How to come up with an idea – the FICS way

Curiosity and creativity are two innate human traits. We think of brand-new ideas every day when we are trying to sleep at 2 am or while staring out of the car during the morning commute.

Thinking of an idea is not that difficult, the hardest part is bringing that abstract thought to reality. And that is exactly what FICS is here for! Submit your idea and FICS will provide you with the tools to make it a socially viable solution! But don’t worry if you are stuck in the brainstorming process, that is what we are here for!

How to fashion an innovative solution?

Feeling this way? Read up!

Form a diverse team

Good ideas are common – what’s uncommon are people who will work hard enough to bring them about. To brainstorm and implement a solution, you will need a team of talented individuals! So, look around for people who share your enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, and be brave to approach people outside your comfort zone. Your teammate could be anyone from your best friend to that guy from another batch you occasionally talk to. Remember, a diverse team can bring different ideas and perspectives to the table.

Identify a problem

Humans have always strived for innovation because we never settle for anything below perfect. There is always room for improvement, always another problem to be solved. However, if you feel overwhelmed or confused by the brainstorming process, just follow this step-by-step process, and identify the problem you want to solve!

Contemplate problems faced by society and categorize them. You can use the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a framework to follow. The problems could be related to anything, from providing affordable energy to developing sustainable infrastructure. Think of as many problems as you can in multiple domains. Once you get warmed up, you will notice that the list is never-ending, so let’s narrow it down!

As much as you want, you cannot solve every issue in the world! So, narrow down your list to problems that relate to your degree or your area of expertise. Moreover, filter down problems that have the most impact on your community! The greater the audience afflicted by an issue, the more potential your solution will have to become a successful business! Use these guidelines to settle upon a few problems that have the potential to be solved.

Create a solution

Once you have your problem that needs to be solved, research about its dynamics. Why does this problem exist? How are people affected by it? Then, brainstorm all possible solutions to the problem. Remember, no idea is trivial or trifling!

Once you have a list of solutions, no matter how inconsequential, filter down those that are practical and implementable (Keep in mind that you can solve the energy crisis by a fusion reactor, but if it cannot be built practically, it is of no use to the society.) Finally, when you are down to a handful of solutions, go with the one that can be commercialized and easily adopted by the common man.

Before you start the application process, finalize the specifications of your novel solution, be it technical or economical. Brainstorming is an iterative process, so if you don’t feel satisfied with your idea, feel free to go back and start again. Success comes to those who invest their time and effort, so don’t get disheartened easily!

Yes, do think this much!

Bring your idea to reality!

Find a faculty sponsor:

You will need a faculty sponsor for your idea who will act as a mentor for your team throughout the duration of FICS. He/she will not only help you out with your project but also ensure that it meets all evaluation requirements. You can reach out to your department’s point of contact for further info. Once you have finalized your faculty sponsor, pitch your idea to them. They will have valuable insight and feedback about it, which you can use to improve upon your project!

Finalize the deets of your idea:

Before you start the application process, check out the evaluation criteria for Stage 1! Make sure that your problem is socially relevant, and your solution is creative and practical. Research about any local or international competition of your project. How is your idea different and better than theirs?

To put it simply, what is your unique value proposition? Can it be easily commercialized in Pakistan? Remember to keep your faculty sponsor in the loop.

         Once you have the answers to these questions, it is time to rack your brain and get to work! Finalize the ins and outs of your project with your team. Specify the details of your solution, be it technical or economical.

How is the product going to interact with its user? What will be its cost price? How will you measure your service’s impact on society? What will be your target audience and how will you attract them? You will have to make sure your project works, theoretically AND practically. These are all questions you will be grilled upon during your evaluation, so make sure to nail ’em down!

Register for FICS!

Now for the easy part! Head on over to our website and register! Stage 1 only requires a basic synopsis of your idea, not an actual prototype. So even if you do not have the exact technical aspects of your solution finalized yet, don’t worry! If you have any queries, read the FAQs. Best of luck with your submission!

By Nouman Aqil
Executive Publications FICS’21

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