All week school leaders have collated and collaborated at the 9th Annual Microsoft in Education Global Forum. It’s been a fantastic week and one that was made very special when mentor school Broadclyst Community Primary School took centre stage to take part in the ‘Pitch Competition.’
Inspired by the Dragon’s Den, schools were given the opportunity to present a business idea to a selected panel – the pitch – and convince them that it is relevant and doable with the goal of transforming learning and student outcomes in their school. The winner gets to tap into funding and investors get to tap into ideas and connect with some of the most innovative schools in the world and partner with them to improve student outcomes.
Last night we heard from the 6 finalists (79 countries took part) who pitched to judges Tamela Noboa, Chief Strategy Officer, Discovery Channel Global Education Partners; Sandra Licon, Senior Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Akhtar Badshah, Senior Director, Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs.
They recognized 3 winners: Broadclyst Primary School, UK; Gayaza High School (Uganda); Schloss Neubeuern ,Germany.
Broadclyst Primary School came first and were awarded the highest amount $25,000 for their business model:
Idea: Global enterprise challenge, where students from schools around the world connect to run an international company. This will include international companies, each with a different product, competing to become the most successful company globally with cross-school and cross-country collaboration.
Why they were chosen: Gives students awareness of cultural diversities, an understanding of world markets and currencies along with the core skills of communication, collaboration, teamwork and problem solving. This will bring together students from many countries to work in one global challenge.
The highlight of the pitch came directly from the school when two amazing young ladies, Poppy and Jess, were beamed into the auditorium using Lync to assist the one and only Jonathan Bishop (HT) sell the idea to the judges.
Poppy: ‘‘I think that it was a great experience being able to Lync call Barcelona and be able to give our point of view on the Enterprise Project. It was quite nerve racking but I felt confident talking about the Project because it is something I have really enjoyed doing. I loved seeing ourselves on the big screen and it felt great to be involved in an international conference with people from around the world. It really is incredible that we won and I think it proves that if you work hard, you see the rewards.’’
Jess ‘‘I found the whole experience extremely exciting as we were able talk about our Enterprise project to people that didn’t really know what it was about. It was a great learning opportunity as we got to speak to a large group of people even though it felt quite daunting. It was brilliant to see ourselves on the big screen and it felt like we were famous! It really is incredible that we won the competition and it will be amazing to see how the Enterprise Project develops globally in the future’’
Jonathan Bishop: ‘‘The event was an amazing opportunity to share what we have been doing at Broadclyst through an Enterprise project bringing together children from different schools into a collaborative project. To take this now to the next level and make it a truly global enterprise project will be really exciting. The children involved benefit tremendously from these international links but this project will get over a 1000 children working together across 20 countries. The ‘pitch competition’ was certainly a test of my nerves but it was not only good fun but just brilliant to meet the judges and have the support of everyone at the MS Global Forum. I never dreamt that we would get through to the final let alone have our ideas accepted and receive the full $25,000 funding to make the project a reality. The hard work now begins and I am looking forward to working with all our partners in turning the ideas into reality. If there are any schools who would like to be part of the competition then please do get in touch.’’
Look out for further blog posts on Broadclyst Primary School and the exciting journey they are about to embark on!