The Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust (WHT) scholars have been developing business ideas during Michaelmas term as part ofthe Enterprise Challenge. The Enterprise Challenge has been an extraordinary opportunity to collectively explore some of the world’s biggest problems anddevelop business ideas to help address them.

Scholars preparing to pitch their ideas at the Pitch Practice Tutorial

On 29 November 2018 we got the opportunityto practice our business pitches and receive feedback on them ahead of the pitches to the business panel at the annual Practical Skills Seminar at Cumberland Lodge.

This was the first time that I had seensome of the business ideas since they were initially discussed at the Moral Philosophy Seminar in September. I was amazed by how far the teams haddeveloped the initial ideas and by the quality of the pitches. I have summarized just a few of the business ideas below:

  • DocLink is a mobile application that aims to connect patients in Pakistan with their personal doctors in an efficient and easy-to-use manner.
  • Project Dastaan is a project using virtual reality (VR) to transcend physical borders and promote cultural exchange by reconnecting individuals displaced during the 1947 Partition of India and Pakistan to their ancestral villages through cutting edge technology.
  • Be CHANGE is a recycling initiative in Ecuador focussed on harnessing the potential of waste and reducing the cost of waste disposal in cities.
  • H2nOw is a network of water dispensers in developing countries helping improve access to water for people on the move in urban areas.
  • Bridge is a platform to connect individuals to volunteering opportunities in India. It was inspiring to watch Ayushi Agarwal (2019, India, Bachelor of Civil Law, Oxford-Hoffmann) present her idea so passionately and confidently.

The pitch practice session proved to be avaluable opportunity for the teams to learn from each other and to receivevaluable feedback from the panel comprised of Charmian Love, Libby Wood, Atherton Mutombwera and Elizabeth Roberts. The feedback that really stuck withme was:

  1. Using creative stories or comparisons is a useful way of connecting your audience to the idea that you are pitching.
  2. It is important to highlight your teams’ core competencies and diversity and what makes them the right teamfor the job.
  3. Framing the problem and presenting the solution early in the pitch is important.
  4. It is important to clearly articulate the market you are targeting and the business model you are using.
  5. The Ask. End your pitch with a clear request. This is usually a request for funding (in the case of astart-up), but it can also be for feedback on your idea or connections to people in the industry that may be of assistance.

The pitch practice session was a great way for teams to flex their pitching muscles. At the time of writing this we had just completed our Practical Skills Seminar at Cumberland Lodge and it was incredible to see how the teams had taken on the feedback from the practice session and improved the pitches even further. The pitches were full of innovative ideas, passion and confidence. It made me feel exceptionally honoured and proud to be a part of this exciting family. #WHTWishYouWereHere.

About the Scholar

Alan Clarke

Master of Business Administration (MBA), 2019
Kellogg College, Oxford
Weidenfeld-Hoffmann-Saïd/Chevening Scholar