Building a Business seminar: why we’re excited

Our MD, Dave Fletcher, is due to present at this year’s Building a Business seminar series at the Saïd Business School. He’s pretty excited about it and here he tells us why…

There are a number of things I’d loved to have been told before I started out. How to avoid the pitfalls of product development is one of them. So when I was asked to present on the subject at the Saïd Business School’s new lecture series, I was delighted.

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I’ve been working with start-ups on product launches for around twelve years now. Not only is this a great opportunity to share that experience with attendees – the lectures will be available to download through iTunes U, where past editions have hit almost three million downloads. This means we’ll be reaching out to hundreds of thousands more start-ups globally.

This annual event is a big one in both Oxford’s, and the UK’s, calendar. It has certainly been influential in providing Oxford-based start-ups with a solid infrastructure for development. Our city is already home to a buzzing tech start-up scene. And events like this, along with other innovations such as Digital Oxford, can be credited with helping to make that happen.

This year’s lectures have already started. In fact, the sell-out nine-week series still has around five weeks to run. They cover the fundamental aspects of setting up and running a successful business – from launching a venture, through to sustainability and financial management. Lecturers include well-established tech entrepreneurs alongside a number of Oxford University academics.

Another reason I’m personally looking forward to it is that this year’s series is even bigger. On top of the lectures attendees now get to take advantage of some hands-on, outside the classroom learning, plus the option to listen to start-ups presenting their ventures. So there will be plenty of opportunity to network – I’ll certainly be taking the chance, so do come and say hello.

I’m up on the 11 November. The title of my talk is How can I know if my idea is good? It shouldn’t need too much explanation. My thoughts on customer development will focus in particular on customer discovery, including problem and solution testing. More to follow on that though.

In the meantime, I’d better sign off. Those daunting iTunes U download numbers have made me think that I should put some queue cards together.


You can find out more about the Building a Business seminar series here.

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