With record numbers of top international businesses eyeing Cambridge as a European headquarters location or fertile territory for collaboration, the university’s Ignite Summer School in 2010 is likely to be in hot demand.Ignite is an intensive, one-week training programme for aspiring entrepreneurs and corporate innovators to trial and prepare business ideas for the commercial environment.
It comprises a blend of practical teaching sessions, expert clinics, mentors’ sessions and experienced advice and support from leading entrepreneurs and innovators that provide the tools, contacts and confidence to transform an idea into a successful business venture.
It is organised by the university’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning and the 12th annual Ignite programme will take place from Sunday June 27 to July 3, 2010 at Judge Business School, Cambridge, where CfEL is based.
Dr Shai Vyakarnam, director of CfEL says: “Our vision is to develop into a globally recognised and unique learning programme for innovators to turn new technology ideas into world-beating business propositions.”
Ignite has been proven over the years to fast-track innovation – as alumni of the event are more than happy to testify.
Alumni from 2009 have been singing the event’s praises. Alicia Asín Pérez from Libelium Comunicaciones Distribuidas S.L. (Spain) said: “I learnt a lot from other people’s experiences at Ignite.
“You can be inspired by the large number of ideas in the air and apply them to your business, even if you operate in a different segment.
“I was really impressed by the networking events as people were proactive and willing to do business or provide contacts for that purpose. The opportunity to immerse myself in the strategic aspects of my business with the aid of mentors enabled me to put new ideas into practice.
“The result of Ignite is that my colleagues and I have polished the route-to-market for our particular product and are releasing Waspmote (www.waspmote.com), our sensor device for sensor networks.”
Another delegate from last year, Dr Peng Li, a research associate with CAPE in Cambridge (the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics) said that Ignite was, without a doubt, “the best and quickest way to get educated, trained and connected on all aspects of entrepreneurship. For most of the non-business background participants it opens the door to an entirely new world.”
The word ‘phenomenal’ is often applied to Cambridge and John Murray from Scottish Enterprise, who was also at Ignite in 2009, enthused: “Ignite provides a phenomenal mix of inspirational events, entrepreneurial support and practitioner-led education.
“The intensity and quality of the experience will inspire some to ‘go-for-it’ and convince others that company building is not for them.
“Those seeking to build successful global businesses are more likely to do so as a result of Ignite. Overall, Ignite provides a fantastic runway for high flyers to take-off from.”
The Ignite programme is aimed at researchers and managers from established organisations with business ideas for:-
• Diversification of products and markets
• An internal venture or spin-out from an existing company
• Determining the best business model and marketing strategy to commercialise a new idea
• Developing commercial proposals to the company board in order to secure resources and internal support for your team
• Students, graduates or academics considering their own venture
• Directors of existing young businesses that are seeking to commercialise a new product or service