Hacking 4 Ministry of Defence
- Product Lead & Cofounder, Ox Intel
To be honest, I knew very little about the programme when I first signed up for it, but from its high-level description, I could tell it was a more intensive, practical, and hands-on experience in line with what I was looking for to balance out my other, more traditional academic modules. The opportunity to work directly with stakeholders from the Ministry of Defence on practical problems was an enormous selling point.
H4MoD definitely fulfilled my desire for more practical engagement with the subject of my degree: intelligence and international security. I came to King’s with a background in intelligence production from the private sector, so was excited to simultaneously apply what I was learning in the course of my Master’s to intelligence-related problems relevant to the public sector.
Ironically, I was more familiar with the Defence problem we were assigned than lean startup methodology, so H4MoD was an excellent crash-course in both learning and applying the methodology in a practical context. Beyond getting to connect with and learn from our excellent problem sponsor at RAF and all of the analysts, decision-makers, and experts who were kind enough to speak with us throughout our H4MoD journey, the weekly presentation was a great opportunity to hone presentation skills under the pressure of rapid-fire questioning.
Our journey to finding a solution -- one that is ongoing -- is the product of a series of a-ha moments that come directly from speaking to potential users, customers, and beneficiaries. Our decision to continue developing our solution as a startup was due to our desire to continue and expand the discovery process we began in H4MoD, encouraged by the enthusiasm we received from prospective users and advisors, and their belief in Ox’s potential to have a transformative impact. Since launching Ox as a startup, we are continuing this process of discovery and iteration in the hopes of building technology that helps tackle a critical problem for both the intelligence community and other industries.