April 24, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
As there is only about a month of term left our teampreneurs have realized that the deadlines for their assignments are approaching. There has been a lot of discussion on the way assignments are marked. The concern is about whether who marks the grade has an impact on the grade based on his / her view of seeing the assignment criteria. Some tps believed that the way to get a good grade is to write in a way that pleases the coach grading them but obviously this should not be the case, you should be able to get the same grade from any coach for the same content. Dialogue has helped us with this and the biggest causer for uncertainty has been different choices of words among the coaches even though they have all meant the same thing. This is another example of the importance of communication between coaches.
Our first and second years had their 24-hour team challenges (birthgivings) and it was interesting to see the differences between the years. The first years had official and “serious” presentations whilst the third years made one of their presentations into a game of “Deal or no deal.” I personally think that the time for very official and serious presentations is coming to an end and the new way of presenting is fun, inclusive and often a story. One big difference between our 24-hour challenges in Proakatemia and the ones here is the fact that we get paid depending on the satisfaction of the customer. I think that when you are getting paid as a team it works as a huge motivator and it leads to a better outcome. Here the grading has more to do with how the team worked together during the challenge while in Proakatemia our grade is the satisfaction of our customer so it’s a different approach. It is obviously hard work to find customers that are willing to pay for a 24-hour challenge and in Proakatemia a project team of teampreneurs finds the customers and arranges our challenges. The project team gets a commission from the results of our challenges and that is a motivator that works.
I was invited to a business breakfast at a close by town and took a few second year with me. Its such an important skill to be able to go out there and talk to businesses. We got a few good leads that will probably result in business and I personally was again surprised by how open the people here are compared to Finland. I spoked to the representatives of many businesses and asked them about their ways of selling. Its fascinating that networking events such as a simple business breakfast helps getting new recommendations and deals. This is something I have learnt from and I will definitely start holding some kind of regular networking event when I get back to Finland.
Fresh-air after an early business breakfast
March 22, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
The first and second year team entrepreneurs visited the Cornwall Business Show and we tried to create a way of motivating them to make the most out of the fair and to connect with local business. One of the coaches and I decided that we would create a points system and mix everyone into teams that collect points at the fair. Every contact they collected was worth one point and every booked meeting was worth five points. As a prize the winning team could get two coaches to cook dinner for them.
The fair was a very good experience for many team entrepreneurs and a number of them got great new contacts that will boost their projects onto the next level. However, it didn’t work for everyone. I talked to a few people about this and the ones who felt they got value from the experience were those who had their businesses up and running. As coaches, we need to find ways to encourage the members of each team company to start motivating themselves and supporting each other more. It is challenging to find the golden middle way when creating activities such as visiting fairs so that everyone can get benefit from the experience, whatever stage they’re at with their work and their learning.
It was delightful to notice how businesses welcomed team entrepreneurs to their stands and opened honest conversations. This is very different to what I have experienced at fairs in Finland. There it seems that the younger you are the less any business owner is interested in what you say and especially after you have said you are a student they seem to lose all interest. I like this feature in the business culture here in Cornwall and I have also noticed that when visiting local businesses, you are more warmly welcomed than in Finland.
However, I’ve also noticed that e-mails are more often not answered than answered. This is a problem with many projects since team entrepreneurs tend to get stuck waiting for replies to mails and that is why projects don’t move forward. It is easy to hide behind the excuse of not getting an answer to an e-mail. The solution to this is to walk to a business or call them and I want to help with that.
I feel there could be more communication between team companies and different years about ongoing projects and opportunities. Teams are running similar projects (for example selling clothing) and instead of sharing experiences they struggle with the same issues. It is important to learn by doing and by mistakes but I think that It would be even better to learn from the mistakes of others by sharing knowledge. We held a joint session for first and second years and the feedback was very positive, with different years sharing learning and business opportunities. The difficulty with joint sessions is the fact that we are running towards the end of the year and everyone must finish their assignments. The assignments between years are very different and require different skills and input so it’s a challenge to combine sessions at this point of the academic year.
Another way of making students more aware of what the other years are doing is by arranging social events outside of the university environment. I will arrange a few evenings where we watch ice hockey and socialize together before the term ends and hopefully it will help in closing the gap between years (and of course personally I will love watching ice hockey instead of rugby!)
March 8, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
Peter Pertulla writes from Falmouth. “I have now been living for two months in the UK and I have started to notice how working as an assistant coach has helped me develop my own coaching skills. At my second Team Mastery session last year I realized that I have a habit of supporting team members that are “running infront of the cart” meaning that they are doing well with projects. This lead to the fact that I was not very good at supporting team members that needed support the most and struggled with finding and doing projects. I was lucky to realize this weakness I had as a future coach and I have made huge development in it! Now I prioritize my time on starting projects and assisting students with their weaknesses. Many team entrepreneurs (in Finland and the UK) fear / hate / struggle with sales and I believe that selling is one of the most important skills to learn if you aim to become an entrepreneur. I am now assisting individual team entrepreneurs and project groups with selling. I often do this by discussing about the reasons why selling is considered such a big obstacle and then we create a deadline and sales plan with goals. This puts pressure on project groups and I hold them accountable so that the deadlines are met. The only way to overcome the FEAR of selling is to do it. In a way I was lucky that older students in Proakatemia offered sales projects to me and through them I realized that selling is one of the things I love the most.
Its time to start reminding team entrepreneurs about summer and the beginning of the tourist season here in Falmouth! It offers huge possibilities and I will do my best to encourage team entrepreneurs in creating a summer job with a project instead of searching for a summer job.
When I came to the Falmouth I was not very comfortable in speaking in front of a larger group of people in English but now I have realized that its actually fun. I believe that presenting things in English helps me grow more confident and at some point I hope that I will be a fluent presenter in Finnish or English presenting to any amount of people. Overall working here in Falmouth has been more difficult than I imagined but at the same time I love the challenges since they push me and help me grow as an entrepreneur and coach. I am trying to keep my Fridays empty so that students can book one to one times with me and now that I have spent two months here the team entrepreneurs have been starting to use this possibility more and more. Last Friday I worked with a first year in a plan of creating a website that connects projects offered by companies with students of Falmouth University. I also worked with a third year on a website that sells immaterial rights for theater shows. I believe that these one-to-one sessions are a good way of boosting projects and making them happen and when there is business happening learning happens almost by accident!
February 23, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
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”
February 10, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
Toby Bartholomew, who graduated from UWE in 2016 and writes about his internship in Finland. “At the end of my time with the Team Entrepreneurship course I had the difficult task of deciding which path I wanted to take for the next chapter of my life. Using the connections I had created over the 3 years, I opened up discussions with various leads in coaching, consulting and creativity. One particular opportunity stuck out to me, an Erasmus program which funded young entrepreneurs to travel to a different country within the EU. After seeing this I got in contact with Senior Team Coach and creator of Play4Ever, Mikael Hirvi and after a few months of planning out my work I was on my way to Finland to work with him.
Since arriving in Finland I have developed a large international network by speaking and working with people from areas all over Finland as well as visiting Germany and Austria to develop some projects there. I have learnt new ways of team coaching and sales by working with Mikael and his colleagues and I have experienced a completely new climate in which I work where there are temperatures of -25 degrees and only 5 hours of daylight.
-25 C and only 5 hours of daylight
This first step has been enlightening and full of opportunities to learn about the coaching industry, different cultures and how different industries can use the team academy methodologies and tools to improve. Whilst being in Finland I have been doing Post-Motorola’s to self-reflect on how I am progressing and what I need to improve. Very quickly I recognised that sales is something that I would like to improve so, after discussing it with Mikael we made my main task to look into whether Play4Ever would be a good fit in the UK market and if so generate leads to follow this through. This has certainly developed my patience as I did not realize what a long process this would turn out to be. The research initially was fascinating and fairly quick. However, the next stage of cold calling prospective academies took a bit more time. Luckily for me I have experience in cold calling through multiple projects whilst on the Team Entrepreneurship course and the calls produced some very interested leads on the other end.
We have just had our meetings with the leads generated from my work with the cold calls and prospects are looking good. Our aim to provide the young athletes with the entrepreneurial skills they need if they choose to take another path away from playing professional sports has taken a step closer to reality!
I have also just had my first coaching session with a team from a large organisation and where I was able to see that the effect of team coaching and team learning is not limited to those in universities but is eye-opening for those who are beginning, in the middle of and ending their careers. My role within this intensive 3 day coaching programme (the first of a set of 5) was to provide my insights from my journey as a team entrepreneur and to support a team through the process of team learning and this meant that I was able to experience the coachee’s feelings of chaos, relief, frustration and celebration as they went through the process of team learning.
I still have another 2 months left with the Erasmus programme and I am planning to make the most of my time, developing myself as much as I can and planning the next step. I am already seeing new opportunities appear and I am excited to see where the next path takes me.”
February 9, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
Time really flies! I have been working as an assistant coach for Business Entrepreneurship course at Falmouth University for a whole month now. As I mentioned in my previous post there are huge differences on how the teams here work compared to the way we work in Finland. It has been enlightening to see how team coaches in the UK work and to learn from them. One major difference I have noticed is the fact that we have to be very careful about the reputation of the university. In Finland I was never told to reconsider a project idea because “it might be harmful” for the reputation of my school.
I have mostly been attending training sessions for the first and second year teams trying to observe on the strengths and weaknesses of each team. In sessions it has been wonderful to be able to assist the teams on tasks and I have gotten to learn about all the projects going on at the moment. I have been offering my help and booked one on one sparring sessions with individual project groups with the aim of helping in their business idea. These are a few of the projects that I have been helping in by sparring and connecting the team entrepreneurs with the right people and right sources of information:
- Assisting a second year in establishing a smoothie bar
- Creating a plan for a self-improvement coaching website
- Making a sales plan for a wine branding business
- I connected students with my friend (he owns a clothing brand) to students willing to find resellers for him for a commission
- Helping a project group in establishing an event around electronic sports
- Helping in a plan for selling social media marketing
My favorite thing so far has still been coaching about pitching and cold calling / visiting. I took two second years to Truro on a Friday and we went from door to door visiting companies and selling the skills of team-entrepreneurs to businesses. It was rewarding to see them gain A LOT of confidence and by a couple of hours of visiting the team-entrepreneurs have now been able to send proposals to different kinds of local businesses.
Taylor, me (Peter) and William, after our cold call visits in Truro
I firmly believe that almost all of the local businesses would love to get team-entrepreneurs to work on projects for them but they don’t know about the team learning model. By coaching second years into going out there and selling their skills we are on the path of spreading knowledge on this unique way of working with team-entrepreneurs. While I was studying in Proakatemia in Tampere (Finland) we got a few project proposals weekly from companies all around Finland so it was easy for everyone to get their hand onto doing immediately. I believe that it is a good thing to be able to work on “given” projects and learning plus earning from them. It is good to have one own project that is a passion and one given project to keep busy on.
January 27, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
While at the University of the West of England, Bristol, Jamie Rawsthorne struck on the idea of creating a business to help higher education institutions predict – and prevent – students dropping out. Co-founded in 2014 with George Sanderson, Unique Insights’ predictive analytics software helps universities spot vulnerable students early on. So what’s the secret to his success?
Jamie receiving his award
Who or what has inspired you? My mother. She’s executive head-teacher of three challenging schools in the heart of Manchester and works extremely hard. She’s had an impact on many lives through great leadership in education.
What’s been your most pivotal moment so far? Getting on the business accelerator programme MassChallenge. There were more than 800 applicants but only 90 businesses were given access to free office space in central London and world-class mentors. Spending time with other business owners was really useful in helping take the business idea to market.
Where do you get your ideas? Everywhere. I’m always writing notes on my phone or notepad. I remember friends laughing at me while skiing in the Alps and I was writing ideas on my phone.
How and where do you network? At university-sector events as much as possible. Face-to-face communication makes all the difference, especially if you’ve not met someone before.
What’s the secret of your success? Hard work, focusing on clients and always being ready to adapt to change.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far? Keep going, keep going, keep going. Failures and setbacks sometimes feel like the end of the world, but the faster you get back up, the better.
Interview reprinted from IoD publication – ‘The Director’
January 23, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
My name is Peter Perttula and I graduated from Proakatemia, Finland in the December of 2016. I am currently in the Finnish Team-Mastery program and I moved to Falmouth two weeks ago. I am working as an assistant coach for students in the Business Entrepreneurship BA (Hons) program. Falmouth University has used the team-learning model for three years and currently there are 66 students studying in the course. My job is to work with all three year courses (6 companies) and assist the teams by sparring their ideas and helping by sharing experiences from my time studying at Proakatemia. My strengths are in sales and leading and I must work on not giving too direct answers for students. It is also sometimes hard to not get involved in every project going on since I love innovating new ways of making profit.
The first two weeks have been amazing! I have had the chance to meet lovely coaches and students with huge potential in them. The greatest difference that I have noticed comes from the fact that students pay for their studies unlike in Finland. In Finland all student companies are required to pay rent and for example for a caretaking service that provides coffee for us. This means that in Finland there is pressure to earn money as a team and it works as a common motivator. In Falmouth its harder to find a common goal for each team since the students have less economical pressure from the outside even though students are paying for their education. I have also noticed that there is a lot more bureaucracy involved in the doings of student companies since the limited companies are working under the surveillance of the university. The students in Falmouth do have a “safety network” because of this but then on the other hand filling out for example a risk analysis that has to be approved does create more barriers and reason for not trying a project. We all search for excuses and lets face it, having to have projects ideas “approved” is an easy excuse to not try a certain project.
Falmouth as a place has been a positive surprise. I didn’t know that palm trees could grow on this side of the channel and that you can surf here. I was also very lucky to get accommodation from the house of a family working in a boarding school. I usually have the whole house for myself and its located very close to a bus stop to the university and to a gym.
January 23, 2017
by Robert Goodsell
Team leadership is a key skill for budding entrepreneurs following Team Academy programmes, and this year the UK network is launching its own young leaders programme.
Developed collaboratively by coaches and assistant coaches* from four of the UK universities the participants will work together with colleagues in Bristol, Falmouth and Lincoln to experience and experiment with project management tools, models and methods for new knowledge creation, and the stress and dilemmas of managing real projects and themselves during the three month programme.
The programme kicks off in Bristol in March, in May participants will work together in Lincoln and in Falmouth in June they will link up with the annual meeting of the UK Team coaches network and share insights and new business opportunities.
* assistant coaches are recent graduates from one of the international network of universities using Team Academy methods in their degree programmes
November 21, 2016
by Robert Goodsell
The ‘Learning by Doing’ Team Academy Undergraduate programmes at 5 UK universities are now joined by Masters programmes at Northumbria University and the University of West of England. Nearly 20 postgraduate entrepreneurs enrolled in October 2016.
Nina Jussila, one of the leaders of the Northumbria programme says:
“People who are entrepreneurial are not often interested in sitting through lectures because they want to get on with work,” she said. “Also, people who have always sat through lectures are sometimes scared of starting their own companies because they don’t have the practical knowledge. Because there is nothing like this in the market at the moment, we need an opportunity to learn by doing, in a safe but real environment and that’s why we introduced this course.
“Often we forget what we have studied for exams and there is no real life implication, that’s why I believe applied learning is so much more powerful, as people won’t be learning anything they don’t need to know. So we will be reflecting all the time what knowledge the students will need to be able to run their business better and then support them on finding that knowledge.”
“Being part of a team is important and dispels the unhelpful myth of the ‘lone wolf’ entrepreneur,” added Nina. “When any new entrepreneur starts their journey, it can be really beneficial to be able to share the learning and mistakes with others, so they can learn from each other’s experiences and hopefully support each other. They also say that effective teams can learn three to five times faster than individuals and that’s something we are aiming for.
MSc applications are open for 2017 entry at the Bristol Business School and the Newcastle Business School.
Course details MSc Innovation and Applied Entrepreneurship – Bristol Business School
Course details MSc Entrepreneurship – Newcastle Business School