Entrepreneurial Challenges – Day 2 of the SUCCESS Bootcamp


16th April 2020

The SUCCESS programme is a first-of-its-kind opportunity designed to help social scientists with innovative and marketable research ideas to get the training, support and funding to transform those ideas into a business or social enterprise.

Dr Sam Gallagher, Principal Consultant at Oxentia – and a member of the SUCCESS Programme leadership team – reflects on Day 2 of the SUCCESS Bootcamp.

Event Report, Research Commercialisation, SUCCESS and The University of Manchester

Day 2 of the SUCCESS programme’s (virtual) bootcamp, which ran on the 8th April, took a deeper dive into more of the entrepreneurial challenges faced by our teams. The early signs are hugely promising as participants, instructors and the programme managers learn and iterate together.

How do you remain engaged in a virtual world without explosions, avatars or cupcakes?

We re-structured the training and collaborative experience to ensure we’re still able to support the cohort effectively – the practical exercises were re-imagined, designed to work dynamically within the virtual environment. The use of the magic button to place and withdraw people from rooms was akin to Star Trek precision without the sound effects or Scotty shouting “I cannae change the laws of physics!”.

As phase 1 of the entrepreneurial training, the bootcamp continued to equip the cohort with knowledge on how to develop research opportunities so that they can be transformed into value for others.

The key focus of the day was 4-fold:

  • Introduction to the 5 core principles of Effectual thinking (Saras Sarasvathy)
  • Mapping and building a network
  • Introduction to Double Diamond design thinking – the Design Council’s framework for innovation
  • Building the lean canvass – originally by Alexander Osterwalder, adapted by Ash Maurya

In particular, we learned about the importance of communication and understanding how you are perceived, and looked at understanding problems and the importance of providing a solution that the market wants. In addition, we looked at how a solution can best be presented to the market to maximise its chances of being adopted. We also took a much deeper dive into the business and value propositions of the projects which included an opportunity for brief peer-to-peer feedback.

The 3rd and final bootcamp session takes place on the 22nd April, when we will have more sector and investment specific speakers lined up to share their experiences with the cohort. We’re anticipating another highly insightful and engaging session!

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