First year students on Bristol Business School’s BA (Hons) Business: Team Entrepreneurship programme recently took part in a learning activity delivered by the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator based in Bristol. During the week-long activity, known as the NatWest Bootcamp, the Team Entrepreneurs learned about key entrepreneurial concepts such as growth mindset and customer validation while also developing their skills in developing business ideas, working effectively in teams and pitching their ideas.
During the NatWest Bootcamp students were allocated into teams and tasked with developing a business idea aimed at solving a real problem. Teams were encouraged to explore the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for inspiration of which problems to focus on, as well as reflecting on their own experiences as students and consumers. The week culminated in a pitching event held at the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Hub in the City Centre in which the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of entrepreneurs, receiving invaluable feedback on their ideas.
During the week the Team Entrepreneurs benefitted from a workshop on pitching, delivered by NatWest’s Entrepreneur Acceleration Manager Andrew Jackson. The pitching structure shared during the workshop follows the same approach used by entrepreneurs on the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator programme when pitching for investment. Team Entrepreneurs were also able to gain feedback on their pitches during a practice pitch session with Andrew Jackson which allowed them to finesse their pitches before the final day.
The partnership between Team Entrepreneurship and the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator has evolved over the past five years and the NatWest Bootcamp represent a key milestone in the academic calendar for the year 1 Team Entrepreneurship students, providing a strong foundation of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge. Speaking of the partnership, NatWest’s Entrepreneur Acceleration Manager Andrew Jackson commented:
“The Team Entrepreneurship Bootcamp has been a regular appointment in the NatWest Accelerator’s diary for a number of years – supporting the UWE students through a series of workshops and challenges from the Power of Mindset through the concepts associated with ‘Knowing Your Customer’ to creating and delivering a great Pitch. I’m constantly impressed by the way the students apply themselves to the challenge of considering creating an idea, validating their assumptions and developing a credible solution to real-world, real-time issues. It’s a pleasure to be involved and a privilege to be able to help and support the development of the next generation of creative, entrepreneurial thinkers.”
The NatWest Bootcamp is a strong example of an academic-industry partnership which is adding real value to the student experience. Many of the Team Entrepreneurship students that have taken part in the Bootcamp have continued developing their business ideas further and some have stayed in touch with Andrew Jackson and his team for further mentoring and guidance as they grow and develop as entrepreneurs.