Start Ups Get Going At Boot Camp

19 July 2013

Start Ups Get Going At Boot Camp

Energy levels ran high at the Summer Start-up Boot Camp, with more than 30 fledgling entrepreneurs brimming with ideas gathering for a week packed with creativity and positive action.


The energy levels in Henley Business School were especially high between 10 and 14 June 2013. The Summer Start-up Boot Camp brought together more than 30 fledgling entrepreneurs and their ideas, for a week packed with creativity and positive action.

The building buzzed with the excitement of new enterprise, thanks to the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship, and thanks to a generous donation from Santander.

'I have always wanted to own a business that I set up myself and the Boot Camp looked like a perfect way to learn and get advice. Every single session in the week was useful and the enthusiasm from Alan, Stuart and Gill was very encouraging and inspiring and really made me want to get started."

Hannah Savage, first-year BSc Real Estate and Planning

Students right from first-year undergraduates through to doctoral researchers, alumni and local residents made applications, sharing their motivation to attend in either 100 words or a 60-second YouTube video. The applicants who best demonstrated their motivation and commitment to start a business were offered the chance to join the Boot Camp.

Tutors and serial entrepreneurs Alan Donegan (Pop-up Business School) and Stuart Morris (Entrepreneur-in-residence, Henley Business School) and Gillian Morris offered encouragement and practical advice in spades, and a culture of generosity in sharing ideas and skills was quickly created among the participants. A glance at their description of the week captures the optimism of the group; see the word cloud, below. These are their answers to the question 'What are your top five words to describe the Start-up Boot Camp?'


'I was impressed by the fact that this was open to all groups, which is testament to what it is all about. Anyone who wants to can start a business.'

Rupa Datta, Flexible MBA programme member, Henley Business School 

'I now understand that realism isn't always helpful and that if you aim high you are likely to be more successful than if you aim low.'

Henry Forshaw, alumnus, BSc Consumer Behaviour and Marketing

A broad spectrum of business concepts were explored, from jewellery design to recruitment; recycling to cycling retail. The different attitudes and skills that students brought, as well as their diverse life and career experiences, and the range of nationalities and ages in the room created a rich problem-solving resource and support network.

'It has been a huge accelerator in how to use social media (especially Twitter) to drive traffic to my website. Building my own website for the first time was exciting and satisfying in equal measure!'

Roger Metcalfe, alumnus, Full-time MBA, Henley Business School

Students benefited from advice from guest speakers who dropped in throughout the week, including Nicky Kriel, Twitter trainer, and the Fredericks Foundation, who offered one-to-one advice on funding and start-up loans. For a full account of the week's learning, head over to tutor Alan Donegan's blog at

'For the first time we have been able to take the best of academic theory on entrepreneurship and combine it with the best of internet age business development practice in an intensive course with highly motivated individuals. The results so far speak for themselves and we're looking forward to seeing what these individuals and companies achieve in the future.'

Stuart Morris, Entrepreneur-in-residence, Henley Business School

'It was free, invaluable and changed my life. I now feel confident enough to follow my dreams and to change the world.'

Henry Forshaw, alumnus, BSc Consumer Behaviour and Marketing

The Summer Start-up Boot Camp will be repeated in 2014. Contact Entrepreneur-in-residence, Stuart Morris, on if you would like to find out more about entrepreneurship at Henley Business School.