As The Castle Herald reported last September, during the Bader International Study Centre’s Innovation Term (i2TRM) students have an opportunity to build the skills they need to launch their own business ventures. Students work with peers from arts, science, business, and engineering backgrounds, and get real-world expert support from Queen's instructors, innovators, and alumni living in the U.K.
Last term, from Nov. 23-25, the students from the i2TRM program hosted an Ideasfest at Herstmonceux Castle. The event brought passionate individuals from across the U.K. and Queen's University together to collaborate and develop new ventures.
Titled Forecasting the Future, the Ideasfest was an opportunity for BISC students and students from the universities of Exeter, Southampton, Surrey, and Bristol (all members of the U.K.’s SETsquared University Partnership) to develop a business idea over the course of three days, with a focus on future technologies and potential global issues. Ideasfest participants attended workshops and developed ideas that they then pitched at a final competition at the end of the weekend.
The student-led workshops explored areas such as ideation, how to pitch successfully, and using a Business Model Canvas. Delegates worked in teams to develop venture ideas and then pitched them on the final day to a panel of judges featuring Queen’s alumni Liam Dye, Sc’15, senior associate with Onex Corporation’s private equity team in London, Jay Dickieson, Artsci’08, an entrepreneur who founded Rosedale Capital after a career in both strategy consulting and running early stage companies, and Lauren Mulholland, Sc’15, a senior data analyst at Avora, a data analytics start-up located in London.
The BISC’s i2TRM students designed and implemented all aspects of the event, from marketing materials and event planning to logistics and sourcing volunteers. The Ideasfest team even recruited their fellow Castle students to form an executive team to help with the smooth running of the event. Ideasfest was an assessed element of ENIN 400 – a Design Sprint course tailored to students enrolled in the i2TRM program.
i2TRM course director Christina Dinsmore praised BISC students Danielle Baxter, Artsci’19 (environmental science), Karina Bland, Sc’18, (engineering chemistry), James Hantho, Com’19, and Jeff Misner, Com’20 for their tireless efforts.
The final pitches required participants to create a solution for a problem that they believe will greatly impact the earth over the next 50 years and included an automated indoor farming system, and an ingenious method of repurposing waste from oceans and landfills into alternative energy sources. The winner was an app called Rainy Days, the brainchild of a team of students from the University of Southampton, which features an artificially intelligent therapist that helps teenagers cope with the initial signs of depression.
Watch a short promo video that the i2TRM students put together to promote Ideasfest.