August 21, 2023, by aczjb1

World Entrepreneurs Day – Scaling your business with the Ingenuity Lab!

For five weeks this summer, 11 Ingenuity Lab businesses have been taking part in our accelerator programme, Scale.

Scale was designed to bridge the knowledge gap between establishing a viable idea and taking the next steps towards sustained growth, empowering our entrepreneurs to scale their businesses successfully. Participants attended five 3-hour weekly training sessions, which included a combination of teaching, facilitation, and peer-to-peer learning.

“Over the past five weeks, we’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot of useful things that any entrepreneur looking to scale their business should really have in their tool chest. I would 100% recommend it,” said participant Connor Graham of Mint Personal Finance.

Connor Graham delivering his pitch

Throughout the programme, Scale participants heard from expert speakers from across the Haydn Green Institute, Entrepreneurs in Residence, and past participants of the programme. In week one, Scale alumnus Peter Akanko, founder of Kente Master, shared his experiences with his business and insights on overcoming the barriers to scale.

Dr Hannah Noke, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Acting Director of the Haydn Green Institute, introduced the participants to the Business Model Canvas software that they would use throughout the programme, a strategic management template used for developing new business models and documenting existing ones. Hannah highlighted the importance of strategic planning and emphasised how a solid business plan can help a business to scale.

Week Two saw Dr Robert Wapshott deliver insightful and professional training on how human resources can take your business to the next level.

“People contribute resources; they are not resources,” he said. “Step back and focus on the resources people can contribute to your venture”.

In Week Three, Professor of Practice David Falzani MBE’s talk on sales and marketing was packed with invaluable insights. With extensive experience in executive and strategic business development in various industries, David’s expert advice helped our participants understand how to communicate with their customers and identify their Unique Selling Points and Customer Value Proposition, key components which can lead start-ups to success.

David Falzani pointed out that “People buy products for benefit, not for features. Give customers what they want, not what you want to sell​.”

In Week 4, our 11 businesses delivered pitches to a judging panel of Entrepreneurs in Residence to compete for grant funding to scale their ventures. Their pitches included their company mission, development plan, finance overview, marketing strategy, partnership and team structure.

We would like to give a very special thanks to Entrepreneurs in Residence Melanie Berry, Paul Crick, Steve Ellis, Wendy Furness, Tom Vincent and Phil Webster for all their help judging the pitches.

Scale concluded with an informative finance training session with Professor Rob Carroll, followed by our Graduation Awards barbecue, where students, staff and alumni from across our university came to congratulate our fantastic participants on their final day. In addition to 5 weeks of in-depth business knowledge, our Scale graduates received a bespoke set of resources specifically designed to enhance the skills required to achieve venture growth.

“I really enjoyed the Scale programme this year,” said participant Paul McCreery, founder of FUNKI Drinks. “My favourite part of the programme was definitely meeting all the other entrepreneurs with really cool ideas and getting to pitch alongside them for a prize.”

Congratulations to all our graduates and we can’t wait to see you scale your ventures in 2024!

Scale 2023 graduates with personalised Kente stoles made by Peter Paul Akanko (centre)

Find out more about the Ingenuity Lab

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