Scottish Pirates and Beavers at MIT

Jim Panton Graduates

A week after returning from Boston Massachusetts and the amazing MIT “Entrepreneurial Development Programme” the really difficult part now starts.

While the week itself was exciting and extremely challenging, often starting between 6 and 6.30am and running through to midnight plus, the transfer of several tons of fascinating ideas and theory into the real world now presents an even bigger challenge.

As part of a coordinated group of 18 attendees from Scotland, we joined 130 others from over 25 different countries around the world at the number 1 rated University (they prefer to be called an Institution) in the world. I have been lucky enough to attend a number of extraordinary learning experiences in my time and this one was on an all-together different level.

A number of people have asked me what I learnt since my return and I have struggled to answer that. This is because I learnt so much and I find it incredibly difficult to summarise that all into a short answer. Any individual examples given (such as, start a blog and use social media to drive your “inbound marketing” strategy) does not begin to do justice to the vast range of information and inspiring thoughts we took on during lectures and the practical exercises.

Alternatively – saying that we learnt how to be “Pirates” in an agile and quick moving small business environment (as opposed to following large “Navy” style corporate rule and process bound strategies), gives a good general impression but lacks the amazing detail that sits below that.

The best answer I can come up with is; “watch us over the next year”. If all the things I learnt is worth anything, you’ll see the impact of it in our business inside that time.

“Tim the Beaver” has been the MIT mascot for over 100 years. An animal recognised for its incredible engineering ingenuity. Each day two of these mascots were awarded for the best tweet from course attendees on the previous day. Out of the 8 handed out over the week, 6 of them are now wearing kilts back in the UK and one of those sits proudly alongside my certificate in my office.

I couldn’t have done this incredible course without financial support from “USIT” (the Utilities and Service Industries Training Limited) and the “SBWWI” (Society of British Water and Wastewater Industries). I cannot thank them enough for their support.

Thanks also go to Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise for their fantastic preparation activities and overall organisation of the formidable group that travelled from Scotland.

I couldn’t recommend the whole event and experience enough.

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