Recently, business technology students at Regents University in London heard from an award-winning web design agency during a live bootcamp session as part of their BSc (Hons) in Business, Technology and Entrepreneurship.
The goal of these sessions is, according to their website, “to learn by doing through technology and enterprise bootcamps, a product development lab and an opportunity to design a venture.”
These talks with real-world entrepreneurs help inform the students of the process, pitfalls and options available to them when starting a business in this sector.
Learn how a leading London design agency guides Regents University London business technology students in one such bootcamp.
What is the course?
This course is a new and emerging branch of study focusing on creating entrepreneurial and global business leaders in the tech sector.
This course creates capable founders and business owners by equipping them with essential knowledge.
According to the course overview, students will learn “core business competencies (finance, marketing, management and innovation) while also learning creative techniques (brand storytelling) alongside critical technical know-how (data analysis and visualisation) – all enabling the students to address real work problems”.
It’s meant to address growing concerns that colleges and universities don’t properly equip students for life after school.
For many years, students would enter the workforce with theoretical understanding but limited practical skills like negotiation, time management, critical thinking and so on.
This innovative programme seeks to churn out the next century of capable, qualified and innovative leaders, and this is achieved through a mix of lectures and hands-on exercises designed to help students understand the world of business as it applies to technology.
Why a London design agency?
Since this course requires the input of relevant experts within business tech, it made sense to bring in a leading London web design agency, Creative Brand Design.
The goal – following the session – was twofold.
Obviously, as a self-started business, the students could learn directly from the agency’s director (Christopher Baker) what that process is like, but more practically, the agency helped these students get started on one of their key projects.
The aim is for them to create a spec and then actually make a website as part of this training.
So, speaking to Creative Brand Design was ideal since web design is a core part of their business model.
This allowed the students to really understand – at the deepest level – how to create a scope of work for their clients.
This lecture was delivered over the course of a few hours and contained the following key elements:
Overview on founding a tech business
The students were first provided with an overview on how to found and manage a tech business.
They were advised that it’s possible to turn an interest into a revenue stream through freelancing.
With this exposure, the students may then see where the market demand is, so the business can pivot to win long-term contracts.
They were advised to consider alternate ways of working too.
A hybrid model may make better use of the marketplace and global talent pool.
While managing a team from all over the world can make quality assurance a challenge, the students were urged not to lose sight of the most important thing – customer satisfaction.
Lastly, they were encouraged to learn to forecast – this prevents periods of oversupply or high demand.
But with a diversified workload (where no client is more than 5%), the business will maintain a safer turnover average to weather these peaks and troughs.
Sharing case studies
The segment on case studies helped the students to understand what’s being delivered today in the marketplace.
The focus is on interactivity and telling those brand stories.
The students learned how important it is to constantly invest in learning new technologies.
It’s easy to be taken over by competitors, but by offering the best in storytelling-driven brand experiences, it is possible to win large contracts from the government, financial and other tech players.
What kept coming up over and over was the use of interactive elements and SEO built right into the framework of every website.
The students learned how much easier it is to build for organic search than retrofit something later on, and they were encouraged to make that a part of their build from day one.
On the interactive front, these elements should help tell the story, not just amuse.
The students were encouraged to think about how animation and video could reinforce brand messaging for their clients.
Creating a process
Creative Brand Design then shared their process for designing websites and web applications.
This is comprised of the following steps:
- Discovery – learn what the client needs
- Wireframing – plan out the design
- Prototyping – test the ideas collaboratively
- Development – create a beta version
- Population – load all the content
- Testing & Launch – check for QA before go-live
The students were then offered some final advice around running a business, the market opportunity and growth plans that should excite them about their own venture.
As a result of the bootcamp, the Regents University London business technology students received one on one support and guidance from an industry expert.
They also were exposed to (in detail) the process for scoping, creating and testing a website.
This helped as the students are expected to scope and detail their own basic website following a client brief as part of their practical coursework.
But perhaps what is most valuable was the opportunity for them to learn about the real experience of founding a tech business and running that level of operation successfully.
The students were exposed to the direct realities and exciting growth potential of a tech business in London.
And the Q&A session reflected their interest in following a parallel path.
Similar programmes to this one; where a Leading London design agency guides Regents University London business technology students in a hands-on experience, provide reinforcing exposure to a growing sector.
And, in time, it should create a more reliable framework, preparing students for the world of entrepreneurship and business ownership.