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Scholar Report: Learning new strategies and skills

Jake McCoull

Jake McCoull

2022 Scholar

The Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI) is dedicated to creating a more sustainable future for West Australian businesses and innovation. Through its many educational and entrepreneurship programs, CERI has helped create more than 30 companies and upskill over 450 graduates. As a 2022 Mannkal Economic Education Foundation Scholar, I was allowed to be part of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Bootcamp and the intensive 14-week Concept to Creation Program.

On the first day of the Entrepreneurial Mindset Bootcamp hosted by CERI Founder Charlie Bass and facilitator Anna Abelha, I learned of the history of CERI, the lean canvas model, and the value of entrepreneurship. We formed a group and quickly developed an idea based on our lean canvas and Unique Value Proposition (UVP). Our idea was to create a product that protects individuals’ online identities and secures their data across multiple services. The following day, we learned more entrepreneurial skills, such as strengthening a team, building a brand, and the value of networks. I immediately felt drawn to the entrepreneurial ecosystem that CERI had created. I applied these newfound skills to my life and projects and noticed significant results.

When the Concept to Creation program was offered to Mannkal scholars in the second half of 2022, I immediately seized this opportunity. Rather than starting a new or hypothetical business as I had done in the Entrepreneurial Mindset Bootcamp, I had decided to use my existing business, Ground Station Maintenance, which is a Telecom maintenance provider that specializes in mechanical maintenance of satellite antenna. Over the next 14 weeks, I would learn from industry experts across nearly all business areas.

During the program’s opening week, I met a diverse cohort of interesting people with exceptional business ideas. All these people had identified important problems and devised innovative solutions to solve them. In the program’s second week, the highly successful leadership coach and speaker James Lush gave us one of the most motivating and powerful presentations I have ever seen – all without using a single slide. A founder’s perspective panel featured three highly motivated female entrepreneurs, Megan Del Borello, Kate Kirwin, and Josephine Muir. Each of these women provided our cohort with invaluable insight into the challenges of entrepreneurship and how they overcame adversity to create effective solutions that positively impacted society.

Over the next several weeks, I developed skills, techniques, and networks that improved my confidence in myself and my business. After some reflection, I can easily identify how this program helped develop my character. I have applied many newfound strategies to my business, and I can see the numerous opportunities that stretch ahead. Upon further reflection, the Mannkal Scholarship Program, and its various opportunities, such as CERI’s Concept to Creation program, have been the most rewarding experiences I have undertaken. I look forward to the challenges of 2023 with enthusiasm, and I intend to further develop myself by joining CERI’s Customer Development Masterclass.

Jake was one of only six C2C course attendees invited to present his business pitch on graduation evening.

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