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Strathclyde Business School Strathclyde Business School

An MSc to stimulate entrepreneurial ideas

By Jonathan Lindsay - Posted on 4 August 2022

With a background in chemistry, Jonathan Lindsay was keen to start his own business - he decided the MSc in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology, with its emphasis on practical help, was the way forward.

Before this MSc, I was doing a master's in chemistry with Drug Discovery at the University of Strathclyde. During my previous master's, I was fortunate to work as a placement student for CPI, an innovation centre. Throughout this time, I worked alongside various SMEs to help develop their technologies. This time very much inspired me to look to start my own business; however, I had no experience or knowledge on how to do so. This led me to the MSc in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology as I saw it as a way to develop my business acumen and entrepreneurial knowledge.

The course has been everything I thought it would be; it has driven me to a point where I am ready to start a business, which was my goal from the outset. Coming from a technical background, I had the preconceived notion that it would be academically challenging. However, on reflection, I have found that it has challenged me in other ways, such as developing communication skills, enhancing my networking ability, public speaking, and managing small teams which I feel has done wonders for my personal development.

The elements of the course that I have enjoyed the most are the consultancy aspects, where you work alongside companies to help develop their technologies. Working alongside real SMEs and seeing their current challenges has been a wonderful learning experience.

The course is filled with various workshops; the most notable was a business simulator class (SIMVenture), where we worked in groups and were responsible for running a business together. This was practically challenging as decisions had to be made as a group to help grow the business. This was a stressful situation as you competed with classmates to see who could grow the business sustainably over three years within the simulation.

Guest lectures take place frequently throughout the year; we heard from entrepreneurs, scientists, accountants - a whole variety who shared their experiences and knowledge. They are often experts; hence, it is also an excellent networking opportunity to help fellow students develop and grow their businesses. I personally found this networking very useful in terms of developing my idea.

For the third semester, we are based in the RBS accelerator, which has a great office space filled with fellow entrepreneurs; this is a great area to work as you are surrounded by like-minded people who are very happy to help if required.

The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship has played a pivotal role in developing my Solar Collector device through the knowledge they have shared. This is an idea I developed on the programme – the programme is designed to stimulate ideas through the different consultancies and courses – and the Hunter Centre very much helped me develop the idea through the multitude of different classes and experts I have encountered during the programme. They have helped me take it from an idea to something tangible.

Strathclyde Inspire has also offered great support. The competitions that Strathclyde Inspire offers have been invaluable in terms of the prizemoney and networking. I would recommend that anyone with just an idea to get involved.

Some of my peers have developed a company called Glashub within the University, where the offshore renewable energy catapult pitched problems they were having in their industry, and students had to come up with potential solutions. This was great for stimulating ideas, and workshops like this allowed me to broaden my concept and look at the issues that the industry was currently having; as an entrepreneur, this is invaluable.

I would recommend this programme to anyone with an entrepreneurial idea in mind. The programme has ensured that I made fewer mistakes than I would have if I were going to go straight into business; hence it has given me the best chance of success. Secondly, the contacts I have made across sectors and my student cohort are an invaluable asset as a young entrepreneur.

If you are like me and you didn’t necessarily have an idea, however, you know that the entrepreneurial path was one you wanted to go down, then this course is excellent for stimulating ideas and putting you in touch with many potential co-founders. And if you do have an idea, this course will stimulate the growth of your business and potentially save you a year's worth of mistakes.

For the future, I hope to continue my entrepreneurial journey. I want to get some industrial experience and build a further network of suppliers while developing this current solar collector. I am especially looking to expand into social housing in the Middle East - I believe this will give me the best chance of success in the future.



Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114
 sbs-adviser@strath.ac.uk 

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119
 sbs.admissions@strath.ac.uk

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Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
Glasgow
G4 0QU

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