Catalyst Challenge 2014 part 2

We feel it’s important to nurture the entrepreneurs of the future. That’s why we team up with the University of Southampton to give its students the opportunity to get involved in the Catalyst Challenge, and why we look forward to this event continuing for years to come!

This Wednesday, a group of students were thrown in at the deep end and given just 3 hours to pull together a pitch related to a Catalyst Centre business. The winning team were looking at BluPoint – although they didn’t find out until the end that Mike Santer, the founder, was sitting in on their presentation! They came up with some excellent ideas, some of which aligned with what BluPoint is currently doing as part of its business growth, including working closely alongside non-governmental organisations and charities and partnering with local entrepreneurs.

Being able to work effectively as a team was an important element of the day and they had to ensure that individual personality traits were worked effectively to ensure a seamless pitch. The groups were required to carefully consider the personalities in their team, putting the natural leaders at the forefront of the presentation, and giving the people who prefer to work behind the scenes a helping hand in boosting their confidence. The teams had to decide which two members would be best at standing up in front of a packed room and pitching to a panel of experienced judges, and which two would be best at thinking on their feet during a gruelling Q&A.

Watching the student teams working out who was best suited to each role was a reminder to even the most experienced business owner that we should never stop grasping opportunities to learn from observing how others work around a challenge!

Peter Birkett, CEO of Southampton Science Park commented: “It’s been another great year for the Catalyst Challenge. Bringing in students from the University of Southampton is always a rewarding experience. It’s exciting to give students with an entrepreneurial spirit the opportunity to network with the established enterprises of the Science Park.”