10 Hours of Business Planning – Hackathon!

I act as a teaching assistant for Dr. Robert Newbery’s Enterprise Creation module. A module within the Faculty of Business where students have the opportunity to devote the entire module to  coming up with a viable business idea and developing it with the constant support of Module Leader Dr Robert Newbery, and myself as facilitator for the BETA Enterprise student business start-up support programme.

BETA Enterprise Business Plan Hackathon run by BETA in Futures.

The Enterprise Creation module helps students stretch their understanding of business. One of the first exercises within the module is for students to come up with one hundred business ideas in a week and send the list to Dr Robert Newbery. During the module, students learnt that great business ideas were comparatively plentiful but the difficult part was putting the idea into action and being the right person for that idea. Students had to consider how they could convince investors that they had the right skills, team and contacts to make that good idea a success.

Towards the final module deadline in January 2016, I ran a ten hour Business Plan Hackathon for Enterprise Creation module students and BETA Enterprise programme students.


Enterprise Creation student Eddy discussing his Malaysian food business idea.

The Hackathon was designed to assist student’s development of their business ideas and fine tune their business plans. Students brought along their business plan drafts on their laptops and worked on their plans in a timed setting. Dr Robert Newbery and nine business experts were available on the day to offer advice to students about their business ideas and business plans.  External experts available on the day included, technology and design expert Raphael Dennett, finance expert Lawrence Watkins, Human Resources manager Karen Bussell, Neil Pick from Tell Us Group, Heather Forster from Crowdfunder and commercial property owner Richard Peachey.

Also available to the students at the Business Plan Hackathon were Plymouth University Law lecturer Nigel Firth, his associates and several final year Law students. The final year Law students have been working with enterprising Plymouth University Business School students to develop their experience in producing client reports. In return, enterprising students on the BETA Enterprise programme and Enterprise Creation module received free legal advice for their business ideas.


Enterprise Creation student Eddy was up from 3am preparing Malaysian food tasters for business experts and classmates to get feedback on his business idea involving Malaysian food.

This was a very valuable event for Business School student and Law students alike.  Many thanks are due to the generous experts and entrepreneurs who devoted most of their day for the benefit of Plymouth University students. The Enterprise Creation module has proved to be a fun, challenging and highly beneficial module to be enrolled on and a lot of fun to be involved with for myself.


Students discussing their business plans with external business experts


In what way did you benefit the most from the Business Plan Hackathon?

Which experts do you want at the next Hackathon?

Are you an enterprising student in need of legal advice for your business idea?

Want to know more about the BETA Enterprise business start-up support programme?

Let me know at: amber.strong@plymouth.ac.uk


PBS Staff Photo Shoot for web pagesAmber Strong
Amber Strong -Network Advisor in Entrepreneurship

Have you read our other Hackathon related posts? We run one within Enterprise Creation this is our previous one in 2015  post. Here is our post on 2015’s Social Storm Hackathon


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