Harvest are meeting new like-minded people in their local community. We also are having a positive impact on the environment.  Through these new connections, we are reducing our waste, our carbon footprint, consumption and diverting valuable resources away from landfill.

Where was Spare Harvest at in its growth before you took part in Two Feet?

Spare Harvest was right at the beginning of its journey.  The sharing platform had only been live for a couple of months prior to starting the Two Feet program.

Why did you decide to take part in Two Feet?

I made the decision to take part in the program to gain valuable skills that would support the growth of Spare Harvest.  I only finished high school and the program was my undergraduate and post graduate education.

"What the Two Feet Program provides that other programs don’t is that they help you better understand your 'why' – your intent".

- Helen, Spare Harvest

What did you learn, and how are you applying those skills or lessons to your business today?

The program provided me a clear overview of what was needed to work on and grow my business.  Although I had previously developed skills in certain areas, there were gaps that Two Feet filled in.  At the conclusion of the program I had a better understanding of what my business was and what I needed to do to move forward.  I also had an amazing opportunity to meet other like-minded people that have supported the growth of Spare Harvest.

What would you say to a start-up considering Two Feet?

No matter how much you know, there is always something to learn.  What the Two Feet Program provides that other programs don’t is that they help you better understand your ‘why’ – your intent.  Your why then provides the foundation for everything else you do.  Your why is why your business will succeed!

What do you hope to achieve with Spare Harvest in 2017?

The focus for Spare Harvest in 2017 is to grow into a thriving community that is connecting and sharing.  2016 was about understanding the business and establishing it’s foundations.  To help Spare Harvest grow, 2017 will be spent communicating our why to our target markets and getting the word out that Spare Harvest is a valuable tool in the fight to reduce waste.


Meet: Youthworx

Youthworx joined the Two Feet program as a well-established business with almost a decade behind them. Despite already having many successes, the enterprise was ready to re-jig it’s business model to ensure long-term sustainability.

Manager Jon Staley says, “It is very tough and at times lonely building an enterprise from scratch and sometimes you need to stand back and re-connect with the bigger picture of why you are doing it and also find new tools to move forward.”

"TDi is great at fostering collaborations and connecting individuals and organisations that can benefit from working together"

- Jon Staley, Youthworx

Two Feet was an opportunity for Youthworx to step back, find new tools, connect with other tackling similar questions and reconnect with the big picture.

The program contributed to the Youthworx team re-modelling their business infrastructure to create some new roles and re-shape their existing roles. Jon says, “I anticipate that this will help us grow significantly over the next three to five years”.

“From the moment I heard about it I Ioved the whole approach of TDI and the Two Feet Program... I love the mantra of doing good and making money and the philosophy that it’s ok to do both”

- Jon Staley

Youthworx is an enterprise based in Melbourne that trains and employs young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness in creative and commercial film and radio production. The enterprise are providing highly engaging training as well as meaningful employment opportunities, creating sustainable career paths for the young people in their programs.

Two Feet is an accelerator for businesses at all stages of development, Jon found that the program helped to keep him hungry, engaged and connected with his business, and asking the right questions.


If you think Two Feet could be for you, email info@tdi.org.au