If you’re surprised it’s already 2019, we’re right there with you! After a stellar victory for our winning team last April, Enterprise by Design is back for 2019 and we can hardly believe it’s already here!

New students across the business, arts, science, and engineering disciplines filled up the collaboration space in Pontio last Monday, all eager to hear the low down on this year’s challenge. While there are some new changes that are sure to make things interesting for this year’s teams, one thing that hasn’t changed is the level of interdisciplinary collaboration throughout the teams!

All about Enterprise by Design

If you’re new to Enterprise by Design, look no further! A 10-week annual event, Enterprise by Design is organised by Bangor University and Pontio Innovation in conjunction with local businesses in North Wales which brings students from four different disciplines—Business, Science, Arts, and Engineering—together to form teams and create innovative ideas that will help enhance the local economy. 

Enterprise by Design is a unique challenge because of the way students from different academic backgrounds work from the ground up to make teams, develop novel ideas, and present real world products or designs by the end of the challenge. The students get the chance to work together as most modern companies do every day, with a team of innovators with an array of strengths and talents.

Every Thursday, students are tasked with one take-away assignment each week, as well as the overall aim to create a larger business plan over the 10-week period, to then be judged by academics and the partnering businesses to determine which team has the most innovative idea.

With roughly an hour’s help each week from post-graduate facilitators and academic staff, students must go it alone the rest of the time and use their specialist skills to develop this business plan. This plan could possibly be developed further and executed for one of the world’s booming wellness tourism areas.

It all sounds rather ordinary for University, until the winning team is given a cash prize to put their pitch into action!

What to expect in 2019-the Memorable Challenge

In the past, students have worked with businesses such as Rib Ride and Zip World to create ideas for augmented reality apps and to help foster the links between local companies. If you want more info on our winners last year, visit here.

However, for 2019, Enterprise by Design is shaking things up! For this year, the sky’s the limit with ideas for the teams, as there are no specific businesses that the students have to mould their projects around. Instead, students will come up with an idea entirely of their own that after the 10 week challenge will be judged and marketed by several businesses across North Wales.

There is a theme for this year, the ‘Memorable’ Challenge, to create a proposal for a product and/or service that improves accessibility to experiences in North Wales and makes those experiences more memorable. The students still have to stay within the Wellness tourism sector for their challenge, but that is definitely not a bad thing, as it is one of the fastest growing industries in North Wales, and there can be loads of opportunities from the student’s ideas from this challenge!

Each team will be given access to a specialist tutor, someone within one of the departments in the university that can give them sound advice about the industry and how to pitch their ideas to the judges at the end of the challenge. The teams will also get a postgraduate facilitator, postgraduate students who also span the different fields, who are going to help the teams with each weeks’ challenge in exchange for a stake in the prize at the end of the competition!

The Week One Challenge

After a brief from Andy Goodman, the students had to begin forming their teams. Provided with panels which had the letters of their field on them—B-business, A-Arts, S-Science and E-Engineering—students wrote their names on them and pitch themselves by answering questions such as:

  • Why would you be a useful member of a team?
  • What can your subject contribute?
  • What are your strengths/skills/experience?
  • What are your unique selling points?

As the students mingled around the room to find their new partners, they had to sell themselves to other potential members, highlighting their strengths and backgrounds. As the teams formed, their boards linked up together to make a tetrahedron.

Once the teams were formed, the groups had to then work together to sell their attributes as a team to the postgrad facilitators. By the end of the night, the students had a team of interdisciplinary students and an exciting challenge ahead of them. Each student within the teams were given keywords to brainstorm over the coming week:

Keywords for brainstorming!

Business Students:Market, price

Arts Students: User and Story

Science Students: Memory and Emotion

Engineering Students: Instrumentation and Value

Hopefully next week, students will return to Pontio full of ideas of ways to make North Wales more memorable…it will be interesting to see how their backgrounds and experiences compliment each other over the weeks!

To learn more about the groups progress week by week, visit our Twitter account: @EBD_Bangor