Entrepreneurship & Innovation in SMEs

Key takeaway: Learn by doing! Don’t be scared.

Target:  Students and researchers from any discipline.

The highs, the lows, the dilemmas and the lessons learned having founded and run a world leading digital photography software company and an online photographic retailer. Interactive with student pairs asked to decide way ahead in the business at key moments.

45 mins to 1 hour

OMB to PLC & back - a techy's story

Key takeaway: Build a balanced company, technical and commercial.

Target: Aimed at engineering and technical students.

From a one-man band to floating on the AIM stock market as a public company – and going back again. How a not-very-good software geek built an international company and lost it! A story from a techy’s viewpoint with many lessons for would-be technical entrepreneurs.

45 mins to 1 hour

How can researchers become entrepreneurial?

Key takeaway: Share ideas and collaborate.

Target:  PhD students, Researchers

How a brilliant analytical mindset can become the basis of an entrepreneurial venture in corporates or SMEs. How to have a business vision (Impact!!) and not just a research aim. How to be brave and share “crazy” ideas without first proving them right or wrong.

45 mins to 2 hours

Product Development in an entrepreneurial business

Key takeaway:  Try new stuff often and learn lessons whether it fails or not.

Target:  Business students mostly

How and why are new products or services developed in an SME? What are the drivers? What are the constraints? What sort of people are needed? What sort of processes? I use examples from my career to highlight and discuss the fun and the fears of developing new products.

45 mins

Leadership & Motivation in a small business

Key takeaway:  People follow people. It’s not just money that motivates.

Target: All students

How does an entrepreneur build and lead his team? How does he/she learn the skills? How do they keep the innovation spirit but still hit the numbers?  How are students motivated? By themselves? By others?

45 mins

SMEconomics - life in a small or micro company

The seven laws of SMEconomics – what happens in a small/micro company and why. Lots of examples from my business career  including the “entrepreneurial YES” when really it’s “Don’t know”!

45 mins


How to collaborate, create, & negotiate great ideas

Key takeaway:  Open minds generate visionary ideas and step change innovation.

Target:  All students, postgrads. Mixed disciplines are really good.

An active workshop on how to collaborate with strangers to build amazing new ideas. Then how to “sell” those ideas to others in a competitive marketplace.

2-3 hours

Building your reputation as a researcher

Key takeaway:  A little communication goes a long way.

Target:  PhD students and early stage researchers.

PhD students especially are often isolated (like start-up entrepreneurs) and buried in their research. This workshop develops their understanding of “their world” and how to communicate with people in it to build their reputation (their “brand”) from an early stage.

2 hours

So you're thinking of starting a business?

Key takeaway:  It’s not the idea/product, it’s understanding the customer and the costs that makes a business.

Target:  All students interested in business.

Many students think about starting a business one day but it sounds and feels terrifying. In this workshop we look at what is needed, where you can get information and help – and then, in teams, we start one (nearly)! The teams choose the business and then, with guidance, work through the 4P’s marketing mix concentrating on the customer journey.  They cover pricing, costs and profit/loss too. At the end each team pitches to the room both the idea and what they have learned.

2 hrs