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Maxwell Centre

 

Impulse at the Maxwell Centre

"The Impulse programme provides a totally different learning environment for researchers and scientists enabling them to reach their full potential and develop their ideas. The involvement of real business practitioners, with industry knowledge and experience, together with the West Cambridge community sets this programme apart."
Prof Sir Richard Friend - Director of the Maxwell Centre and Entrepreneurial Advisor

 

Impulse serves as a catalyst for entrepreneurship in individuals and organisations. The programme is about strong action learning and result driven where participants bring their innovative ideas to the table. It acts as a learning vehicle, prioritising and developing, with a sharp focus on "high-potential" business cases. The core of Impulse’s approach is to engage experienced entrepreneurs to act as role models and to provide guidance.

Through Impulse, the participants get the opportunity to develop commercialisation strategies for their novel ideas and receive additional follow-up mentoring and master classes, delivered in collaboration with the West Cambridge enterprise community. They receive expert advice and mentoring from successful entrepreneurs, innovators and investors, and benefit from networking with over 80 contributors from the Cambridge entrepreneurial community and Maxwell Centre’s industry partners.

The programme is delivered entirely by entrepreneurs and industry experts. Whilst we have a strong academic base, one of the key success factors of Cambridge is the strong links we have with the dynamic, high growth entrepreneurs and innovators locally. We believe that early intensive contact with experienced entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, business angels, tailored mentoring and advice from these industry experts make a substantial impact on the successful realisation and prospects of these fresh ventures.

The programme is built on more than 10 years of experience in creating practical entrepreneurial programmes for the scientists and academic entrepreneurs. Impulse fulfils a unique role of sustaining a strong network of entrepreneurs, practitioners and industry partners, and transferring knowledge, insights and experience onto nascent entrepreneurs and researchers.

 

 

Structure

The programme is comprised of two intensive residential modules and individual assignments between the modules over a period of three months. Both mentoring and regular clinics (one-to-one discussions with business professionals) happen over three months. In this way, we give our participants a bit longer to develop their idea with the continued help and advice they need, and keep their spirits alive for the next stage of business development.

 

1. Module A: Preparing a Business Case

Module A consists of 3.5 day intensive programme with specific themes on each day. The aim is to enable participants to start to clearly articulate their visions, markets, customers, value propositions, business models and understand the resources required such as team and finance as part of the very early stages of developing serious business cases. The mentor sessions with entrepreneurs will open up the conversations about where the real opportunities exist and engage the participants in a creative exercise in developing commercial strategies for their ideas. The networking sessions with senior entrepreneurs and innovators will give them the opportunities to test and refine the ideas for the next steps.

2. Individual Assignments: Refining your ideas

This individual “study“ period provides a supplementary learning and consolidation experience for the participants who have attended Module A in order to further develop their ideas at their own pace.  This will concentrate on market research activities, mentor sessions (on-line or face to face) to progress the ideas and one to one clinics (on-line) to explore ideas, questions with experienced business professionals.

The programme is run in parallel with the participants‘ normal work activities – there is considerable flexibility about how the aims of the programme can be achieved.

3. Module B: Validating your business case

Module B enables the participants to progress and test their refined ideas on another intensive 3-day residential programme.  It will concentrate on the mentor sessions, one to one discussion with business professionals, pitch practice, business plan presentations where the participants can get direct advice, further gudiance and feedback. A few workshops will concentrate on building additional entrepreneurial knowldge and skills that are relevant to our participants at this stag

 
 

"Nothing beats working with bright people who are passionate about their ideas and ready to take on the world.  For sure you have to think on your feet and be prepared to challenge and be challenged. It is most definitely worth it if you can help them to take the next steps towards achieving their goals"

Jamie Urquhart - Impulse Mentor and co-founder of ARM

 
 

The programme is delivered through a combined learning approach including practical workshops, industry mentoring, one to one advice with business professionals, investor pitch and individuals' homework for doing market research, on-line based learning and informal networking.

 

Workshops

All the workshops are delivered by the senior entrepreneurs and innovators using their practical insights and examples which are relevant to the business cases of the participants. These sessions give you background knowledge, opportunities to ask the questions and reflect how to apply to your business case.

 

Mentor sessions

We arrange the small groups so that each mentor group has around 6 participants. The aim in assigning participants to each mentor groups is to try and place those with similar needs together as much as possible, e.g. the stage of idea development or industry requirements. We regularly work with mentors and contributors at our programmes for many years to support the participants on the programme with practical help and with senior level mentoring and guidance. We have carefully selected the mentors so that they are” more pull than push” in their style.

Working with your mentor

  • Providing an independent view of ideas, asking questions to challenge and guide you in clarifying ideas

  • Brainstorming with you a roadmap for commercialisation possibilities

  • Enabling you to draw on the learning from workshops, reading materials and apply it to your business idea

  • Guiding you in development of a compelling pitch 

  • Counselling, motivation and encouragement

  • Team coaching as well as individual support and guidance

  • Making introductions to other experts

 

The programme is built on more than 10 years of experience in creating practical entrepreneurial programmes for the scientists and academic entrepreneurs. Impulse fulfils a unique role of sustaining a strong network of entrepreneurs, practitioners and industry partners, and transferring knowledge, insights and experience onto nascent entrepreneurs and researchers.

 

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