Bright SCIdea Challenge has now entered its third year, and as part of the programme it offered undergraduates and postgraduates the chance to take part in face-to-face business innovation and entrepreneurship training before the final competition day in March 2020.
The training day, hosted on 6th December at SCI HQ, provided the teams with the skills and knowledge that they need to succeed in a business environment.
The students come from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, including but not exclusive to economics, computer science, environmental science and engineering. As Sharon Todd, CEO of SCI, enforced at the beginning, ‘it is more likely that most good innovations come together through collaborations.’
However, with all great innovation, collaboration is not the sole end; the competitive global economy places a high premium on good marketing and financial awareness.
In order to help prospective entrepreneurs, three experts in the field offer their advice and guidance.
Neil Simpson, R&D Director at Borchers, delivered insightful training on how to market a product or service and why this would be important.
Firstly, he stressed that understanding the market that the product will operate in and the various factors affecting its value is key. Secondly, it is important to consider its place in the supply chain as this will represent the steps it takes for the product to reach the end market.
Alongside his marketing advice, he also recommended focusing on the economics in order to expand a business, accompanied with considering critical questions; are you competing on price or on quality? In the process of producing the product, how much are the raw materials going to cost?
Martin Curry from STEM Healthcare, stressed some additional financial advice. In summary, awareness of the market is key to impressing potential investors; knowing what the key drivers are and understanding the risks and the market demand. Having this information enables you to provide evidence that you can effectively evaluate the commerciality of the project.
Lastly, Mugdha Joshi, from Kings College London, gave an informative briefing on IP and commercialisation, enabling students to learn how to protect and own the rights to their product.
Overall, the industry wants products that have an impact to society- things that we need and use in everyday life originated from science. So, in an industry where innovations can happen, success of an innovation comes with people who are curious, commercial, and who work well with others.
Building on the success of this training day, we are excited to see these teams bring interdisciplinary skills and knowledge together to pitch their business innovation during the final on 17 March 2020.