It was an exciting finale day for all those involved with the Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School after five teams pitched their presentations to a panel of judges. Team Health Kicks were crowned eventual winners with their solution to create a mobile app to maintain health and fitness. The programme was a tremendous success with a total of 30 postgraduate researchers split into five teams, working on Summer School challenges which were set by our guest social enterprise business, Health Exchange.
The programme took place over one week (July 13-17) and was introduced by Professor Gavin Schaffer before facilitator Steve Harris outlined the course structure. The Summer School challenge came with a twist this year as Health Exchange Assistant Director, Jennifer Jones Rigby unveiled not one but a choice of five different challenges for the groups to work on.
Three of the groups had initially chosen the same challenge which prompted the groups to battle it out with some ‘The Apprentice’ style pitching as early as day 1 with Jones-Rigby deciding the outcome. The teams were given enterprise training and presentation skills to help with their ideas and overall presentation on the final day. There were also some added incentives and excitement as the ‘Golden envelopes’ were opened on Day 3 adding a cash incentive for each of the teams projects. All of the teams worked well together and used different areas of the campus to research, plan and work on their individual challenges during the many ‘Team Time’ slots.
The final decision was a difficult one to make and judges including last year’s winner Chris Meah, Jennifer Jones Rigby and Paula Whitehouse from the Goldman Sachs Programme (Aston University) eventually awarded Health Kicks with the top spot who were in turn rewarded with a trophy and shopping vouchers. All of the teams were praised for their high quality presentations and everyone worked well together creating valuable networking contacts along the way.
The Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School is open to postgraduate researchers and provides excellent enterprise and consultancy training allowing researchers to work on real issues and to work alongside real business problems. Although the programme has now come to an end, the relationship forged by those taking part and the Health Exchange is not over and may provide ongoing opportunities for all of the teams involved.