Enterprise support

  • Raluca Vagner, Pedro Simas and Misbah Munir

    Social innovation

    Adult Nursing students and recent Computer Vision graduate

    Raluca Vagner, Pedro Simas and Misbah Munir

    What idea did you pitch at the awards?

    Pedro and I were pitching for a ‘Try It’ award. We wanted to look at what type of emotional and psychological support people with disease-related amputations have once they’re discharged from hospital – or if there’s any support there at all.

    In order to understand the journey of amputees and determine whether a gap existed in the support system, it was important for us to meet amputees, charities, hospital staff and support groups. We were hoping that the award would help us to cover the costs associated with meeting the various stakeholders.

    After pitching our idea, we received a huge amount of support. Enterprise Support also gave us a ‘Do It’ award, allowing us to start up our new online platform for amputees and their families.

    How did you find the pitch?

    We were pretty nervous about pitching, because we knew the Dragons were all established academics and professionals. Thankfully, we had some masterclasses beforehand to help us learn how to present our idea.

    The pitch was still nerve-racking, but the set up was really professional and it helped us to build up confidence. I really recommend the competition for anyone looking to build their confidence in presenting, especially when there’s no PowerPoint or presentation tools to support you. The whole process has taken us out of our comfort zone and helped us to structure our thinking and presenting. We’ve enjoyed it a lot.

    What made you decide to take part in the Enterprise Support competition?

    I attended the open event out of curiosity, but didn’t know anything in particular about Enterprise Support. After the event though, I was convinced the competition was the right place to explore the social issues we’re passionate about. It was great to be part of a group of like-minded people and to have the opportunity to learn from leading business professionals.

    How has Enterprise Support improved your skills in business?

    I improved my communication and presentation skills, and learned how to write proposals and create infographics.

    Enterprise Support has also given me some of my closest friends and helped me to make long-lasting professional connections. The competition was a great opportunity to network with people from diverse backgrounds who I might not have met otherwise.

    Has the competition given you some insight on how to succeed in the job market?

    Yes – I strongly believe that the competition has significantly increased my employability prospects.

    Has taking part in the competition opened any doors for you?

    Even though I’m still doing my university degree, the benefits of being awarded ‘Do It’ and ‘Try It’ awards have opened up countless doors to some amazing opportunities. I’ve worked with key national stakeholders, been nominated for national awards and been selected for an Erasmus Exchange, to name a few!

    We’ve been lucky enough to receive ongoing support and mentoring from the talented professionals at Grant Thornton. And the Enterprise Support team have been absolutely great, giving us advice, guidance and hands-on support.

    What are your next steps?

    We just launched our new website, Stumped! Our next steps are to raise awareness of the website and build more working relationships, so we can increase the amount of content and information we offer to our stakeholders.

    We’re also in the process of getting involved with a new Hub environment at Oxford Brookes University, which is specifically designed for new startups.