The Cambridge Venture Project 2015 recently launched, tasking teams of MBA students with challenging market analysis briefs, set for them by a range of small to medium organisations based in the UK.
Over the next five weeks each MBA team will look into market possibilities, entry strategies and competition analysis for their respective clients, before delivering actionable recommendations to the clients at the project conclusion. Each year CVP teams deliver useful and valuable research which clients can subsequently implement in their product marketing and positioning.
The key purpose of the CVP is to help develop collaborative team building skills. The projects sits neatly within the core MBA ‘Management Praxis’ course, giving teams the opportunity to observe first-hand the interaction of behaviour and its impact, both intended and unintended, on other people as we try to achieve targets in the workplace.
This year’s project sees the Cambridge MBA cohort working with a fantastic spectrum of companies. On the one hand working on community projects such as the development of the Cambridge Market Centre, or with the Moor House School for young people with speech and language difficulties, while at the other end of the spectrum lending their skills to technology companies at the cutting edge of drones, internet of things applications and the gaming market.
This year’s client list also includes a number of start-ups, which have notably spun out of Cambridge Judge Business School, giving the current class a flavour of working within the entrepreneurial landscape. These include: Naif, a premium soft-drinks company, Nookie Bar, a healthy confectionery producer and Sponsoo, an online marketplace for sports sponsorship – all set up by MBA alumni.
The students will be now be delivering on the challenges they have been set – there will be surveys, focus groups and wider conversations to form strategies for successful recommendations. Each group is mentored throughout by a member of the Cambridge business community. The Cambridge Venture Project is a great testament to the ongoing synergy between Cambridge Judge Business School and the Cambridge Cluster – the matrix of high-tech businesses and start-ups surrounding Cambridge.
MBA Sana Fathima said:
I definitely wanted to work with a really interesting company that was perhaps in a sector I had no idea about and was doing really interesting and challenging things in their domain, and just was an exciting company to work for.
It was really interesting to me that I’d come into a team where everyone’s priorities were pretty much aligned yet there were so many differences in terms of backgrounds and how to navigate that, and do the best job we could.
Project client Neil Daly, Director, Skin Analytics, said:
This was an excellent piece of research and of great value to us. It made us consider new avenues and also left us with a few questions on specifics of strategy and its impact on the product/market positioning.-Very original to what we were thinking before. Not sure how the team accomplished so much in such a short time. We are sure we will pursue most of their recommendations.