As ambitious postgraduate students, we were looking for opportunities to foster our entrepreneurial spirit alongside our studies. Blueprint was one of these opportunities for us which we heard about in one of our classes. After some brainstorming sessions, we developed a business idea and entered the competition.
We wanted to test out our skills and see how far the idea could go. For us, personally, the competition was not really about winning a monetary prize but about learning more about entrepreneurship and gaining confidence as future entrepreneurs. Moreover, telling experts about our idea to get their advice on it, was invaluable.
Through several workshops about pitching, financial planning and the legal aspects of a start-up, we could apply what we have learned directly to our business plan. Our business plan won the second challenge of Blueprint and thus we proceeded to the grand final, where we pitched our idea in front of a panel of judges. This was very exciting as we could put ourselves in the roles of entrepreneurs pitching to investors. A great opportunity in a safe university environment.
After long hours of working on our pitch, we had a crisp power point presentation with a prototype of our idea and presented our idea with great enthusiasm. After delivering our pitch well and answering some tricky questions from the judges afterwards, the judges were excited about the idea, and Rob and I felt proud.
The blueprint challenge enabled us to hone and showcase our confidence, ideation and presentation skills, thereby aiding us to convince a jury panels of industry experts and senior lecturers of our business idea. Receiving the Runner-Up award as the second best team overall, was definitely a great honour. When your work and personal idea gets recognised like that it just really boosts your confidence. We are now on the road to becoming entrepreneurs and starting a real business some day.
Written by Mathias Schubert, MSc Management (Entrepreneurship) and Robert Pulley, MSc Marketing.
“Blueprint harnesses the creative energy and spirit of innovation that exists amongst our very talented students. It provides an exceptional launchpad for some very exciting business ideas. Mathias and Robert engaged fully with the competition which really helped them to develop their confidence, skills and business model. The judges were impressed by their plans for the new app and have high hopes for their continued success.”
Vince Robson, University Enterprise Co-ordinator
To find out more about Blueprint see www.durham.ac.uk/careers/s/ent/