Dipperfox, the company behind a stump planer used as an accessory on excavators, has won the top prize of 10,000 euros in Enterprise Estonia’s ‘Design Masterclass’ product development programme.
The programme gives companies the competence they need to understand the market and consumers, to manage their resources and to develop products independently in the future, including rapid testing and prototyping. In the final of the masterclass competition held on Tuesday, the companies participating in the programme presented their development ideas and prototypes to a panel consisting of Yrjö Ojasaar, Otto Pukk, Hannes Seeberg, Martin Goroško and Aigi Kukk. Dipperfox took the 10,000-euro prize for further design development and also proved the favourite of the public.
During the programme, Dipperfox developed an innovative stump planer that can remove stumps in just 20 seconds and drill to a depth of one metre, enabling a new tree to be planted in its place immediately. “Without the masterclass, there’s no way we would have come this far in such a short time,” said head of Dipperfox Jaana Külm. “Our team has grown and learned a lot, and we’ve gotten to know and understand the users of our product. Thanks to their feedback, we worked out what we needed to improve regarding the stump planer. We developed the finished product from the prototype – a planer with interchangeable cutting blades.” Külm added that in order to further develop the Dipperfox brand, the company would have to continue with innovative product development. “We already have some ideas, like developing a horizontal drill for underground pipes and culverts,” she revealed.
According to Aigi Kukk, a project manager for product development and design with Enterprise Estonia, the panel was unanimous regarding the winner. “As part of the programme, Dipperfox developed an innovative product with real competitive advantages to it,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to see them reach where they are today through strategic design thinking, keeping in close contact with the client throughout the product development process.”
Kukk says the programme has helped companies get closer to their clients, the prototypes created and tested in cooperation with whom are helping them arrive at better products and services one step at a time. "With the design masterclass, we want to provide companies with the knowledge and practical tools they need to use strategic design in product development, which in turn will give them the competence they need to understand the market and consumers and to develop products independently in the future,” she said. “Plus the entire journey’s an extraordinary opportunity to make the most of the help of professional design managers and experts in the development of a new product or service.”
The programme is run by highly experienced instructors Kaarel Mikkin and Jane Oblikas and 15 leading design managers (Janno Siimar, J. Margus Klaar, Sven Sõrmus, Mihkel Masso, Alari Orav and many others.) In addition, each day of training involves practitioners who share their experience of product development and design implementation in their companies, such as Cleveron, Reet Aus and Bolt.
The aim of the masterclass is for design thinking to take root in companies and to boost their ability to use strategic design, primarily through the implementation of design-led product development processes. By the end of the programme, a company arrives at a new product or service design, i.e. a prototype is completed, and a new or significantly improved product or service design is then launched within a year.
The next masterclass will start this autumn and run through to spring next year.
BDA Consulting, Brand Manual and Design Minds are contributing to the implementation of the ‘Design Master Class’ programme, which was created by Enterprise Estonia.
The project is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.