Contributed by Philip Budd
23/12/2020 - The Weave
Six teams of PHD students from universities across the region came together to solve business challenges presented by three very different Essex companies.
The Challenge was administered by the team from The Weave, a Colchester-based initiative, which aims to bring students and businesses together to work collaboratively in a shared desire to innovate. The ten-week programme is designed to give students the opportunity to work with businesses and mentors in a problem-solving experience that would enhance their business skills and give established enterprises a new perspective on an existing challenge.
The three businesses taking part were the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea), investment management firm Brewin Dolphin and Colchester-based tattoo studio Monumental Ink. Each business wanted to explore how they could reach new markets in the next year and beyond.
After ten weeks work, each team had 15 minutes to present their research and strategy in a virtual event attended and judged by business leaders from across the region. The overall winning team was Peak Performers, who presented a ‘creative and innovative’ solution for investment management firm Brewin Dolphin.
Director of Monumental Ink Aaron Clarke said, “The students all made a great effort to understand the challenges within my business. I received feedback about my business from the perspective of the students, which I found priceless. The team clearly put time and thought into their pitches and had plenty of innovative ideas. I enjoyed seeing the passion of these future entrepreneurs in these uncertain and strange times.”
The winning team received a bundle of prizes including £750 in vouchers to be used for training, internship expenses or membership to a professional body.
Director and co-founder of The Weave, James Cracknell, said, “We are hugely appreciative of the hard work that these students committed to in delivering smart, creative solutions to real world business challenges.
“In these difficult times it is creativity that will win the day – we need to lean into our communities, work collaboratively and exercise our problem-solving muscles in a different way.”
Pictured: Aaron Clarke, Monumental Ink
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