Learn from those who have done it before

The Best Yet – re-discover expert advice from our past Mentor Masterclasses

A key value of Future Worlds lies in the trusted network of mentors that support the incubator. Their experience and global network of contacts is a priceless resource that is carefully matched with the entrepreneurs supported by our unique startup ecosystem.

Each month, one of our mentors visits campus to deliver a masterclass talk on their area of expertise, covering everything from sales strategies to user experience design. These sessions are captured in full and shared in a blog article and video that have now become a precious catalogue of vital business knowledge.

How do entrepreneurs convert potential into profits? Is there a secret formula to scaleup your startup? Read on and re-discover the first-rate advice from some inspirational careers.

Vision and values – Geoff Baker’s guide to starting, growing and selling successful businesses

Juggling the demands of a startup business is a challenging task. Rewind back to the start of the Future Worlds timeline with Geoff Baker, President Elect of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), as he encouraged innovators to create and sustain a ‘entrepreneurial energy’ in our first ever Mentor Masterclass session.

Chris Spackman – how to succeed with a large corporate buyer

Former Management Consultant Chris Spackman delivered an expert guide to bringing new ideas to big corporations in his masterclass, ‘Risk and expectation – what you need to know when dealing with big business’. “You need to be absolutely committed to move an idea forward,” he said. “If you are not prepared to be 100% involved in making it work, then don’t bother.”

Putting the user first – a Fresh approach to user experience design with Robbie Rice

Robbie Rice, General Manager of the UK branch of Fresh Consulting LLC, analysed the decisions that billion dollar companies have made around user experience to grow their businesses at an incredible rate. Be inspired by his talk, ‘User experience design – growing your digital business by putting the user first’.

Converting potential into profits – Muj Choudhury’s guide to successful sales strategies

Salesforce’s Mujibur Choudhury shared top industry tips for building a successful sales strategy in his masterclass, ‘Pitching to win – how to turn interest into orders’. “The thing with selling and pitching is that most of it is actually down to common sense,” he explained. “The real challenge is when you’re out in the field and you’ve got customers in front of you.”

Growing and changing – lessons in leadership from cyber defence chief Penny Endersby

Penny Endersby, Head of the Cyber and Information Systems Division of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), shared her reflections and advice from an inspiring research and management career. Follow the tips for decision-making with emotional resilience from ‘Mrs Electric Armour’ in her powerful Mentor Masterclass address.

Making innovation happen – charting the rapid rise of teenage millionaire mentor Josh Valman

Josh Valman, Managing Director of manufacturing firm RPD International, can trace his inspiration for innovation as far back as the age of 10, when he entered BBC’s Robot Wars. He relayed his astonishing journey to becoming a highly successful product design and manufacturing entrepreneur in an unforgettable talk.

Innovation strategies for demanding markets – special insight from Vincent Mifsud

Vincent Mifsud has amassed a wealth of expertise from a career in strategy and technology. “Innovation is in my lifeblood,” he explained. “I believe in new products and I’d encourage you to consider doing that in your own futures in a variety of ways. It’s exciting – it’s fun.” Learn the five stages for a new product development process from his masterclass address.

From startup to superpower – Max Toti’s inside story on how to get there

Max Toti, Managing Director of the Captec Group, shared his exciting journey overseeing strategic growth and acquisitions ahead of an initial public offering (IPO) in his talk ‘Startup to £100m IPO – how to get there – highlights of a work in progress’. This honest assessment of startup growth demonstrated first-hand how the journey to create a £100m company can start from the humblest of beginnings.

Shirin Dehghan – What are the ingredients to building an $85m business?

Shirin Dehghan revealed the “make or break” ingredient for startup success in a masterclass talk that detailed how she founded, expanded and subsequently sold mobile communications business Arieso for $85m. “Success starts with people,” the inspirational mentor said. “Get good people around you, whether it’s good partners or mentors because experience matters.”

Lohan Presencer – lessons from the Ministry of Sound Chairman and the ‘ever-changing’ music scene

Meet the mentor that has grown one of the most famous music brands in the world in a sector that is almost unrecognisable from when he entered it in the early 90s. Lohan Presencer charted his rise from a Southampton Students’ Union Officer to a music industry leader in an insightful Mentor Masterclass session.

Steve Braithwaite – What are the common features behind entrepreneurs’ successes and scars?

What does a pair of wireless speedway goggles, a blind spot cyclist detection system and child locator bracelet all have in common? They are all gadgets that have been nurtured towards development by electronics expert Steve Braithwaite. He detailed some of the secrets behind personal entrepreneurial successes and the mistakes that can lead to lasting business ‘scars’ at his informative Mentor Masterclass.

How to succeed in crowdfunding with Chris Buckingham

What is crowdfunding and how could it help your startup? Expert Chris Buckingham has supported everything from artists to zoos in the UK’s evolving startup ecosystem and authored a series of books on the topic. He sketched trusted crowdfunding models and methods for startups in his Mentor Masterclass session.

Ben Clark’s dos and don’ts to scaleup your startup

Growth Shack Director Ben Clark has helped create a national waste management service, developed ambitious enterprises in Africa and grown a Hampshire and Silicon Valley based software-as-a-service (SaaS) company in a diverse career to date. He shared his scaleup tips and stories, offering a dynamic insight into the excitements and stresses of growing a lasting and meaningful business at his Mentor Masterclass.

Getting your hands on the cash with Michael Gifford

Securing funding is a crucial first step on startup journeys. Indigo& co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Michael Gifford outlined how to make a business investment ready and achieve success with venture capitalists in his instructive Mentor Masterclass session. “Don’t be modest,” he said. “You have to sell yourself, even if that doesn’t feel comfortable.”

Find out details on the next Mentor Masterclass session and book your free place in our Engage section.

Get in touch with Jon Nurse

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Jon Nurse

Content Manager
Future Worlds

Jon compiles the latest innovations, articles and interviews for futureworlds.com as the platform’s Content Manager. He is also helping researchers in Physical Sciences and Engineering impact society with their work as a Communications and Impact Officer at the University of Southampton. He previously worked as a Senior Reporter for the Trinity Mirror newsgroup.

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