For the second year running, and following the success of last year’s inaugural event, the University of Bath has hosted Enterprise Day with a sell-out programme opened by Professor Jonathan Knight, Vice-President Enterprise. Professor Knight said:
Thank you very much indeed to all those who have joined us today to collectively celebrate enterprise and share best practice. It has been hugely encouraging to see even greater interest and engagement in Enterprise Day, since we launched it as an annual event in the University’s calendar last year. I hope you will feel even more inspired and informed to explore new opportunities for enterprise and entrepreneurship going forwards.
Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President, opened the event with a welcome address outlining the University’s intention to build and sustain an entrepreneurial ecosystem, supported through strengthened enterprise activities designed to create future engines of societal advancement. He highlighted the priorities of partnerships, funding, talent, and facilities in achieving sustainable societal benefit. Professor White said:
Enterprise is such an important area of university life. We aim to advance the University’s thinking in this important space, driving entrepreneurship forwards. We will create and support enterprises of the future, addressing regional and global societal needs, and enabling them to reach their full potential.
The School of Management’s Professor Margaret Heffernan, entrepreneur, CEO, author and keynote speaker, gave an insightful talk on the advantages of failure. She highlighted the gains of asking both where the value of failure can be found and where sources of resilience lie, based on the notion of growth mindsets learning from what went wrong.
University of Bath researchers Dr Aswin Doekhie, Co-Founder and CTO of EnsiliTech, Professor Toby Jenkins, Founder of SmartWound, and Dr Vimal Dhokia, Co-Founder of Gen3D (now acquired), presented on how they made their own business ideas a reality.
The refreshment and networking break was an opportunity for attendees to visit the Business Showcase which featured pop-up displays of student start-ups, including The Washing Machine Project founded by Nav Sawhney who recently received the Points of Light Award from the Prime Minister as a result of his entrepreneurial endeavours.
Following the break were a series of topical masterclasses on pitching for investment funds, the entrepreneurial journey, and the dos and don’t of IP; new SETsquared Bath Centre Manager, Andrea Kelly, led a panel discussion on the challenges of scaling up SMEs; and Student Enterprise Manager, Siobain Hone, introduced success stories from recent graduates.
Enterprise Day concluded with a drinks reception and networking where students including Jamie Crisp, Maksymilian Sobolski, Anna Clay, Edie Clay, Antonia Bawden, and Zisis Tzifas Kratiras, were all presented with awards from Professor Knight for participating in the current Entrepreneurship Programme.