Last Friday the second in a series of entrepreneur experience events for University of Bath MBA students took place at the Innovation Centre. The day was divided into 12 pitch and Q&A sessions for the teams to present a business proposal to a  ‘Dragon’s Den’ style panel of experienced entrepreneurs and investors from the SETsquared mentor network.

Model businesses

The ‘Entrepreneurship in Action’ module of the Bath MBA is designed to teach the fundamentals of the business model that underpin any business opportunity whether in the context of a start-up, corporate venture, or social enterprise. 

In his summing up of the day, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Dimo Dimov commended the event as a way for students to experience a real life situation for enterprise driven business leaders; 

“Being able to summarise your business proposal into a short pitch that clearly explains the idea, market proposition and financial model, and then to learn from the feedback,  is a crucial part of the business model design process”

The teams that presented represented a range of ideas and business models including selfie booths, School Buses, Wearable Tech and an online community for pets.

“Getting the idea out succinctly in the first instance to grab people’s attention is crucial”

The overall prize for most investable business went to My GiftCard Swapper, a peer-to-peer website for the virtual exchange of  giftcards and vouchers.  The prize for the best pitch was awarded to pop up furniture business CUBISTA who entertained the judges with a lively demonstration of their product and business model.

Team Cubista present their pop up cardboard furniture.

Team Cubista: Presenting their pop up cardboard furniture

James Samson from Team CUBISTA was pleased to win and praised the day as being  “very rewarding”. The team acknowledged that the presentation of ideas is important in any business but that the feedback from the panel was “extremely useful’ in terms of focusing the pitch to the points that matter for investors: “Getting the idea out succinctly in the first instance to grab people’s attention is crucial and then you need to make sure that the team, the concept and, obviously how you are going to make money, all adds up… in 5 minutes!”

Impressed judges

Panel member, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Rocketmakers, Richard Godfrey was impressed with the quality and variety of business proposals that the students presented stating that he had “thoroughly enjoyed the day” and been particularly “impressed that several of them were very credible business propositions.”

In their summing up of the day, all of the judges praised the high standard of pitches and credited the MBA module as an excellent vehicle for students interested in entrepreneurship and business creation.


Pitch judges (L-R): Chris Butt, Glenn Smith, Andrew Harwood, and Richard Godfrey

The University of Bath Innovation Centre is part of the SETsquared Accelerator and provides business support, funding opportunities for knowledge based startups and growth business. Deputy Centre Director Ali Hadavizadeh is pleased to point out that a growing number of enterprises are coming out of the University of Bath as a result of a set of new initiatives and support networks to encourage students to look at the potential for commercialising their academic work, and to consider being an entrepreneur as a viable career path.

“We look forward to having some of these teams and propositions back as fully formed businesses further down the line”

“We are delighted to be able to provide this type of entrepreneurial experience day for the MBA students – the businesses were well pitched and the students stood up to the panel who did not pull any punches in their Q&As! We look forward to having some of these teams and propositions back as fully formed businesses further down the line – there is certainly potential for some of them to progress further and we would be keen to support them.”

You can keep up to date about the University of Bath Innovation Centre by following their Twitter feed: @bath_innovation.

Rosie Bennett