YES is an innovative global competition developed to raise awareness among postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers of how ideas from science and engineering can be commercialised. For this first time this year, Scenario entered a team with students from Reading and Surrey: Lucy King (Mananging Director), Xin Shu (R&D Director), Emanuele Silvio Gentile (Marketing Director), Henny Omosigho (Operations Director) and Nigel Lawton (Finance Director). The company, The Kitchen Garden People, pitched an idea for a greenhouse made from recycled plastic ideal for urban gardens. Although the team didn’t get through to the finals, it was a great experience. Here are Henny’s reflections:
I took part in this year’s 2019 YES competition as a post-graduate 4th-year student. I choose to participate in the YES competition, because I am interested in
entrepreneurship, this is not the first time of trying to commercialise one of my ideas. Many years ago, my friend and I started a cupcake business, however we were met with a lot of challenges because of not having the right background.
I am now in the final stage of my studies and I want to further develop my business skills and explore career options.
During the competition and prep work, I feel like I have been able to develop my financial awareness, my management skills, interpersonal skills, funding and intellectual property.
The importance of having intellectual property and protecting was very striking to me during one of the case studies presented to us during the competition, being a budding entrepreneur, it is paramount to protect one’s work, this will differentiate the business if it is successful in the future from a charity company or a money-making business.
The professional support from Reading Knowledge Transfer Centre was amazing. Because we were comprised of people from two different Universities, it was a bit difficult to meet up, but we made sure one or two people are either present in person or through a Skype call. The university support was very supportive in the business planning, the team dynamics and most especially pitching.
Being part of the YES competition has been very beneficial for me and weeks later, I am still buzzing about it. I am hoping that one day in the near future, I can go away and use what I have learnt before and during the competition and contribute something innovate to society