Katie Wray

Katie Wray

I am a Lecturer in Enterprise. I develop enterprise and entrepreneurship in the Science, Agriculture & Engineering Faculty at Newcastle University, UK.


Location Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Welcome Ricky!

  • Hi Helen,
    Well done for making it this far and for building an interesting summary to your idea. We would love to award you the People's Choice prize. Please email us at nclmoocs@ncl.ac.uk and we will be in touch about spending some time with you to support the development of your ideas! Well done! Best Wishes

  • I would add 'resilience' to your 'determination' I think the 2 come together.

  • The harder you work, the luckier you get Fran!

  • Your customer pains are the reasons why there is a need for your business, what did you notice which gave you confidence to start? Was it that there are not enough training companies offering this to serve the demand, was it that you had found a mechanism/process to connect people etc. You might also ask yourself how you have refined your offer based on more...

  • Great thoughts and links here Steve. It was during my podcast that I gave the provocation that procrastination is a call for change in us. Many of my students identify the problem that they can't get out of bed in the morning, and come up with ideas for alarm clocks that cannot be switched off without solving a maths challenge or other such task. I ask them if...

  • I am enjoying your comments Steve. I think the hardest part to actually do is 'identifying the right need'. I hope that this course emphasises that point, and invites learners to explore their interests until they find insight into a need that they just can't stop thinking about.

  • Welcome Steve!

  • Welcome to the course everyone. We are looking forward to working together to identify problems and insights, and thus seek opportunities to make change. Let's get started!

  • Hello W Wine, welcome to the course. You are already ideating in thinking about translating ideas from other countries to your own. I would add to your customised apparels idea that as well as it being different to others, it needs to be linked to demand. I hope you find some tools to help you find insights into demand throughout this course. Katie

  • I am intrigued about your secret business name Deborah, do let us know via Facebook when it is live and we can spread the word!

  • Beautiful glass work Ann-Kristin. I really like everything that people have added on the padlet, that works very well.

  • Elen, your blog is great! Perhaps you would consider sharing this on Twitter using the #FLEntShed? You have really considered the environment (shed) through your posts so far.

  • It will be great to hear your feedback once you have had a look around if you don't mind, given your experience, we would find it very useful. Please feel free to get in touch, you know where I am! :)

  • Katie Wray made a comment

    Thank you very much Angie, this is an excellent and reassuring summary which allows everyone in the shed to realise their progress so far.

  • Hi Elen, I use electronic sticky notes that are already on my computer. I am not sure how universal these are, but I find them very useful, keeping them there in the corner in case of any sparks and to-do items.

  • Great Peter!

  • Start with problems Aneeqa rather than ideas.

  • Better late than never Monique, enjoy the course :)

  • Hello, you are not too late, there is plenty going on! Now that you are registered, the course will remain open for you to work through it as thoroughly as you can. There are significant advantages to doing the course whilst it is live, as our mentors and the other participants are more active, and ready to give you feedback and insights into your ideas. All...

  • It will be great to see how your experience in the Shed works with your learning and development on your business innovation course, a potentially great combination!

  • Hi Dawn, keep looking deeper into the problems that you are passionate about, that is a great place to start. :)

  • Hi Derek, you'll catch up! The course remains open beyond it's 'live' dates. As you go through the course you will be challenged to 'reverse engineer' the ideas that you have and get back into the problem that you are looking to solve and how real the problem is, and crucially, the demand for what you want to do is. I think you will like the approach, to...

  • Insightful already Kevin!

  • I envy the way in which mechanical engineers' minds work. I hope you can use your natural ability for problem solving together with your experience and the framework of this course to find your opportunity Jhon.

  • An ambitious and impactful opportunity Zohra, all the best with finding how you can make a contribution within this challenge.

  • Hi Aneeqa, if you identify a problem, are able to undertake research through and beyond the course to validate the need, and can use what you learn to identify an opportunity that, when you talk with your target market, are interested in what you have to offer, then yes, give it your best. Good Luck!

  • Hi Derek, I hope this course delivers for you!

  • Welcome David!

  • Hi Deborah, 3.12 will invite you to share in our second peer review whether you have collected insights and drawn any conclusions about whether there is an opportunity within the problem/idea that you have been exploring so far. If you do this you will receive some feedback from peers on the course and/or our mentors. I hope you find it useful, Katie

  • Hi Teresa, we have collated all of the tools in the shed, and those that have been shared through the course runs so far. We will be sharing them with you later...it's becoming a great resource :)

  • Welcome Fiona, get stuck in!

  • Freddie, great feedback. The Value Proposition Canvas is available as Creative Commons, which also invites you to make and share additions and suggestions. Do you have any suggestions to improve it further to support your mapping?

  • Hi Deborah, it's so good to have people like Simon and our other mentors sharing their experience, and encouraging others to do so too, what you summise is incredibly valuable. See you in week 3!

  • Hi Elizabeth, have you posted about problems that you have identified that you would be interested to address? If you do, or if you use the Peer Review to write your thoughts in a more structured way then everyone in the shed can see if we can contribute some insights to help you make sense of the problem. I hope we can all work together to find the beginnings...

  • Creative Commons is wonderful Evelize, people make great tools and share them with us, then we use them and share them back again! I hope you find the tool useful :)

  • Thank you Bruce!

  • How do you feel about YouTube Su? I often head to YouTube for book synopses and reviews before committing to buy the full text. [probably not what I should be recommending as an academic, but i'm being entrepreneurial!]. Hopefully, you can use that to convince yourself, as these really are great books!

  • pains and gains :)

  • I like your thinking here Vyvyan. I work best under pressure, and come up with my better ideas at the busiest of times. Pareto's 80/20 law applies to many many things. Under this format, employees spend time doing interesting things, which are not their usual job and may spark ideas..so exactly as you do Kazzy.

  • Ha, I love this! :)

  • Hello again Alison, your comment made me smile. In some of the videos our guests tell us that they experienced this, and so now they give away as many ideas as possible, so that they get to see their new ideas happen! Deborah is right, if you are collecting insight and evidence that what you think is needed is needed (and that this is grounded in reality) then...

  • This sounds very interesting Emily. Yes, you could spend some time almost reverse engineering your ideas through the course to get back to the problem-phase. This will allow you to explore the insight that you have collected so far which demonstrates a need that is real, identifiable and most of all rewarding for you both. Good luck!

  • Hi Susan, there are some suggestions in the next step 1.6. Later in the course we will look at how to identify which of your ideas might present an 'opportunity'. I hope this course will help you to focus on the best of your ideas.

  • Hi Penelope, maybe you can explore your abilities to help people further through this course, refining what people are looking for that you can provide, and crucially which holds a value that you can evidence (not necessarily money of course). There are certainly a lot of people looking for help, and it sounds like your ability to cope with uncertainty needs...

  • Hi Clara (Teresa & Madhu), it sounds like you have developed knowledge and insight into the needs of a potential market. This course will help you to gain feedback and make sense of what you have learned over the 25 years to find where the opportunities lie. I look forward to seeing how you get on!

  • Welcome Freddie, we look forward to seeing how you get on!

  • Hello Siobhan and Louise. I hope you will find the tools, frameworks, approaches, and most of all the feedback from others valuable here to help you learn more about the ideas you have and to give you the confidence to take them forward. Katie

  • That sounds nicely ambitious Laia, I look forward to seeing how you progress through the course and beyond!

  • Good perspective Andrea, and hello Andrey. We hope you both enjoy exploring these areas further during the course.

  • Dear Alreyah, unfortunately the course is not currently in it's 'live' period (15th Feb - 13th March 2016), and therefore our mentors have finished their roles on this course. We have already completed the People's Choice Award coaching meetings, and therefore are unable to help you further at this time. Good luck with your ideas! Best Wishes, Katie

  • Thank you!

  • Hi Stephen, The course isn't going anywhere, so do pop back whenever you need to. The Peer Reviews may be less active when the course is not in its 'live' phase, but for those times, why not seek support from the Enterprise Shed group on Facebook? This is just the start...

  • Hi Dace and Sally, Victoria Mountford (our Mentor) has been 'following' many of the people that have indicated an interest in ShedHealth, so why not go to her profile from Step 1.4 and look at the comments from those she is following...you could even follow some of those people too. In addition, this week, there is a ShedHealth Padlet in step 4.6, there are a...

  • Lucky Linnea?...remember, the harder you work, the luckier you get! :)

  • Hi Georgia and Irene. Your comment reminded me of this article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/best-advice-listen-more-than-you-talk-richard-branson - you are most welcome in the Shed! All the best.

  • Hi Karen, I'm looking forward to seeing your progress either in the People's Choice Award step or next week when we will use Padlets to find a visual way to illustrate your ideas. We like the DIY toolkit too. We will be providing a list of ALL of the links, as well as those that participants and mentors have shared at the end of the course, and via social...

  • Hi Charmaine, you are speeding ahead! I like your idea. There is a real trend now to make these type of gifts fit through the letterbox to avoid the problem of needing to be in when the post is delivered. Keep thinking about the market need and how you could add value over other competitors. All the best.

  • I love that you are doing this with your children Justin! such creative and inquisitive minds!

  • You've got to look outside the box, and maybe even break the rules Ted!

  • Hi Deepak, Did you watch the short video in the links section?
    Can you think about all of the things that your potential customers 'do' or 'experience' (called 'jobs' in the VPC)
    Then can you think of all of the things that they find hard, or dislike in doing these 'jobs' (called 'pains' in the VPC)
    Lastly, can you think of things that your customers like,...

  • Hi Karen, I don't know of a way either. You can use the little question mark link in the bottom right of your page to ask a question of FutureLearn. Some people have been 're-posting' their ideas here to get the conversation going on the discussion boards (if you want to) or, as you have done, looking out for the person who gave them feedback and continuing to...

  • Hi Safaa, it is great that you have been able to survey your consumers opinions. Have you used some of the tips that Rob Fitzpatrick suggests in his book 'The Mom Test' (step 1.16) to collect 'insights' that support what your consumers have said?
    You are welcome to share your ideas again, and get more feedback, or share them in the discussions, so that other...

  • Hi Lars, I echo what others have said here. This is fantastic progress! One of the things we don't really get to see is how participants are documenting and building their ideas outside of the comments on the course, so this really help us to visually see that you are grasping the tools and making them work for you. Great!

    For those that are using Lars'...

  • Hi Tracey. Tony has pointed to some good approaches to help you.
    I see you are interested in developing a new food range. As you already have an idea, you might be beyond this phase with your own research, but, this part of the course invites you to 'check in' with the reality of how people behave and what people want as buyers/consumers in the food market...

  • Hi Adam, you are interested in a business in the sports industry. Can you identify where the opportunities might be in this industry by considering what people 'do' in or through sports (jobs), what people need/dislike/don't currently have access to (pains), and what people want/like (gains)? By 'staying in the problem identification phase' you have more...

  • Hi Steve, I recently went to the US, and over there, they don't really have sheds as we Brits know them. For me there is something very special about a shed, but perhaps we should launch mark II....The Enterprise Garage! It doesn't lend to as many Shed puns though!

  • I used to make rose petal perfume in the garden too Rose....although I don't ever remember it smelling very nice! I didn't sell mine...I reserved my sales pitch for junk I was throwing out or reselling sweets I had bought at the local shop. Mostly it was my parents who bought the items, as not many people lived near us to buy from my 'stall'. Those were the days!

  • Yes Jainaba, our friends at other UK Univeristies have created some great courses which will support the 'business' side of what you are developing, and here, we hope we can develop your own approach, and to validate your ideas. Let us know how you get on.

  • Hello again Alina, let's see where you can get to by the end of the course, and how this growing Shed community can support you long after the course has finished.

  • Hi Daniel, it's amazing, and scary, all at the same time, isn't it!

  • All the best Shelton.

  • Thank you, Davide

  • Nice to read you too Kim!

  • Great Jaci and Sally, I look forward to seeing your thoughts develop even further next week. Best wishes, Katie

  • Hello Khant, I think you have taken from this week what is intended. You will see in step 2.4 'The Origin of the Enterprise Shed' next week, that what we wanted to create was a PLACE where people could meet others, and draw on tools to collaborate and share thoughts and ideas. I hope you reach your objectives later into the course. All the best.

  • Happy Birthday Olivia!

  • I really like that Charles!

  • Hi Alina, I think this is a sensible approach, and I look forward to hearing what others think. For creatives, 'copyright' plays an important role in protecting your work, and is an automatic right (you don't have to register it, just be able prove it is yours). See the next step on IP. If you don't find what you're looking for, comment again and one of us, or...

  • Sounds like my kind of cocktail Kila! Welcome to the course.

  • Best of luck Colleen!

  • Thank you Ashraf, good luck with your ideas!

  • Hi Shirley, We are still interested in hearing from you regarding your People's Choice Award. Please could you emails us on nclmoocs@ncl.ac.uk asap. Thanks, Katie.

  • I have deleted the others but left one sunflower Vera. I had been looking at the map and had noticed the sunflowers - I must work out how to use different icons, because they were a fantastic contribution! All the best.

  • Hi George, you could add "Agile Greece", "Athens AngularJS", "Athens Laravel", "Athens Lean Startups", and "The Cube Athens" groups to the ZeeMap for others to find?

  • Hi Vera, can you let me know where they are and we can delete them for you? Thanks.

  • Hi Richard, I am just sorting the downloaded links, which I hope to complete next week, so you should expect an email w/c 18th May 2015 via Futurelearn. Best Wishes, Katie

  • Hi Shirley, Congratulations on getting so much support for your idea! You are the third recipient of the People’s Choice Award! Please email us on nclmoocs@ncl.ac.uk by 23:59 UK time on 10th May 2015 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Hi Doug, Congratulations on getting so much support for your idea! You are the second recipient of the People’s Choice Award! Please email us on nclmoocs@ncl.ac.uk by 23:59 UK time on 10th May 2015 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Hi Michelle, Congratulations on getting so much support for your idea! You are the first recipient of the People’s Choice Award! Please email us on nclmoocs@ncl.ac.uk by 23:59 UK time on 10th May 2015 for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Hi Richard, did you manage to find some peers to join your Mature Shedders Club? Best wishes for your recent birthday! Do let us know which new networks you have identified and what you hope to gain from them? All the best.

  • Hi Daniel, because I have enjoyed so much your approach, and we didn't get a chance to ask this question at the panel, I sent your link to Charlie Wainwright and here is his response:

    In response to how do you maintain interest in a new idea … it depends upon your motivation in developing ideas in the first instance.

    Do you simply enjoy being creative?...

  • Hi Charity, I have always found this link fun, and it could spark some other ideas...http://www.thefuntheory.com/

  • Have you seen our Innovation Panel in step 4.1 Ahmed? The advice there is do as much as you can without money first, and then once you have built value, the route to the money, should become clearer. Good luck.

  • Hi Ben, I would be interested to hear what you suggested that they do to start and maintain a network? As you will see, we have tried a few things here and it is always useful to know what works, and what could be improved. There is certainly a global 'talent matching' opportunity out there for people with ideas, and people interested in supporting ideas, and...

  • Hi Lorna, I hope you have a positive experience in the Shed!

  • We have been thinking about how participants could use LinkedIn to connect with each other. I think the challenge with whether you have time to use a tool like that fully depends on how useful it is, and what outcomes you get from it. We will be sharing some ideas in some post-course emails, so do look out for those ideas, and let us know how you get on.

  • Hi Vera, the tools on the course are not focused on 'product' based business ideas, but service and social enterprises too. I challenge my students to 'prototype' regardless of what their idea is, and often the way that they do that is by drawing a flow-chart of how a user would engage, and what would be required at each stage of their engagement. You could...

  • It is a good idea to add social media contacts/websites to your profile so that people can connect with you to build discussions started here. The feedback written here is valuable, particularly as one of our key challenges is how to facilitate interaction. We hope to run the course again in the future, and we have learnt a lot from this time around (which is...

  • Do you keep a note of these ideas Ruud? I think you will find the SCAMPER tool useful in this section of the course, it is great to build on your own and other people's ideas.