The Student Enterprise 'Start-Up Bootcamp' at the end of October was a demanding event and those who completed the weekend were rewarded with the skills and support needed to deliver truly impressive pitches to the judges on the final day.
On the Friday afternoon, 50 participants met each other for the first time and were split into eight mixed teams of undergraduates and postgraduates from various academic backgrounds. Together they started a busy weekend of activities including: ideation, developing a value proposition, exploring different business models. Ideas were tested and refined, helping by talking through proposals with potential customers throughout Saturday. Their dedication resulted in business plan presentations on Sunday, accompanied by captivating pitches, keeping the judges thoroughly engaged.
Given the University's strong emphasis on sports, it was only natural that one project was dedicated to sports recovery and performance enhancement - harnessing data-driven solutions to revolutionise the athletic experience. Sustainability has been a recurring theme over recent years, and this year was no exception; and as the memory of the COVID-19 crisis lingers fresh in our minds, it has served as a powerful catalyst for innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit among young minds.
The weekend wasn't limited to these impactful endeavours alone. It also showcased projects centred around travel, with the aim of crafting unique and memorable experiences. Additionally, there was the introduction of a cutting-edge security app, promising to enhance safety and security.
Siobain Horne, Head of Student Enterprise says:
Our students are not merely learners; they represent the next generation of leaders, change-makers, and innovators. They bear the responsibility of addressing contemporary challenges and seizing the opportunities of our era. As we nurture these future entrepreneurs, we recognise the substantial contributions they will make to the economic, cultural, environmental, and social fabric of our society.
Throughout the bootcamp, we had the opportunity to discover other innovative solutions at various stages of development, providing a compelling demonstration of the creative potential within our student community.
The workshop was facilitated by Chandell Stone, a US serial entrepreneur and Y Combinator alumna now based in Mexico City. Saturday afternoon saw us joined by mentors from our Entrepreneurship Programme for intense sessions of pitching and feedback ready for Sunday afternoon’s pitch to our panel of judges.
Although the weekend presented its share of challenges, (8.30 am starts on both days, weekend working after a full week of studies etc.) the dedication and boundless creativity of the teams radiated through their pitches. They embodied the innovative spirit that defines Bath students, leaving no doubt that they were poised to make a positive and enduring impact on the world.
Supporting the Entrepreneurial Journey
Whilst we do not yet expect these projects to be market-ready, what truly matters is the rigorous process these teams went through - from ideation to validation through to ultimately pitching their proposals. This process not only sharpens their entrepreneurial skills but also cultivates their commercial awareness, a priceless asset as they navigate the complex terrain of the business world.
Stephen Rangecroft, Director of External Engagement, sums up the weekend:
The weekend serves as a launchpad for the students’ entrepreneurial journey, equipping them with the knowledge, experience, and mindset needed to succeed in the competitive landscape of startups and innovation. Initiating a business is a monumental undertaking, one that demands unwavering dedication, unyielding perseverance, and a profound sense of purpose. However, it also offers an unparalleled sense of accomplishment and pride. As educators and mentors, we have the privilege of guiding our students on this transformative journey.