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26 April, 2006 - 17:43 By Staff Reporter

Cutting edge at entrepreneurial hothouse

There’s an extra cutting edge and a high profile international input to Cambridge University’s annual hothouse for entrepreneurs this July.

There’s an extra cutting edge and a high profile international input to Cambridge University’s annual hothouse for entrepreneurs this July.

The Centre for Entrepreneurial learning’s 8th Summer School at the University’s Judge Business School from July 3-8 has attracted enormous interest both from world-renowned entrepreneurs and global corporates.

And, for the first time, Venture Capital experts will coach budding entrepreneurs in how to make the perfect pitch for cash.

The programme is being branded, ‘Fast-tracking Innovation to Commercial Success’ – hinting at a move away from the Summer School sobriquet for future years.

All the ingredients are in place to maintain Cambridge’s track record for encouraging future generations of entrepreneurs and spin-out businesses.

Corporate delegates from Unilever, Cambridge Consultants Ltd and Tata Ryerson Ltd have already signed up to the CfEL’s innovation programme this year and many other companies have expressed serious interest.

Tata Ryerson is the largest steel service centre in India – perhaps in Asia – currently processing one million tons of steel, rising to two million tons a year within the next two years.

MD Sandipan Chakravortty says: “The secret of our success has been continuous growth resulting out of innovation and agility. I, therefore, felt that it would be a good idea to participate in the Summer School and If the outcome is good, I would like to do more.”

CfEL’s Summer School programme this year includes more sessions around selling business ideas to meet the needs of delegates and help fast-track their innovations to commercial success.

Four or five representatives from local Venture Capital firms will spend one day listening to sales pitches from delegates. The aim is to ensure they are aware just how challenging it is to get backing from VCs and other funding groups.

It will also allow delegates to practice these pitches as much as possible before a final presentation to a panel of judges. Delegates will also be able to learn from the very best – a ‘dream team’ of visiting and resident entrepreneurs giving their time and energy to the programme.

They are led by serial entrepreneur and Venture Capitalist, Dr Hermann Hauser and leading entrepreneur and CEO of Cobra Beer Karan Bilimoria.

Other leading figures among CfEL’s entrepreneurs are Alex van Someren, Dan Roach, Richard Green, Ann Cotton, Alan Barrell, Jack Lang, Jamie Urquhart and John Snyder.

They have vast experience over many years across a whole raft of different ventures within business and academia and are able to offer crucial steers to young businesses.

Mentors to the programme are: David Gough, of First Instar Ltd; John Read; Peter Philips, of Philips and Associates; Simon Pratten of Transitions; Rupert Pearce Gould, of Cambridge Corporate Consultants and Jane Garrett, of Richer Components.

Keynote speeches are: How to Define Business Models – Tim Minshall, of University of Cambridge; How to Prepare Finance – Adrian Currie, of Active Hotels; How to build a senior team – David Cleevely, founder of Analysys; How to sell your idea – Alex van Someren of nCipher.

Small Group Clinics on July 23 will be chaired by Chris Lamaison, Peter White, Pilgrim Beart, Walter Herriot, Alan Cousens and Peter Hewkin.

A ‘breakfast briefing with entrepreneurs’ on July 4 features CSR co-founder Phil O’Donovan, Jack Lang, Dan Roach, Ann Cotton, Jamie Urquhart, Alan Barrell and Charles Cotton.

Russell Haggar of Prelude Ventures and Dr Cathy Prescott of Avlar BioVentures lead a networking evening on July 5 to showcase what an investor looks for.

• Rundown on the CfEL Summer School on pages VI, VII and VIII of the supplement.


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