Ezgi Ezdar Onur
UX Design Manager

DesignX Startup Accelerator

2 Months Startup Accelerator based on Design Thinking Methods


DesignX is a 2 months accelerator program. In the program organized by Izmir University of Economics Technology Transfer Office, which aims to create creative products and services with technology and design cooperation, entrepreneurs work together to develop their business ideas using the design thinking methodology.

Throughout the process, entrepreneurs present their business ideas with field research, training with workshops, mentoring, prototype production at IUE Design Workshop, and a demo day attended by investors at the end of the program.


  • Understanding and empathizing with customer and user needs

  • Interdisciplinary teamwork

  • Finding and developing creative product/service ideas

  • Prototyping skills

  • Commercialization of innovative products

The Process

Introduction to Entrepreneurship

On the first day of DesignX, the basics of entrepreneurship are explained, then teams are formed through a speed networking event with the participants and brainstorming is done to develop a business idea.

Techniques for validating the business ideas of entrepreneurs and creating a business model canvas are explained.


  • Team Building,

  • Speed Networking,

  • Brainstorming

  • Lean Business Canvas

DesignX Startup Accelerator


Design Thinking techniques are explained and preparations are made for customer meetings.

Then, one-on-one interviews are conducted with customers and users and observation techniques are applied.


  • Customer interview questions

  • User observation

  • One-on-one interview

DesignX Startup Accelerator

Persona of "Flux Braille" Team



Personas are created after the teams' research presentations.

As a result of research and analysis, a detailed definition of the problem is made.


  • Persona

  • Roleplaying,

  • Mindmap,

  • Insight Statements

DesignX Startup Accelerator

Example: Concept Generation Matrix & Mind Map

Ideation & Prototyping

The features of the product to be developed as a result of the business idea are studied.

The product idea and needs analysis and methods for developing a solution for the right problem are conveyed.

The design of the product to be produced as a result of the business idea is developed.

Teams use university workshops to develop working prototypes of their products.


  • Concept Generation Matrix,

  • User Scenario,

  • Brain Sketching,

  • 3D Mock Up,

  • Paper Prototyping

DesignX Startup Accelerator

Startup Teams proudly present their mock-ups. :)

Business Modeling

Entrepreneurs who have developed a business idea and business model are informed about the business plan and financial management.

It is informed about how to create a scalable enterprise and how to manage growth.

DesignX Startup Accelerator

DesignX Demoday


Practical training is made on the preparation of investor presentation, body language and demo day.

Teams present their business ideas and prototypes to investors.


  • User and Customer Research

  • Business Ideation and Development

  • Prototype Production (IUE Design Workshop)

  • Business Model Development

  • Business Plan Development

  • Demo Day

The main outcome is: Sustainable and innovative startups

Seasons (2018&2019)
Months Program