Relations with the Local Business Community

Since the high profile launch of the 1999/2000 competition by Herman Hauser, Director of Amadeus and highly sucessful entrepreneur, CUE has matured into an established part of the business community. Over the last 2 years, CUE has become renowned for the quality of the training programmes and mentoring it provides for its members in coordination with its sponsors and supporters.

The success of this partnership was celebrated earlier this year when CUE was nominated for the Coventry Evening News Business Training award for 2001 only 18 months after formation (see CUE in the media). Tim Minshall, Research Programme Director for the Coventry Entrepreneurship Centre, commented after the presentation "The CUE business plan competition this year was a resounding success and it can only be a matter of time before some great new businesses will emerge."

Sponsors and supporters of CUE play a vital role in enabling us to deliver such a comprehensive training programme combined with the opportunity to participate in one-to-one mentoring programmes. For exampe, finance lectures hosted by Paul Schofield from Arther Andersen, gave this years 50K participants an opportunity to do a dry run with their finances, exploring potential problems. Peter White, chairman of YTKO, opened the eyes of many with their guide to the market and marketing your product.

Networking events give students participating in the programme the opportunity to meet with people who have made the leap in to the unknown, and those who can advise them as they do it. The session pictured left enabled students to discuss their ideas with strategists from Analysis.

Intensive training weeks provide an opportunity for students to work with sponsors and supporters putting some of what they have learnt into practice and to develop their knowledge further. Among other sessions, Elly De Decker from McKinsey lead the Management Team session, requiring teams to get practical, working together to build a bridge. Understanding of Financials and Cashflows was developed further by Derek Broomfield, Martin Wright and Markus Kellar from HSBC and the mysteries of alliances and partnerships unravelled by ARM's Matt Lee.

The wealth of knowlege our supporters and sponsors have gained often through the trial and error of starting a company yourself is invaluable, and therefore we take every opportunity to welcome people with such experiences to try to impart at least a bit of their knowledge. Walter Herriot, the Managing Director of St. John's Innovation Centre has been one such supporter, conveying advice in a way that can only be the result of great experience.

CUE have also worked closely with many parts of the University, all keen to further entrepreneurial spirit in their students. Among the links made are the Manufacturing Engineering Department, The Institute for Manufacturing, The Department of Biotechnology and the Wolfson Industrial Unit.

CUE and its members would like to thank all those who have made contributions over the last year and look forward to another highly successful year.