ECRs: The enterprising researcher *New*
All Research Staff of: MPLS Division
This two-day course is an action-based approach to learning the essential transferable skills and knowledge for setting up a small business, or becoming self-employed. Participants will identify potential entrepreneurial opportunities from either their own research work, or their research-related skills. Through the application of a generic creative problem solving process, these opportunities will then be transformed with the generation of business ideas, and the development of an action plan to enable the next steps to be taken in starting a business. The tools and techniques experienced can also be usefully applied by the attendees in meeting the challenges in their current research career.

The second day will be a team-based simulation of a business start-up that explores all stages of the enterprise cycle – from idea generation for a new product, through to business launch. Starting with a business scenario based on potential applications of a new discovery, attendees will work in teams of five to find novel product ideas and develop the business. Each team member will have responsibility for managing different aspects of the start-up. At the end of the simulation each team will make a pitch for funding to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel based on the production of a summary business plan, a prototype model of the new product, a marketing website or plan, a cash flow, and an IPR statement.

As well as providing the essential knowledge and skills for setting up a business, this course will give attendees the opportunity to reflect on the personal aspects involved in transforming an innovative idea into an entrepreneurial product.

By the end of this course participants will have:

experience in setting up a new business from product inception, through to pitching for funding to manufacture the product.
experience in team-working in a new business start-up.
greater awareness of the dynamics of team-working, and the challenges of innovation
understanding of different styles of leadership and followership and reflection on their own styles
experience of what is involved in successfully managing a project as part of a joint enterprise aimed at growing a business from an initial product concept.

Date: 6 February 2018, 9:00 (Tuesday, 4th week, Hilary 2018)
Venue: St Catherine's College, Manor Road OX1 3UJ
Speaker: Dr Kevin Byron (University of Leicester )
Organising department: Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences (MPLS)
Organiser: Anne Miller (MPLS)
Organiser contact email address:
Part of: Enterprising Researcher Development Programme
Booking required?: Required
Booking url:
Audience: Members of the University only
Editors: Anne Miller, Sophie Campbell