SETsquared, the enterprise partnership of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, held the Xing Challenge at the Innovation Centre, Exeter yesterday. This was the second event this year supporting student enterprise and providing the students with the opportunity to improve their business and entrepreneurial skills ready for the challenges after graduation.
The Xing challenge was a day long event, where six teams made up of students from each of the five SETsquared universities, were each given a hypothetical business idea based on a genuine company. During the day, they used the Xing tool, a visualising planning game, to develop a strategy that would make their team’s company grow successfully.
The event concluded in a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style finale where each team pitched their business plan to a panel of six invited expert judges from different business sectors. There were two winning teams. One for their impressive pitch, and the second for their sound financial modelling. In addition, two students were individually recognised for the clear presentation of the financial aspects of their businesses. Each person received a £50 Amazon voucher.
Financial director of software testing and training company, TCL, and judge Chris White said: “Xing is excellent and I have really enjoyed being involved. Engaging students in these activities will go on to foster the entrepreneurial spirit that we like to see across the SETsquared universities, and help students start their own businesses.”
A business and economics undergraduate at the University of Exeter, Edward Latham, whose business provides unique opportunities for businesses to market to student on university campuses, said: “The Xing competition was a great way to meet other entrepreneurial students, and develop the skills I need to help make my business successful. It's given my business partner and I the chance to practise our pitching skills and gain access to helpful and influential alumni.”
About the SETsquared Partnership
The SETsquared Partnership (setsquared.co.uk) is the enterprise collaboration of the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey. Together, the universities employ 7,400 academic staff; earn nearly 10% of the UK’s higher education research budget; and produce 11% of all UK university patents.
The partnership has a 10-year track record of supporting companies through its business acceleration centres, which provide access to industry specialists, investors and experienced entrepreneurs. SETsquared currently supports over 250 early stage high-tech, high growth potential businesses, and 88% of its incubated companies are still in business three years on. In the past five years, nearly £0.75bn in investment funding has been raised by spin outs and incubated companies.
SETsquared supports student enterprise including an annual showcase and a global scholars program. It provides opportunities for industry to access academic ideas with commercial potential and seeks to promote the impact, economically and socially, of its institutions’ research and enterprise activities.
Follow us: Twitter: @SETsquared
Xing (twkg.net) is a visual planning tool that provides a genuinely challenging way to learn about how businesses are created and grown. Used in a range of educational and commercial contexts worldwide, it focuses on the key decisions that businesses have to take to be successful. Xing is suitable for exploring the planning of any venture from a high tech start-up to a charity.