Sourima’s Experience at Enterprisers 2013

Modern day science evidently requires efficient science communication and interdisciplinary collaboration. Importantly, in order to evaluate the true potential of one’s scientific question, it is fundamental to understand how and if it may be brought from laboratory to clinical use. Alongside scientific knowledge, this requires a greater, in depth understanding of the market, finance and timescale prior to the ‘launch’ of a technology. This is where ‘Enterprisers’ programme come into action.

The programme is designed in a way such that researchers at all stages and every field could fit in. It is 4 day intense activity based course which allows one to simplify one’s own research, thereby improving communication skills and at the same time develop commercial ideas around the research framework. The most beneficial criteria here are each team (Yellow Dots-our team) consists of members from a varied field ranging from sociology to 3-D printing nanotechnology! This multidisciplinary approach results in innovative perspectives of one’s own research, which in turn generates creative plausible ideas.

The beginning of the course is aimed at building teamwork, understanding and respecting ones’ role within a team. This is followed by explaining the bigger picture of one’s research. Once the science/technology was put on the table, the next question was to filter out the most commercially viable technology. The next step formed brainstorming applications of the technology and finalising one winner. Having picked ‘the winner’, the teams were then involved in developing a business model around the idea/technology at hand. This again, was a detailed practical involving market research, customer base, channels to connect to customer, challenges, etc. The next step was to develop a financial forecast. Not surprisingly this entailed a detailed calculation of incomes and outputs, funds required and of course any profit margins. This activity in particular was one of my highlights of the entire course, because up until then all the ideas seemed exciting and investable, but only now we truly understood the potential for the winning idea and importantly whether it was financially viable.

We now had the technology, business model and crucially financial forecast. All we needed now was the perfect ‘Pitch’. The following task was therefore to create a short pitch to possible funding bodies. This activity proved challenging and critical. Luckily, the almost faultless structuring of the course included a ‘networking session’, with young and experienced entrepreneurs from the gaming to finance industry, which helped gain insights into the requirements and crucial pointers behind a successful pitch. The final day played out with numerous pitches from the several group members of different groups. This was extremely educational as well as interesting, especially due to the provision of constructive feedbacks after every pitch.

The course was a lot of hard work, but not at the expense of having fun, the team activities, networking sessions were not only exciting but amazingly intellectual. The dining and wining lasted well past midnight every day, and the ever energetic and motivated attendees were still on time in smart casuals the next morning. In a few words Enterprisers was an exciting, challenging workshop and most definitely a place where ideas are born!

Special thanks to Rise Up and the Medical School’s Enterprise unit for sponsoring me.

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Team-Yellow Dot

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The Newcastle delegates, from left: Cata Largacha, Sadaf Atarod, Sourima Shivhare and Jack Brinn.

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Team-Yellow Dot-Runner up Rocket Building Exercise

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