The 22nd of May, our company Dogram Engineering of Three-dimensional Documentation, supported and advised by BIC Asturias, was awarded with the prize Entrepreneur XXI 2014 in Asturias, promoted by La Caixa, organized jointly with Deparment of Economy and Employment of Principado de Asturias and co-awarded by the Ministry of Industry , Energy and tourism through ENISA.
This prize has give us access to the Ignite Programme 2014 at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. Ignite is an intensive, one-week training programme for aspiring entrepreneurs and corporate innovators to trial and prepare business ideas for the commercial environment.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the course in representation of Dogram and travel to the wonderful city of Cambridge, where just the environment makes you live a unique experience.
Personally, from minute zero, both classmates and the entire team that organizes the course, make you feel that you are part of a big family. It was a very intense week, everyone has worked very hard but it has certainly been worth the effort.
Every day was organized around a theme: marketing, business model, finances and team. In the morning, during the training sessions we received specific information about each topic.
While in the afternoon, we had the opportunity to participate in small groups more personalized where each entrepreneur shared his idea receiving the feedback of the expert and the classmates. Also every evening for three hours, in groups of seven people, we developed our project with our mentor and facilitator, in my case Steve Temple and Kristin Dorsett who I express my gratitude for your help. We worked with them on our elevator pitch and our business model for the presentation that each student would do on the last day of the course to investors.
Finally, on Friday morning we could show our business model to investors, business angels and experts, who were pre-selected based on the areas in which each estudent wanted to deepend, our business model in one to one sessions for half an hour, getting their opinions and advices to improve.
In the afternoon, each student made his closed-door presentation to a panel of three investors. The presentation consisted of 10 minutes of speech and 20 minutes for questions. My panel was formed by James Graham (UKTI Global Entrepreneurs Programme), Hugh Parnell (GEIF/NW Brown) y Paul Webster (Ubisense), who recognized the potential of our technology and seemed interested on it.
The presentation session were interspersed with the panel presentations, each one of us had a space available to display their business idea to investors, mentors, entrepreneurs, and external executives.
This allowed us to review all aspects of our business model, getting tools to improve it, obtaining the feedback of experts and classmates and a huge networking.
Other people with great experience which I had the opportunity to show Dogram to were:
- Alan Barrell (Cambridge Healthcare Ltd)
- Philip Baddeley (Equity Fingerprint)
- David Coates (Independent Consultant)
- Chris Lamaison (Cambridge Resolution Ltd)
- Peter Phillips (Financier)
- Pawel Piotrowicz (Venner Shipley LLP)
- Simon Pratten (Mentor and Coach)
- Orsolya Ihasz (Enterprisers Programme Manager)
In spite of our hard work, there was also time to share experiences with our colleagues from around the world, enjoying their company and knowing the city.
This year the participation in the course is part of the selection process of the prize Entrepreneur XXI 2014. In September, Caixa will notify the eight companies selected to be in the state phase. I hope that my participation in the course has been up to the expectations of the team of Dogram because it has been an honor for me to represent both Dogram as all asturian entrepreneurs.
From here wish luck to all my colleagues, a total of 17 companies with very different activities, with great entrepreneurs and better people with whom I have been fortunate to share this experience and many more that remain us. I think we all agree that been or not in the final stage all we have lived is a huge reward.
Co-founder of Dogram