Peter writes from Falmouth: “I am slowly starting to remember everyone‘s names and backgrounds. Knowing a team-entrepreneurs background helps a lot in understanding why she / he behaves in a certain way. Starting to know the team-entrepreneurs also gives insight on what could be the best motivator for them. I have seen great projects start to generate money and it is fascinating how much getting a project into action has impact on the motivation of project groups. I encourage students to talk about the not so popular subject of money since it is a strong motivator and at some point every entrepreneur must start thinking of costs and profit, the earlier the better.
Three first years have created a business around necklaces made of sea glass (glass washed ashore and shaped by the sea). The three girls collect the necessary sea glass and make it into beautiful necklaces
that are sold online in their web shop: www.zennorglass.com and in the future at hand craft fairs. I love their product since making the helps clean up beaches and this project offers learning in a wide variety of skills. They have alredy sold dozens of necklaces in a few weeks and I believe there is huge potential in this project.
Another project that I want to mention is the smoothie bar second year student Dan O’Shea established just three weeks ago. Dan is a fitness enthusiast and he noticed that there is no quick healthy snack available and the campus. He made a deal with the university cafeteria and is now selling his smoothies every Wednesday. The name is Good Life Smoothies (https://www.facebook.com/goodlifesmoothies/) and the name suits
Dan’s business very well. It has been an honour to assist Dan on this project and we are now working on the next steps for expanding this business!
Besides working with team-entrepreneurs I had the chance to visit Lincoln TA, London TA and Bristol TA on a two-day road trip. I contacted all three team-academies and made a road trip with a first year, second year and third year student. We were warmly welcomed at all schools and it was great to learn about differences between the TAs. It was also a good opportunity for team-entrepreneurs to connect with other schools and share project ideas, I firmly believe that we will see more collaboration between the TAs in the future. Lincoln TA has existed for two years and London just started last year and I noticed that we are very lucky in Finland to have such old team academies with great success stories. For many team entrepreneurs here in the UK it is hard to believe in the team learning model because they don’t have graduates to share success stories with. It is also a long process for team academies here in the UK to create strong relationships with local businesses but the process has started. I was glad to see that the coaches in all TAs we visited are smart people with understanding about the team learning model and a true passion for teaching with this method.
One of the challenges of the TA method in the UK is helping students learn the basics like accounting and marketing whilst taking part in team learning and their business projects. In Tampere Proakatemia we study the first year in more traditional way and I believe it was good that everyone knew the basics first. I believe that when team entrepreneurs know the basics of business skills they can get more out of the team learning model. But I understand that by doing it this way students may take responsibility earlier in the programme for their own learning – something that will stand them in good stead in later life”