The Talent Pool is a scheme developed by the University to encourage research students to develop enterprising skills through an intensive training programme. Birmingham and Talent Pool graduate Noel Welsh used these skills when establishing myna.com, a service which tests and analyses the effectiveness of corporate websites. This is his account on the helpfulness of the Talent Pool
I had always been interested in businesses and had been running a consultancy in any spare time I had from my PhD, so it seemed ideal to get additional training when it became available. I hoped it would give me better skills around winning work and talking to customers, and the communication training and networking events were both excellent for that.
The idea for Myna came out of my PhD, and I set it up together with Dave Gurnell. We initially offered a free service but have recently started billing, which is exciting, and have a growing base of clients including Air Asia Expedia. We have also taken on our first member of staff, Lauren, and will look to take our model to the mass market in the future.
It’s great that the University runs the Talent Pool, as a lot of PhD students don’t know how well placed they are to go into business. The programme shows how to take the skills you have and apply them within your own industry, plus builds the confidence to tackle the world outside of academia.
I use the skills I developed through Talent Pool all the time, and would definitely recommend it to others. It will round out your PhD to show how you can go beyond your technical expertise, and it’s also good fun.
We are not trying to massively grow our customer numbers right now and are instead focusing on our mobile offering to get that right. We are proud to be generating revenue and have good interest from more potential customers, and will look to take our business to the mass market in the future