Category Archives: events

Entrepreneurs Exchange, Leeds Beckett University

Ella Woodward and Sir Charles Dunstone Entrepreneur’s Exchange

Ella Woodward and Sir Charles Dunstone Entrepreneurs Exchange

Earlier this month Ella Woodward and Sir Charles Dunstone spoke at the Leeds event for Entrepreneurs Exchange. The event sponsored by UKTI’s Exporting is Great and HSBC bank saw many events across UK cities held concurrently.

Ella Woodward is the heir of one of the daughters of the Sainsbury’s family. Her father is the former MP and cabinet member Shaun Woodward. Ella attended St Andrews University in Scotland but following graduation fell seriously ill gaining significant weight. Bed bound Ella started to develop gluten free healthy eating recipes and publishing to a blog. Ella now has 25,000 followers on Twitter and 6 members of staff. Deliciously Ella not only publishes the online healthy eating food blog but also some best selling books. Not bad for a 23 year old entrepreneur. Her advice is to be yourself, be enthusiastic and creative.

Following on from Ella was Sir Charles Dunstone. The billionaire mobile telecoms tycoon is not just the founder of the Car Phone Warehouse but also TalkTalk the telephony, TV and broadband provider. Sir Charles stated to be an entrepreneur you have to be a little thick. He went on to state he had just employed an executive who was Oxford educated completing a degree in Politics, Economics and Philosophy. This particular chap is so intelligent he often analyses data and makes one decision only to reverse the decision by analysing another set of data.

Sir Charles explained how his approach was to have a clear vision of where you are heading and stick to the course. You will get obstacles and barriers in the way but all you need to do is to find ways to go over them or round them. That’s why it pays to be a little thick as a entrepreneur otherwise you would never get started. Not bad from a person who is one of the world’s top 1000 richest people and a member of the Chipping Norton set.

Finally, Sir Charles talked about the importance of looking at your product and service from the customer’s point of view. Talk to your customers and listen to what they have to say so you can incrementally improve your business. Always look to simplify your business because as you grow things become more complicated. Without your customers you don’t have a business!

 

Silicon Valley comes to the UK 2013 @SVC2UK

Sherry Coutu Chair of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK

Sherry speaking at the Houses of Parliament

Sherry Coutu has pulled off another excellent year for Silicon Valley Comes to the UK. I was lucky enough to attend the Houses of Parliament and listen to thought leaders from around the globe on what they see as the future of education.

There were some great speakers including Diane Tavenner (Summit Schools), John Katzman (Noodle Education), Mike Keller (Stanford Library), Ben Nelson (Minerva Project), Louise Rogers (Times Educational Supplement), Eben Upton (Raspberry Pi) and Conrad Wolfram (Mathematica).

I found Diane of Summit Schools particularly interesting. Summit Schools in California are re-imagining the classroom.

Here are just a few of the things they are doing:

  • Classrooms without walls
  • Whiteboards on the back of chairs
  • Weekly 1 to 1 student mentoring which are student led
  • 8 weeks of study away from school in the community and in business
  • Teachers are conducting high value coaching in classrooms and students are watching videos at home (the flipped classroom approach)
  • Student’s have individualised learning plans

Sean Gilligan EdTech Entrepreneur

Mathematica explained the importance of teaching Maths through coding. Conrad explained that coding is to Maths what composing is to English.

Webanywhere are running some computer coding workshops for free in collaboration with Bradford University. You can visit our Codeanywhere site to learn more.

In addition, you can learn more about Silicon Valley Comes to the UK at the SVC2UK website.

Inspiring the next generation of Entrepreneurs

As an ex-pupil of Holy Family School in Keighley, I was delighted to be invited back to speak at their Enterprise Day today.

A group of Year 9 pupils were given an “Apprentice” style challenge to identify a business opportunity within the school and come up with a proposal to address it.

HFS Enterprise Day Photo July 2013 (2)

I was really impressed with the creativity and business acumen displayed by the 18 teams involved, and their confidence in presenting their ideas to a panel of their teachers.

Once the staff had scored each group out of 10 (Strictly Come Dancing style), a clear winner emerged – team “8 Minds” with their proposal for a swipe-card payment system to replace cash throughout school.

I’m sure that among those students there will be a few future business leaders, project managers and entrepreneurs –  who might one day give me a run for my money!

I was joined by one of our media team on the day to film the occasion, so I’ll share the finished videos with you soon.

Greetings from GESS Dubai

photo (1)I’ve been in Dubai since Sunday, as Webanywhere are attending the Gulf Educational Supplies & Solutions exhibition (GESS). The show has attracted visitors and exhibitors from across the Middle East, as well as Europe, America and East Asia. Our stand has attracted plenty of attention – with a lot of interest in our Learner Journey e-portfolio solution, as well as our VLE and website offerings.

The impression I get is that online learning is rapidly rising to prominence in the Middle East, and there’s certainly been a lot of interest in today’s keynotes from John Davies at Intel, and Dr. Al Awar from the Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University.

Most of all though, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to speak to delegates and fellow exhibitors on the stand – pictured is my meeting with Dr. Bader Aloliwi, CEO of ATAA Educational Company. The next few days will hopefully bring more valuable conversations, and the chance to compare notes with local educators on their vision of educational technology and where it’s heading.

If you happen to be at GESS this week, come and say hello –  we’re on stand R24. If not, you can find out a bit more about what’s going on via the GESS website at http://www.gesseducation.com – and maybe we’ll see you here next year.

Webanywhere at Learning Technologies and BETT 2013

Leaning Tech 2

Webanywhere are taking up residence in London this week as we show off the latest in education and workplace learning technology at BETT 2013 and The Learning Technologies Exhibition.

My colleagues in Workplace Learning and I kicked off proceedings this morning at Learning Technologies, with a rush of visitors to our stand (122 – come and visit us tomorrow if you get the chance, it’s well worth a visit!). As well as getting a chance to talk face-to-face with workplace learning professionals, and promoting new offerings (such as the Compliance Module for Moodle, and a groundbreaking social video platform for training) we are also hosting our partner The British Safety Council on the stand, as they promote their great range of health and safety e-learning courses.

A big highlight at the show tomorrow is the joint Webanywhere-Google seminar – Stretch your organisation further with Google Apps for Enterprise – not to be missed.

Tomorrow also sees the first day of BETT 2013, the world’s largest technology in education show. The Webanywhere presence at the show will be our largest to date – here’s just some of the reasons to drop by our stand:

    • Free Mathsanywhere account for primary schools who visit the Webanywhere stand
    • 5% discount for BETT visitors on the Webanywhere product range. Simply visit the stand and get the promo code(s)
    • Launch of the new look Learner Journey e-portfolio and safe social network for schools, with enhanced functionality, improved user interface and a range of new themes
    • Demonstrating the great new Learnanywhere mobile app, which allows the primary specific VLE to be accessed on the go
    • A joint promotion with Planet Sherston (stand F310) – take a product demo at both stands and claim a sticker. Attach both stickers to flyer to get a promo code for a fantastic special offer

…as well as the chance to talk to our e-learning consultants, who I can proudly say are the best in the business.

I’ll have updates throughout the week; be sure to follow @WebanywhereWork and @webanywhere_ltd for the latest Twitter updates, or check out the show hashtags #bettshow and #LT13UK

Learning Tech

Silicon Valley Comes to the UK

I was delighted to receive an invite to attend SVC2UK 2012 – Silicon Valley Comes to the UK 2012– and last week travelled to Cambridge to take part in this annual meet up of UK business leaders, Cambridge University students and the cream of Silicon Valley.

The event brings together digital entrepreneurs, investors, thought leaders and the brightest students of Cambridge University to debate, discuss, create and fund the technology of tomorrow.

As the sector under the spotlight this year was Education Technology, the event was of particular value to me. My main focus was the ‘Scale Up’ theme of the event – examining how to transition growing tech companies into internationally operating concerns with turnovers in the hundreds of millions.

SVC2UK+2

Webanywhere are certainly ‘scaling up’ as we broaden our horizons internationally, and so I was invited to join the CEO workshop event comprising of leaders of companies on track for rapid growth, who are looking to accelerate that growth.

I was inspired to speak with some of those who have been there and done it on the grandest scale, including Megan Smith, VP, Google [x], Rahul Vohra, Founder and CEO of Rapportive and Angela Lin, Head of YouTube Education. As you may imagine, I came away with plenty of food for thought. Something that struck a chord with me was that the best companies empower their staff to act like the CEO – to own their issues, to take control of their projects and to be proactive. If you have talented people, provide the space to be creative and you will be richly rewarded.

I also got chance to sit in on a very lively debate: The Future of Learning – What will students’ lives look like in 10 years time?, covering topics such as the flipped classroom, learning platforms and social and mobile learning.

The main thought left stuck in my head when leaving Cambridge was the need to stay dissatisfied. There are always opportunities to improve your offering, there is always a new challenge to stretch your ability, and always another horizon to aim for.