I’ve taken a week off from the world to spend time at Enterprisers, a fabulous creation of Cambridge University and MIT. It’s a bit business bootcamp meets American summer camp, and this rendition is taking place in nearby Stirling. Walking into the room, you’d have little sense of being in Scotland though as the remarkably international group has left the Brits a minority.
So, what is actually taking place here? You might say it’s a four day workshop to develop entrepreneurial skills. You might say it’s a business rendition of Obama’s ‘Yes we can’. Or you might say it’s a social opportunity for computer science, business, and artsy students. But more noteworthy than the actual activity is the bit of magic in the air – the world has come together and it feels like anything could happen.
I’m sitting now on the afternoon of Day 3, staring at the lake outside Stirling Management Centre and wondering what might result from this Enterprisers experience a month from now, a year from now, a decade away… There have been so many people connected, lessons learned, observations recorded, ideas sprung, and I am simply flooded with thought overload as I try to share what has taken place and what has struck me most.
To get the ball rolling, I’ll share a selection of experiences now and try to cover some thoughts/lessons in more detail at a later point. So, in the last 55 Enterprisers hours…
- I watched a team of students from China, Nigeria, Ireland and India develop a business around the idea of real time voice translation
- Rockets made from hotel scraps were launched to phenomenal heights
- Energetic presentations were made by several people who were initially very timid and shy
- Supposedly ‘non-creative’ students had their sparks re-lit and generated hundreds of new ideas thanks to post-its and leaves
- Two girls coincidentally reunited here after having gone to primary school together in India and not staying in touch
- The sun came out in Scotland for 3 consecutive days!
Perhaps the miraculous weather is being fueled by our sunny dispositions, and spirits remain high rolling into the evening (in spite of our early starts and late nights!). Several Scottish startups and experienced entrepreneurs will be joining us tonight, so I’m excited to help folks connect and to witness more sparks flying around. I have no idea what impact these four days will have on the next month, year, or decade, but it is simply an honour to get to be involved.