In this text you’ll get to read Markus & Mathias thoughts about the festival (External link), ups and downs, what we liked and what could be better. We hope that you take the time to read our thoughts and please comment if there is any thing you would want to know about the festival or us!
It has been really fun to write here at Inside Arcada and we definitely will continue with it!
My overall thoughts on the entrepreneurs festival in Manchester are very good and my expectations were met by far and many times over.
So the festival was arranged for the first time ever and time will tell if there is going to be a second festival. I sincerely hope that it will be arranged enough times to gain status in the participating countries and generate even more success in the future.
In the very beginning we were asked to form teams on the social media service Yammer (External link). I don’t think that very many actually did succeed to do so but I was very surprised to see how fast teams took form in the beginning of the festival. Our teams turned out to be very different and that also brought results in the competition. To give an example, our friend Rodrigo had a scientific way of thinking which led to us being able to focus our pitches better. We didn’t talk around the point but got straight down to business and by doing this we communicated the point to the judges better and better. I don’t think that there really is any way to form a team other than to talk to each other.
The panels that were set up for us were absolutely extraordinary. The expertise and the people were really competent and they addressed all the questions and issues like pros. There were literally no answers filled with air and incomprehensible in my mind. The speeches I will remember were held by Versarien (External link) partner Neill Ricketts (External link) on he’s will to achieve, PlusNet (External link) pioneer Lee Strafford on his career/life and Alex Van Someren (External link) of Amadeus Capital partners (External link) on venture capital. (External link)
Even the arrangements were executed with precision and I did not recognize any single flaw in the timing or schedule.
Of the mentoring I have to mention Marco Camisani-Calzolari (External link). He had the biggest impact of them all on our idea. The 40 minutes session he gave to us at MediaCity (External link) really embodied our idea. He basically took six guys, threw us in a bag and out again with a clear mind. Later on there is no doubt that he has had success in he’s own business ventures. The last facilitator to mentor us before our competition pitch also made us lots and lots better.
I would also like to extend a special thanks to Andrew Humphries (External link) (who has to love he’s job and it shows) for being an awesome host and making it all even more memorable as well as Annette Kramer (External link) for the pitching. I’ll never forget the “bla, bla Ginger method”.
At the end of this text and in our last blog post regarding this event I have to express my gratitude to UK Trade & Investment (External link) for the arrangements and also extend a thank you to all the mentors and speakers. This truly was amazing and I hope that it will carry fruit along the road which it probably will. Thank you!
Markus pretty much summarized the whole festival, and I very much agree with him. But I am going to lift up some points that he left for me.
UKTI truly made a amazing job arranging this festival and it has been one of my best weeks in my life. I have learned so much about business, cultures, teamwork and much more.
I have a very big interest in event management and some experience and what constantly came to my mind was that someone has done an very good job arranging everything, so a big thank you to the festival team.
Some of the highlights for me were, as Markus also mentioned, the session about raising funds and the lesson they gave us. Also the hour we had with Annette Kramer was amazing, how she took hold of the entire room and gave some really good points for our pitches.
But I think that the biggest lessons I got from our team, the people I worked with the whole week. In our team we had 4 members with a PhD one with a Master and Markus who is just about to finish his bachelors but I am still in a quite early stage in my studies so I was very inspired of all the people I got to work with.
So in summary it has been an truly amazing three days and I really hope that UKTI will continue arranging this festival and in some years I can come and inspire some young entrepreneurs and get loads of new ideas.
Everything I have learned I Manchester I will try to implement in Arcada through an Entrepreneurship Society I am starting this fall, so everyone interested in entrepreneurship can join, I will post some more info about it here when we are set!
Mathias & Markus