On Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the Oxford Business X marketplace, where a bunch of kids from various Oxfordshire schools came in to Saïd Business School to pitch business ideas they had developed and to recruit a pair of MBA mentors from our class. There were about 16 teams/businesses – we had had a chance to see their executive summaries in advance – and I was looking out for a couple of teams in particular.
The school kids were brilliant. They ranged in age from about 14 to 17, and I know I speak for all the other MBAs when I say that we were all really impressed by their business ideas, and, moreover, their enthusiasm when we were talking to them. After a solid hour of quick-fire pitches, the MBAs left the room to decide what teams they would like to work with.
I’m happy to say that I will be working with one of the teams I was looking out for. I won’t say what the business idea is – because I know some of the sharpest business minds in the world are reading this blog and they would probably steal the idea (yeah, I’m talking about you Branson) – however I will say that it involves recycling and magnets.
Flipping magnets, how do they work? I’m not really sure, and I don’t want to talk to a scientist to find out. Nevertheless, I think this business could really work. In fact, there are more than a few businesses in there that I think have real potential. Especially when combined with the might of the Oxford MBAs!*
I also recently was accepted as a MBA consultant on the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) programme. Essentially, I’ll be helping mentor some talented entrepreneurs in Ghana, mostly via Skype and email, and then hopefully next Spring I’ll get the opportunity to go out there and meet the entrepreneurs in person in Ghana. I’m really excited about this!
I’m also going to be a mentor on Oxford’s Youth Business Development Competition, which is an international business plan competition open to people between 16-25 years old. I might see if I can get some folks from my old high school, or Dundee University to participate, as I’ve always been looking for a way to give back to my home educational institutions.
I’ve got various other extra-curricular things lined up, but I don’t want to scare myself by listing them all in one blog post. I am not over-committed. Honest!
* please note such hyperbolic endorsement of our influence is slightly tongue-in-cheek. These kids are really smart and driven and could probably do fine without us…