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Building Success Stories: Innovation to Commercialisation Workshop

A NEWCASTLE Science City workshop for entrepreneurs and innovators in Newcastle was hailed a great success by attendees preparing to launch new enterprises - and has also uncovered exciting new businesses developing in the region.

Building Success Stories was the first in a series of workshops hosted by Newcastle Science City, designed to help entrepreneurs and SMEs make their ideas or technologies market-ready.

The workshop series is created and funded by a partnership between Newcastle Science City and the Enterprise Europe Network at the Centre for Process Innovation. A further three workshops - one in each quarter – will be held between now and spring 2011.

The latest workshop was organised by Maffick, a team of innovation consultants and featured commercialisation presentations from experts at Sphera Consulting, BHP Law, RMT and Murgitroyd & Co.

Dr Arun Harish of Enterprise Europe Network said: “It is absolutely critical to economic growth in the region that our entrepreneurs are given all the help and support to get businesses ready for what is a very difficult global marketplace. We’ve no shortage of North East ideas and innovations in the developmental stage, but we’ve found many would-be business owners need help getting that initial spark ready for market.

“This workshop was designed to address some of the issues and hurdles that early-stage companies and entrepreneurs will face.”

Caroline Findlay, Programme Manager at Newcastle Science City, said: “We held two pilot workshops for Building Success Stories last year and we’re really pleased to see early results exceeding our expectations. Maffick brought real energy to the workshops and their improvisation session in particular helped the delegates rigorously assess their own ideas.”

A key part of the workshop focused on the importance of the ‘investor pitch’- where delegates pitched their business idea on camera, and then reviewed their performance with the rest of the group.

Malcolm Fourie, CEO of Vantage Point Technologies Limited, a software company based in Hartlepool, attended the workshop and found the sessions on presenting ideas particularly useful:

“We discovered through watching back videos of our own presentations that the crucial thing is working on your pitch. Whether it’s to a potential investor or customer, you need to be able to communicate effectively and in the right manner for your particular audience.”

Sumit Uppal, of Inotek Antennas Ltd, also found the workshop useful as his company is launching the latest generation of quad-band mobile phone antennas to customers across the world. “This was a very good event and it helped me with my business as I had to tell others about what we do and then listen to their thoughts on it. It helped me ‘get my story’ and crystallise my own ideas. We supply atennas to Europe, India, Malaysia, Singapore and beyond, so talking to people is what I’ll be doing a lot of.

“The event was useful to me and would be very useful for prototype stage companies to go through their concepts and development plans. They’d definitely get pointed in the right direction.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Helen McLoughlin .

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