Elevate Summer School in Bristol 2019

Elevate Summer School in Bristol 2019

Travelling back from the Aldridge Institute’s Elevate Summer School in Bristol with bronze trophies in the bag, PACA’s team of five Year 10 students were enthusiastically reflecting on the week’s events and activities including their impressive business pitch for a student mental health app - awarded third place by the judges despite tough Year 12 opposition from other Aldridge Academy school teams.

“Determination really is important!” says Charlie Franklin-Martyn. “We were using Facetime to discuss ideas about our pitch even when we weren’t with each other and getting advice from the judges was really helpful too.  Peter Ball [of Smith & Williamson] helped us realise that you need to design your pitch for a specific audience and John Barker [Simply Do] helped us to think about how we develop an app.”

Asked to explain their highlight of the week, the students were clearly struggling for choice.  “The drama workshop was really, really good” explained Alice Gates; “Brilliant to highlight how to come across as confident and present ourselves using body language in front of an audience. ”Charlie disagrees.  “For me the best session was the one-to-one coaching our team got from the advisor at Smith and Williamson.  He asked us to think about the long-term plan for continuing the app even after we are no longer the same age as the customers we’re targeting.  “The Natwest Accelerator session was also brilliant as it showed us how you need different sections in your pitch, including hook, ask and unique selling point,” adds Alice.

So how do the students feel their understanding of business planning and pitching has changed since their outward bound journey from Brighton?  “I see we had no idea!” says Charlie, rising from his seat.  “It’s gone from like 10% to 80%!”, “none of us had ever done anything like that before,” adds Alice.  “We’ve done public speaking practice before but never to pitch a business idea.  I had no idea how we would react!  But we’ve definitely got a better idea of what a good pitch needs to include now and of the financial side of things.  I had no idea how businesses were funded.  I guess I thought they just had to make up money on the spot!  Now I know about equity and debt financing – and about the importance of lawyers in the business world!”

“Meeting others has been my highlight,” adds Cameron McKechnie, “We’ve made friends for life!” “A massive thank you to the Aldridge Foundation and Lauren and Tom for running this week!” says Luke Sayers – a good note to end on from a teacher who has just witnessed a little Enterprise and Entrepreneurship transformation.