CEO of the University of Southampton Science Park and Catalyst Centre Founder, Peter Birkett, celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week.

This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week. Billed as: “the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare”, the Week is about inspiring people everywhere to explore their potential as innovators.

So, who better to share some key learnings on this very topic than CEO of the University of Southampton Science Park and Founder of the Catalyst Centre Peter Birkett? Peter has enviable experience which combines a scientific background and the setting up and running of a flight simulator business alongside two business partners. In a seminar this month, Peter was kind enough to let us in on his stories and advice. Here are his six top tips:

  • ENGAGE with customers at the earliest opportunity – you need to understand their requirements and buying behaviours right from the beginning.
  • FOCUS. Opportunities will always come along that seem like a great idea or a way to make quick money. Think hard about these because you need to remain focused to succeed.
  • CONTROL development costs. If your start-up is product based, ensure you are keeping a close eye on costs right from the start to ensure they don’t spiral out of control, leaving you no budget for sales and marketing.
  • CASH is king. Running out of money often spells the end for start-ups so paying careful attention to payment terms and debtors are fundamental to the success of any start-up.
  • RECRUIT wisely. Make sure you have the right people around you. (Keep an eye out for our next blog for tips on how to pick the right team!)
  • MANAGE expectations well, particularly those of shareholders. They will always want to see fast returns but if realistic plans are put in place at the beginning, it will be easier to deal with their demands.

Our four Catalyst Centre tenants have learnt a lot over the past two and a half months and Peter has been with them throughout their journey, judging them when they first came to pitch for their places, sitting in on their weekly seminars and sharing their successes and concerns. Let’s hope they put Peter’s wise words into practice as they take their businesses forward.

Have tips of your own? We’d love to hear them for Global Entrepreneurship Week. Please comment below! #GEWfwd

Don’t forget to follow @USSPark and @USSPCatalyst on twitter.