The SEE Programme Begins

BCP News   •   November 15, 2017

The Science Entrepreneur Experience (SEE) programme has officially begun!

Last week we were excited to welcome the first cohort of doctoral researchers from the Bristol Centre for Functional Nanomaterials (BCFN), undertaking our innovative crash-course into the world of science commercialisation.

This week’s cohort had the privilege of working alongside entrepreneurial spin-out from the University of Bristol, Zentraxa, who would act as a “client” seeking the cohort’s scientific and business advice.  The SEE offers a unique approach to business training as it pairs cohorts with real businesses eager for a fresh perspective.

The week began with an in-depth technical assessment of the client’s core technology and devising an application map to lay the foundation for understanding how the business should best position itself to reach the market. The process of finding the right fit when translating science from the lab into the marketplace is difficult, most start-ups never make it, so the opportunity to practice this skill on a live project is invaluable to early-career researchers.

To develop the skills needed for the professional world, the team conducted a briefing with the client, collecting the relevant information to inform the business decisions made throughout the week.

The team met with experts across various fields to help them along the way. BCP Partner and life-sciences specialist, Dr Nick Pope, led the cohort through a detailed market analysis and research session. Based on the market analysis, the cohort chose a direction for the business that required a full repositioning and redevelopment of the brand identity.  BCP Partner and experienced graphic designer, Patrick Fallon, worked with the team to develop a branding and marketing strategy, complete with website landing-page, to convey the new USP.

I’ve learned a lot about how markets work as well as how to design a business strategy and business model that is tailored for the specific needs of a company” – Noha Abu El Magd, BCFN PhD Student

We want one of the Science Entrepreneur Experience’s key messages to be that businesses are developed through close collaborations and information gathering. The team had the opportunity to meet with professional partners at RSM, for advice in constructing a viable financial plan, and TLT Solicitors, to outline how to make the business investment ready. Connecting to Bristol’s established professional network reinforces the value of forming business relationships and sourcing expert opinions to help build successful ventures.

“It was excellent to get to work with such a talented group of scientists. Seeing how quickly the team was able to pick up and apply business skills reaffirmed my confidence that scientific researchers can become the entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow.” – Ben Miles, Managing Partner BCP

After turning the insights gained throughout the week into a detailed new strategy, the cohort’s final meeting was a debrief and explanation of the findings and recommended actions with the client.

We really enjoyed listening to all the great insights the SEE team had to share and will prove useful for us as we continue to move forward” – Martin Challand, CTO Zentraxa Ltd

We congratulate our first SEE alumni for completing this challenging course. We look forward to the weeks ahead as we welcome more students to the SEE programme at Unit DX to discover the next generation of entrepreneurs.

It was a fantastic week and I feel we learnt a set of valuable skills that could help us start a business” – Patryk Wasik, BCFN PhD Student

Learn more about the programme and how to get involved here.

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