What a great day in Leicester yesterday!
I was invited by the marvellous Edwina Goodwin to be a panel member for Fox’s Lair!® – De Montfort University’s panel format for judging of Year 1 pitches in the Leicester Business School.
I attended what was Leicester Poly as a student at the end of the 70s. You probably won’t be surprised to know I wasn’t a a model student but somehow scraped my way through a Maths & Computer Science degree and into a job. The rest is detailed in all its painful “glory” in my LinkedIn profile.
This is now part of De Montfort University in the centre of Leicester. It has changed dramatically; big new modern buildings and facilities and a good business school. As one of a number of “Foxes” I assessed pitches for potential businesses as part of their Year 1 assessment – which meant our scores directly affected to their degrees. Some very good pitches and presentations, some real innovation (I really like the flip book to demonstrate the steps through an app – see picture below) and just a small number of not very convincing pitches of the “oh sh*t two weeks to go, we’d better think of something” variety (nothing like a deadline to foster creative thinking). The standard was high – comparable to MBA students in Business Schools with higher profiles.
Returning to Leicester after all these years was a bit of a nostalgia wallow for me; then straight into two sessions seeing 9 pitches in total. I chose to walk back to the station (less than a mile – I love small cities!) and the glory that is New Walk – a pedestrianised road created in 1785!
The train back was early – just 65 minutes to London. Like my work at Oxford with Saïd Business School, I think it is time we stopped pouring so much of our entrepreneurial ecosystem efforts into one of the most expensive cities in Europe for start-up founders and supported initiatives elsewhere. There is more to the UK than London.
Very well done to all the team members in all the teams. Some really stepped up to the plate to play their part, and well done to Edwina and the rest of the staff in shaping the thoughts and attitudes of future entrepreneurial thinkers.