What happens at the YES workshop
Each of the three day workshops start at 10am on the Wednesday morning with presentations by leading figures in industry. This is where you are introduced to the most important topics you need to consider when starting up a company. Topics covered include:
- the requirements of a business plan
- intellectual property and patenting strategy
- raising and managing finance
- commercial and marketing strategies
- regulatory affairs
On Thursday morning, company founders share their personal experience in setting up a business. You will find that although almost every business is unique, there are some widespread lessons that apply across the board. This is your opportunity to learn from entrepreneurs within the engineering and scientific community who have been through the process themselves.
After lunch on the Wednesday and Thursday, the oral business plan is prepared by your team with each member assuming a different role within the company (e.g. Managing, Finance, Research and Development, Marketing or Operations Director).
Mentors will be on hand to answer questions, give advice and provide a focus for your team’s ideas. Teams are encouraged to seek advice from the mentors on both general strategy as well as specific aspects of their plan.
Teams should recognise that mentors can only offer advice – there are no definitive answers and part of your team’s remit is to decide on the best strategy for your company. You will also need to consider carefully how best to organise everyone’s time with the mentors to get the most value from their input. Each mentor will visit each of the teams for approximately 30 minutes.
Oral business plan presentations before a panel of equity investors will take place on the Friday. Each team is allotted 25 minutes; 15 minutes for the presentation and 10 minutes for questions. Each team member must contribute to the oral presentation.
The criteria against which business plans will be judged:
- overall structure and presentation
- plausibility of the research and development and IP strategy
- feasibility of the commercial and marketing strategy
- viability of the financial planning strategy
- planning of the management and personnel strategy
The workshop concludes at around 3pm with the announcement of the two teams being selected to progress through to the Final hosted at the Royal Society, London.
Following the workshop, members from all participating teams will receive a certificate and an invitation to join our LinkedIn group to stay connected with YES alumni. Written feedback will be provided, ten working days after the workshop, to each team.