"Basis delivered an insightful Entrepreneur Bootcamp, with creative approaches to business planning and pitching … Matt and team were knowledgeable, versatile and fun in their approaches to ensuring participants needs were met, amending the agenda to best meet individuals wants" - Ryan Johnson (Start-up entrepreneur)
A Journey of Practical Business Discovery and Application
Aimed at pre-start-ups, our Entrepreneur Bootcamp was designed to develop a team ‘dummy’ business. Our experiential approach allowed the group to take an initial idea and gather customer feedback to understand its value and refine the design, before moving on to create prototypes and practice pitching this business to a team of local business experts. This event formed part of OxLEP’s Elevate Programme, which meant attendees were able to receive ongoing expert advice and support post-Bootcamp to continue to develop their own business concept.
Over the 2-days these ‘dummy’ business grew from small lightbulb ideas into fledgling business opportunities. On the final day the groups pitched ideas including: a drinks machine that reduced single use plastic, an online negotiation service and innovative pump spray for hard to reach places to local business experts.
The learning was varied, the group explored potential markets, captured customer insight and realised the importance of a practical prototype, something tangible, that a customer can interact with and then provide valuable feedback. A round-robin style to pitching allowed each team member a chance to practice their pitching skills.
Concepts such as user-centred design, minimum viable product, Business Model Canvass and market segmentation were explored in depth. Our focus was to develop the attendees’ confidence in using these tools, which meant that each section followed a pattern of teaching theory and tools, coaching the groups to apply these tools, before facilitating the individuals to reflect upon their learnings. We believe that people learn from reflecting upon what they have done, so we regularly facilitated group reflection sessions and enabled individuals to take time to make sense of the learning and how it applied to their own Entrepreneurial ambitions.
After the final pitch, the group had an opportunity to plan their next steps for their own business idea, learn from those who are ahead of them in the start-up journey and discover what other support is available from OxLEP.
Aimee Stevens, an ex-social worker with exceptional design skills, looking to use her abilities to build a business said:-
When I signed up to Entrepreneur Bootcamp, I wasn't sure what to expect, who I’d meet or what I’d be doing. I’ve been out of the work environment for seven years looking after two small kids. I haven’t spoken to many grown-up people outside of toddler groups and I wasn’t sure if I am an Entrepreneur (can’t even spell the word!) or if I was up for Bootcamp. But I put on my Big Girl Pants and signed up anyway. And I’m really glad I did.
Putting themselves out there immediately, Matt, Rebecca and Bethan from Basis were frank and honest sharing their own business successes and failures easing the group's collective nerves from the offset.
…Although the activities were super fast paced and so much content was jammed in, Matt, Rebecca and Bethan ensured that each individual participant was onboard, giving us the tools to take forward our own ideas within a safe, neutral space. Matt as the lead trainer did a brilliant job at putting people at ease and ensuring that diverse topics like Imposter syndrome, procrastination and personal productivity could be discussed in the group in a safe and thoughtful way.
It was the reflective approach of the facilitators that really made this training stand apart from every other training workshop I’ve been to (and I’ve been to lots of training in the not-for-profit sector). Whilst it was clear that there was a well-thought-out overall framework and strategy, we watched the training get reimagined to the groups needs and interests as it unfolded. Feedback was requested at every stage, but not only that, it was acted upon!
Matt, Rebecca and Bethan’s skills and approaches complemented each other perfectly; as a participant, I really felt that they were truly invested in helping us embark on our business journey. Personally, I got a real confidence boost out of attending the Entrepreneur Bootcamp. I had so much fun and met a whole bunch of really interesting people that I hope to stay in touch with and about a million different ideas of where to take my business. I will wholeheartedly recommend their training to anyone who’ll listen! Thank you, Matt, Rebecca and Bethan at Basis.’
Helen Brind, Growth Hub Manager at OxLEP Business said:-
We engaged with Basis to deliver Entrepreneur Bootcamp as a part of our Elevate Programme, which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and OxLEP. The Elevate Programme is designed to help people in Oxfordshire to start-up, run or grow their business though workshops, grants and 1:1 support. It was fantastic to have such an enthusiastic group of entrepreneurs brimming with ideas and potential attend the event. Matt and the team created a fantastic atmosphere and tailored the event to the needs of the attendees. It was amazing to see the groups’ ideas, confidence and skills progress so rapidly in only two days.