hat would you do with a whole bunch of entrepreneurs? Now, there is a question. I’m not sure if entrepreneurs work well in groups or are they better as individuals. Is entrepreneurship a team sport? A bubble of entrepreneurs is the suggested collective noun but I’m not so sure. An opportunity may be better.
Why am I asking? Well, Durham University has an entrepreneur society. It is the largest student run society on campus. I have no others to compare with yet that sounds impressive. They bring students together who are interested in commerce with events such as the kick start programme which is held over a weekend. Their focus is mainly on careers and developing skills that will be useful in the market. Some but my no means all go on to create their own businesses. They comprise some computer scientists but of late the majority group is made up of economists.
But what is an entrepreneur? The definition given is a person who organises and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk. Yet the word has come to be synonymous with someone who has a flair for business, a risk taker or someone with the Midas touch. Taking the former definition I know many entrepreneurs.
Is there an opportunity for us to work with the entrepreneurs of Durham University to create new products or services that may be of use, either to us as an organisation or the wider public? I think so which is why Paul, from Tech North and I met with them. We want to put on some event in the autumn term that gets their collective wisdom around some of the opportunities we have ahead of us. It will be a sort-of hackathon. It may take a lot of beer and pizza to pull it off.
The question is what would we like them to address. The work that I got involved in on COPD is an obvious area yet we already have a lot of this covered. Loneliness is another. Perhaps though, we can use our upcoming New Ways of Working. Are there any products or services that a group of entrepreneurs could come up with that improve our experience, create efficiencies or deliver solutions to the problems we face? That sounds like an exciting prospect.
I may even offer a small prize.