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After being announced as the new Managing Director of Hewlett Packard Enterprise on his 40th birthday, Marc Waters visited Portsmouth College to speak about his entrepreneurial journey to almost 100 students in collaboration with the Unloc Enterprise Academy.

Students and staff filled the Studio Theatre at Portsmouth College today as leading innovator Marc Waters spoke to the young entrepreneurs as part of Unloc’s Enterprise Academy, just one of the courses on the five strand initiative that makes up the College’s E5 Programme.

Marc was introduced by the College’s Deputy Principal, Simon Barrable, and after a short question and answer session, he began his masterclass. The leading innovator discussed strategies for success and what he looks for in young entrepreneurs, as well as engaging the audience in his entrepreneurial journey.

Marc received a round of applause from the staff and students as he ended his presentation. He said: “I really enjoyed talking to the students; there was a great energy and they engaged brilliantly. A couple of the students even came up to me afterwards and said how my talk and workshop has motivated and inspired them to do better - that alone makes it worthwhile.”

One of the many students in the crowd was Alfie Scott. He said:

I think the workshop went really well. Marc was a great speaker and he made a point to engage us as much as he could in what he was saying; rather than us all just sitting there. He integrated his life and journey brilliantly into his presentation and what he said has given me the confidence and motivation to get our project going as soon as we can.”

Marc handed the workshop over to Unloc’s Managing Director, Hayden Taylor, who briefed the audience on their upcoming task; to design a business concept that would improve education through the use of technology, something Portsmouth College has already been doing by providing students with iPads to make learning more fluent and effective.

The students teamed up into groups and began their hour long task developing the ultimate concept, with the chance of winning hundreds of pounds worth of prizes - including 12-months of support from the Unloc team and a hamper of gadgets donated by Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

After a short break the teams entered the Studio Theatre once more; this time to pitch their unique concepts to the elite panel of judges; Christopher Shaw, Founder of PS Computer Services, Richard Whitehouse, Sales Director for Platform Black, Paul Morrison, Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Education Sector Lead, and Patricia Smith, University of Portsmouth’s Enterprise Manager.

The judges were impressed with the students’ pitches and after each group had presented their concept, the panel left the Theatre and began discussing the pitches. After a short wait the judges returned with their decision.

First prize was awarded to ID4More for their concept of developing a wireless monitoring system that would alert staff to people entering the College building without identification, making the College an even more secure location for students to learn. The team also said that the identification cards worn by students would act as a top-up card that would allow them to pay for food and drinks using their ID.

ID4More was presented with a certificate as well as the gadgets and a year of support from Unloc. The team were delighted to win and are looking to get the project started as soon as possible. Blair Gissing spoke on behalf of the team and said:

It feels fantastic to win. We are looking to turn the idea into reality very soon and can’t wait to start learning even more from the Unloc Enterprise Academy. We used the ID card concept because currently students aren’t always showing their ID and thought that if it had more of a purpose then students would be more likely to remember them and wear them.”

The team of six divided their prizes and are looking forward to using the gadgets donated by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and getting their project of the ground with Unloc’s support and guidance.

Hayden Taylor was immensely proud of how well the students engaged with Marc and the task. He said: “We are delighted with how well all the students interacted with Marc during his presentation and how well they all worked on their concepts. It was an honour to welcome Marc to Portsmouth College and he brought entrepreneurship to life for the audience. The support we receive from Hewlett Packard Enterprise is a testament to the continued growth of the organisation. A huge thank you to Marc for coming along and to our elite judges for their advice, questions and decision. We are looking forward to working closely with the winning team and can see that winning the award has inspired them to get the project started.”

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