Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning

Entrepreneurs & Experts Podcast Series - 2014

A range of interviews with entrepreneurs and experts providing insights, advice and commentary on current issues and research topics.

Neil Stott, Keystone Development Trust

The challenges for social enterprise

Neil Stott, Keystone Development Trust

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Neil Stott, Chief Executive of the Keystone Development Trust, talks about the challenges of retaining social and financial returns on investment in wealth creation projects within the community. The Trust was named by the Cabinet Office (March 2014) as one of a number of partners awarded a grant of £900k to support social ventures in the East of England and aims to create a new generation of social ventures and entrepreneurs.

There are approximately 70,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing £18.5 billion to the UK economy (based upon 2012 Small Business Survey, 2013) and employing almost a million people. So, it seems to be a strong sector but what are the driving forces for this growth? Neil talks about the opportunities and challenges facing social ventures and would-be social entrepreneurs.

Appointed as Senior Teaching Faculty in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School (2014), Neil is also a mentor to students on the Cambridge Judge Business School Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship programme. The most difficult question for the students to answer has been "who are my customers?" and "what is the problem we're trying to solve with the business?". Social entrepreneurs need to understand that they're still operating a business - no matter how great the cause or their passion for the project.

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Dr Shima Barakat, CfEL

The meaning of success for enterprising women

Dr Shima Barakat, CfEL

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Dr Shima Barakat, Research & Teaching Fellow in Enterprise at the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL), Cambridge Judge Business School, features in a Cambridge book The Meaning of Success and on the accompanying website, speaking about her career and philosophy of success. The book brings together the stories of women from across the University of Cambridge and examines what success means to them as they share the individual life journeys that have led them to Cambridge. In interviews with 26 women connected with the University, along with contributions from a hundred more, it makes a compelling case for a more inclusive definition of success.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, said: "By exploring these inspirational stories, this book reminds the reader that talent and excellence can be found across the University and in every walk of life. It provides an opportunity to reflect on how success is recognised and rewarded, giving us scope to redefine and extend the qualities and attributes we associate with being successful."

In this podcast interview, Shima talks about her own experiences as a women engineer and academic as well as her research specifically into women in entrepreneurship. She cites the importance of encouraging women to be more enterprising and to overcome traditional challenges as a result of gender dynamics. Shima has direct experience as a woman engineer of workplace chauvinism and prejudice but has always sought to challenge and change attitudes and practices. As a young engineer working on the construction of the Cairo Metro with 400 men, she was given a key to a toilet that was three streets away. So, she commandeered the on-site men's toilet when needed, putting up a sign stating 'occupied for feminine use'.

In her academic work, she has found evidence showing that a founding team or company board with a better gender balance tends to use 30 per cent less resources, return 12 per cent more, and fare better in times of adversity. There's also evidence of women doing things differently and that this diversity can be beneficial to the organisation. And yet there are very few women on company boards and a shortage of women in senior positions in academia. Shima advocates a review of structural and organizational issues that break down stereotypes and forge new pathways for success both in companies and academia.

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Joep van Beurden

Growing your venture

Glenn Collinson, CSR and Neul, and Joep van Beurden, CSR

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The entrepreneurial journey begins with an idea and leads to the start of a new venture. Some argue that is the easy bit! The really hard part is the subsequent growth of the firm. This requires clarity, strategic thinking and a deep understanding of management in all its various components. One of the key issues that arise is whether people are clear enough about their choices. Should they grow a lifestyle business or a high growth business? What are the personal implications of such choices? What might be the motivations for either? What should you really think about as a founder or CEO of a growing venture?

This audio recording of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning's Enterprise Tuesday lecture on 11 February 2014 includes contributions from Glenn Collinson (Co-Founder and former Director of CSR and Co-Founder of Neul) and Joep van Beurden (CEO of CRS). The session was chaired by John Snyder (CEO of Grapeshot and CfEL Entrepreneur in Residence).

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Dr Mike Lynch, Founder of Autonomy and Invoke Capital

Vision meets reality

Dr Mike Lynch, Founder of Autonomy and Invoke Capital

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Dr Mike Lynch OBE FREng DL, Founder of Autonomy and Invoke Capital, talks about how the entrepreneurial vision needs to meet with reality in this audio recording from the Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning's Enterprise Tuesday session on 4 February 2014. The session is introduced by Dr Jo Mills, CfEL Deputy Director, and chaired by Stuart Evans, a seasoned chairman, non-executive director and entrepreneur in cleantech and ICT and CfEL Entrepreneur in Residence.

The session will be of particular interest to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to gain insights into the personal traits and skills needed to pursue and drive a business venture. It also provides practical information on developing business modeal to achieve the vision and the influence of customers, sales and company directors in shaping these business models

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Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz and Dr Hermann Hauser CBE

Recognising opportunities

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz and Dr Hermann Hauser CBE

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A central question in entrepreneurship is when and how do people recognise an opportunity that is worth pursuing? Should it be ideas that are evident in the market place based on alertness? Should it be about deep research that leads to ideas of how to disrupt markets? And when should we pursue them? Is it only when they offer watertight business cases or when they get us excited? In other words, what is the typical anatomy of an opportunity?

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, and Dr Hermann Hauser, serial entrepreneur and investor, talked about these issues at the first Enterprise Tuesday session of the 2013/14 series on 5 November 2013. They were introduced by Dr Andy Richards, serial life sciences entrepreneur and investor.

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Jack Lang and Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi

Spotting future needs

Jack Lang and Eben Upton, Raspberry Pi

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Rasberry Pi Co-Founders Jack Lang and Eben Upton discuss the topic 'Spotting Future Needs' at CfEL's Enterprise Tuesday lecture series on 19 November 2013. Chaired by Dr David Cleevely CBE.

Whereas some entrepreneurs spot opportunities pertaining to current needs and trends others go on to create opportunities regarding future needs and problems. When successful the latter may disrupt whole industries or even give rise to new ones. In this session we are going to consider topics around the (co-)creation of new opportunities and how entrepreneurs can engage in such action.

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Professor Sabine Bahn, Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research, and Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, Breathing Buildings

Mindsets and motivations

Professor Sabine Bahn, Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research, and Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, Breathing Buildings

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What implications do mindsets and motivations have on the management team and the business itself? How does a team form the skills to complement their vision to tackle the appropriateness of the business models, regulatory challenges, the need for deep research pockets, sales to large corporate and other bureaucracies and more generally manage teams of very bright people?

Chaired by Dr Ward Hills, CfEL Entrepreneur in Residence and Investor. Dr Hills is an experienced executive, entrepreneur and investor. Recently Ward launched a business serving early stage investors by providing veteran management for start-up investees. Prior to that he took the leadership of, and directed the turnaround of, a medical device company resulting in a product launches in Europe and Asia and a multi-million pound investment. He has been a board member and observer in the US, UK and Malaysia; cofounded the East of England Stem Cell and UK Micro & Nanotechnology Networks; holds a Certificate in Company Direction from the Member Institute of Directors, American Chemical Society (ret.), and is a Royal Society of Medicine Fellow.

Speaker: Professor Sabine Bahn PhD, Director of the Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research. Professor Sabine Bahn is a practising psychiatrist, Chair in Neurotechnology and Director of the Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research at Cambridge University and Chair in Translational Neuropsychiatry at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, NL. Her main research interests are to understand the molecular basis of neuropsychiatric disorders, with a focus on schizophrenia and mood disorders. In 2005 she co-founded Psynova Neurotech, which, together with Rules Based Medicine (RBM) has launched the first blood test aiding in the early diagnosis of schizophrenia. Professor Bahn continues to be director and chief scientific officer for Psynova Neurotech as well as Senior Medical Director for Neuropsychiatric Disorders for Myriad RBM and Myriad Genetics.

Speaker: Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Breathing Buildings. Shaun studied engineering at the University of Cambridge, where he completed his undergraduate studies as well as his doctoral and post-doctoral work. He then joined the faculty at Stanford University where he led the Geothermal Research Programme for two years. For the next five years he worked with Bain & Company as a strategy consultant based in London but working on assignment in the USA and across Europe. In 2001 he returned to the University of Cambridge to embark on a natural ventilation research programme funded by BP. He co-founded Breathing Buildings in 2006, which is now the UK's leading natural ventilation company. He still teaches and supervises fourth year undergraduate research projects in natural ventilation at Cambridge.

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Matthew Rock, Rob Forkan, Andrew Laughlan and Maria Kempinska MBE

Is becoming an entrepreneur just a case of right place, right time?

Matthew Rock, Rob Forkan, Andrew Laughlan and Maria Kempinska MBE

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Matthew Rock, Co-Founder of Real Business & Caspian Media, and British Library BIPC Ambassador; Rob Forkan, Co-Founder of Gandys Flip Flops; Andrew Laughlan, Global Head of Strategic Partnerships at the blur Group; and Maria Kempinska MBE, Founder & CEO of the Jongleurs Comedy Club, spoke on the topic 'Right Place, Right Time' at the CfEL Enterprise Tuesday lecture series on 26 November 2013.

Successful entrepreneurs are often dismissed as having had a bit of good luck. Entrepreneurs too, are sometimes tempted to ascribe their progress to luck or serendipity. What is the reality of entrepreneurial success or indeed failure? How much can we rely on our own endeavours? How much do we have to wait for external conditions to change and go in our favour? Is it about the luck of being in the right place at the right time? Markets, technologies, social trends, access to funding, finding the first customer but perhaps not where you were looking, are all cases that challenge the rational model for enterprise development.

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