The Perse School

Students learn the secrets of starting up at enterprise conference

9 Feb 2015

Almost 250 students from 20 schools from across the East of England, including King Edward VI School, Uppingham School, Saffron Walden County High and The Perse School met successful business people on Monday to learn about what it takes to start up their own business.

Student delegates aged 15-18 reviewed business case studies to select the most promising, and designed a plan to grow the business, pitching their ideas to a panel of ‘Dragons’ to secure £100,000 of investment. Their second networking workshop tested students’ ability to form effective working relationships by quizzing 15 potential business people to find out who was a genuine business guru and who was an impostor.

This annual event, now in its tenth year, is organised by The Perse School, and is designed to help students develop their interpersonal and leadership skills, whilst learning about what it takes to start up a business and attract that all-important investment to drive it forward.

Business leaders who shared their insights into the world of business included William Reeve, founder of LOVEFiLM and co-founder of Secret Escapes and Zoopla, Johnny Luk, CEO of the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs and Max Grell, co-founder of GivTree – an online platform that uses a chain reaction of donations to raise money for charity.

Students pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges including Glenn Collinson, co-founder of Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR); Dan Sandhu CEO of ACIS a private equity technology business and Ewan Kirk, CEO and co-founder of Cantab Capital Partners LLP.

Head of The Perse School, Ed Elliott said:

“The proliferation in start-ups over recent years means any careers advice worth its salt must include the opportunities entrepreneurship can offer. We need to realise the talents of the next generation and ensure that good business ideas and flair are supported and developed. This conference connects the would-be entrepreneurs of tomorrow with the successful business leaders of today.”

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