Entrepreneurs Panel

During the first run of The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen we held an Entrepreneurs Panel.

Simon Laing and Roland Glancy are entrepreneurs, so they are well placed to talk about becoming an entrepreneur and the everyday life of an entrepreneur. The challenges can come well before you even start developing your idea. During the first run of this course, we invited Simon and Roland into the Shed and explored with them how their lives have changed since becoming entrepreneurs. You can view the recording here.

The full video is 39 mins long, so you can select 2 or 3 questions from the list below that interest you most. If you click on the links they will take you to Roland and Simon’s answers in the video.

Questions posed during the session

Ideas to action in The Enterprise Shed: The Chatterbox

The Chatterbox is an unique high bandwidth Skype facility launched recently in our brand new Majorie Robinson Library Rooms. The idea was something which Jo Robinson-Lamb, a Communications Specialist from NUIT, had been mulling over for some time. Here she tells us how taking part in our free online course, The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen helped her turn her idea into reality.

Jo Robinson-Lamb
Jo Robinson-Lamb

“The original idea for the Skype Booth came from the Digital Campus Scoping Project, part of the University Digital Campus Initiative, which looked at how our students make use of technology in their day-to-day lives on campus. One finding that really stood out for me was the basic need for students to connect with friends and family at home – especially our international students.

The idea stayed with me; could we use our IT skills and services to offer students the ultimate ‘Skype’ experience: a private booth, large screen, comfy seats and great sound so they really felt the person was in the same room?

After further discussions with colleagues, the idea started to grow. I’d heard about the Newcastle University MOOC: The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen and the free online course seemed like the perfect place to share my thoughts and discover how to turn ideas into action.

After sharing the idea in a blog post, I was overwhelmed by the support from the Shed community and mentors. My post was picked up by colleagues in LTDS, who passed it to colleagues in the University Library; they loved the idea, saw its potential and decided the new Marjorie Robinson Library Rooms would provide the ideal opportunity to give it a go. NUIT Audio Visual Services and the Estate Support Service came onboard too and the ‘Chatterbox’ was born.

I couldn’t have done this on my own. The Enterprise Shed helped me to make the connections I needed to turn an idea into reality and I’m thrilled with the results.”

Sign ups are open for The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen which starts on 15 February 2016 and lasts 4 weeks.

Translating education offline to online – Katie Wray on building The Enterprise Shed

The video presentation from Katie Wray (below) outlines her experience of translating classroom entrepreneurship education to an online course. We enjoyed working with Katie on delivering ‘The Enterprise Shed’, the third of our FutureLearn courses. Here she describes the process we went through and the pleasing results.

See also “A toast to post it notes” for more details on how we planned the course together as we sought to make things as collaborative as possible.

Sugata Mitra – two kinds of entrepreneur

We have had so many words of wisdom and so much great footage from the Enterprise Shed. One clip we didn’t manage to include in the course is Sugata’s explanation of two very different kinds of entrepreneur: the aggressively directed entrepreneur and the reluctant entrepreneur.

Which kind are you?


People are really getting into ShedTalk!

The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen is Newcastle University‘s third free online course on FutureLearn. It started today and runs for four weeks with around three hours a week needed to keep up. Or you can join anytime before Sunday 26 April, and work through it at your own pace.

I’d really encourage you to sign up and take part whilst the course is running though, as this course is a little different to the two we have developed and run previously. The Enterprise Shed is almost entirely dependent on learners interactions and participation.

It’s you that will make or break this course, and it has been really encouraging to see how readily people are connecting, sharing experiences, helping each other, and sharing ideas so freely and openly.

After only a day it’s turning out to be a really inspirational space to be in.

If you haven’t signed up, there’s still plenty of time. Come and join us in The Enterprise Shed, and help others make their ideas happen, as well as get support to develop and refine your own.

You never know, it might be the start or something new for you….

Almost there – The Shed Mentors met yesterday

shed_line_drawingWe had a really productive meeting yesterday morning when the Lead Sheducator, Sheducators and Mentors met to familiarise themselves with The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen and how it will run when it starts next Monday on FutureLearn.

We have a great bunch of people, all experts in enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking, ready and eager to work with learners on The Enterprise Shed: Making Ideas Happen.

Perhaps you have met some of them already?

  • Katie Wray is a Lecturer in Enterprise in the SAgE Faculty here at Newcastle University and Lead Sheducator.
  • Rebecca Fisher is an Entrepreneurial Development Officer, also at Newcastle University and is both a Sheducator and Mentor.
  • Simon Laing is a recent Virgin Startup success story with Cullercoats Bike & Kayak.
  • Angela McLean (and her daughter, Jessica McCarthy) recently secured a deal for £100,000 from Dragon’s Den for their Baggers Originals childrens rainwear company.
  • Jane Nolan, MBE is a Teaching Fellow in Enterprise with the International Centre for Music Studies in the School of Arts and Cultures and a Visiting Entrepreneur supporting the work of Newcastle University Careers Service. She was awarded the MBE in 2000 for services to UK exports.
  • Dr Colin Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the University of Tasmania where he works in the Australian Innovation Research Centre.
  • Dr Victoria Mountford is an enthusiastic, entrepreneurial and people-focused individual with a range of experience in (enterprise & employability) higher education, (academic & commercial) research & business development. She works as a Development Officer in the Newcastle University Careers Service.

There will be other enterprising individuals popping up throughout this highly participatory course:

There is still plenty of time to sign up and explore your enterprising side – come and join us in The Enterprise Shed!


The Enterprise Shed is open for signups!

The Shed is open! Come on in…
Illustrations by Kevin Dick.

Come and make your ideas happen in The Enterprise Shed! This free online course starts on 30 March and lasts 4 weeks, with a time commitment of around 3 hours a week. It is led by Katie Wray, Lecturer in Enterprise from here at Newcastle University, and we are sure you will not only have a great time doing the course, but you will gain confidence to turn your ideas into action.

Join Katie on this highly interactive journey exploring and developing your own entrepreneurial mindset with a community of like minded people from all over the world.

On the course, you’ll meet a whole bunch of thinkers and doers; those just starting out, makers, tinkerers and experienced entrepreneurs. Sharing your ideas with them and other learners will encourage you to have more confidence to think and do more to create change and solve problems in your own world.

You don’t need any specific skills or experience – just passion and a willingness to get involved.

Sign up at www.futurelearn.com/courses/enterprise-shed

You can download a flyer too to share with your friends, colleagues and family.


We are really busy with our 3rd MOOC!

It’ll be open for signups very soon, but here’s a sneak peak at the crew working on the trailer…..


Kev has drawn some lovely illustrations of local landmarks which we are really looking forward to using in our next FutureLearn course.


Look out for more news early next week.