Entrepreneurial Smart Camp Academic Director Jonas Van Hove, and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Maximillian Doelle – Business School alumnus and Chief Prototyper at Kazendi, led a series of sessions to discuss various business principles, theories and strategies. Guest speakers then demonstrated the successes but also the failures they had experienced by using these strategies in their entrepreneurial careers.
Inspiring guest lecturers
The line-up of guest speakers was impressive but someone who the class were very eager to meet was Steve Hatch, Director of Facebook UK & Ireland whose lecture topic was ‘The Magic of Networking’. Facebook is the ultimate power in networking, giving people the power to share. Steve shared his ‘Seven Rules of Networking’ and how important these can be to a successful entrepreneur. The group learned that cultivating networks will lead to opportunities and taking the time to build communities will benefit them and others in such a competitive environment.
Other guest lecturers included Jason Somerville, founder of Run It UP, the most popular online poker show in the world, who was competing at the World Series of Poker and so streamed his lecture to the class via Skype. Also Tristan Kromer who runs his own Lean Startup coaching company, TriKro, visited the Summer School to explain the Lean Startup principles to the students and advise them on how they could adopt this business model.
One of the Smart Camp students, Daniela, spoke to us about what she had enjoyed during her time on the programme:
Learning from the best in the field is definitely the most rewarding part of the course. We had so many brilliant guest lecturers who were very inspiring.
Hands-on interactive sessions
One of the more hands-on sessions involved the group putting into practice one of the theories they had learned. Dr Cristobal Garcia-Herrera from Imperial College London’s Dyson School of Design Engineering led an interactive session, setting a task to create a new wallet for another member of the class using the human-centred design theory. This framework puts the needs of a user demographic at the core of the concept development.
Another interactive session was led by Stewart Davies from PrintME 3D who spoke to the students about the future importance of 3D printing for businesses, who will make huge cost savings by using this technology to create prototypes. Stewart demonstrated the fused deposition modelling (FDM) 3D printing technique, which works on an additive principle, using a plastic filament to create layers 0.2mm thick. Stewart printed customised Lego pieces and a miniature robot while the class used SketchUp, a design software, to create their own 3D plans.
The rapid prototyping Internet of Things (IoT) workshop delivered by Samlabs (VC-backed Imperial venture) revolved around building IoT inventions with a particular focus to gamify and improve daily life. The learning process was designed in such a way that the students – even those with no prior technical skills – were able to apply engineering principles. The combination of cutting-edge technology developed by Samlabs and an international mix of students resulted in a set of creative solutions such as e-waste bins, energy saving solutions and a smart closet which helps the user decide what to wear.
The final task – business pitches to a panel of guest judges
All of the workshops, lectures and activities contributed to the students’ final task, the pitches. The Smart Camp’s 12 teams showcased business concepts during a Dragons’ Den style pitch event with guest judges and Maximilian Doelle. After three intense weeks of discovery and refinement, working directly with sector experts and top academics, the teams presented some unique products, solutions and propositions.
The Smart Camp is a great example of how quickly the staples of entrepreneurship can be taught, giving young ingenuity the tools to decipher new market opportunities.
Guest judge Tomas Selva, a Founding Partner at SAWA Partners commented: “The Smart Camp is a great example of how quickly the staples of entrepreneurship can be taught, giving young ingenuity the tools to decipher new market opportunities. The teams demonstrated a very good understanding of customer needs in a very short time, clarifying the problem, solution, pricing, and the route to market. As an investor I am hopeful that some, if not all the teams will continue to develop their ideas – they most certainly have the opportunity to prosper.”
The Summer School allowed students to share ideas with peers from across the globe, build self-confidence and tap into fellow students’ diverse skillsets. The class gained insight into the world of an entrepreneur and provided knowledge on how they can take their own ideas forward.
We wish our Entrepreneurial Smart Camp students all the best with their future endeavours!
If you would like more information about joining Summer School 2017, please register for updates.