Calibrate Directors, Remy Kesrouani and Andy Sinfield, recently went to Oxford University to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.
For centuries, its colleges trained young men for the priesthood. More recently,
career choices of Oxford graduates switched to the professions: the City,
law, medicine, politics.
Now, it appears, they are changing again. Inspired by Mark Zuckerberg — who dropped out
of Harvard to found Facebook — many of today’s Oxford undergraduates hanker
to be entrepreneurs. And they take their ambition very seriously. In
a packed room in the bowels of Keble College, you could hear a pin drop as Remy Kesrouani, a
Management, an investment company, described the ten things that start-up businesses most often get wrong. He had two pieces
of advice for undergraduates who fancy themselves
as Oxford’s answer to Mr
Zuckerberg. One student who came to him pitching
for investment for his start-up
business was so excited that he quit his degree,
Mr Kesrouani’s advice was to go back
to university. “Education is a massive plus, especially at a place
like Oxford,” he said.
Second, he reminded students that London is not Silicon Valley — if you get a chance to pitch to investors, ditch the jeans and trainers and wear a suit and tie to be taken seriously.
The meeting was one
of hundreds organised by the Oxford Guild Business Society,
which claims to be the world’s
largest student society.
When the guild surveyed
2,000 student members
in 2011, their
most popular career
choices were consulting (22 per cent) and banking (20 per cent) with entrepreneurship cited by just 4 per cent. Last year, it repeated the exercise with 4,000 respondents. Consulting was still
the top choice of 30 per
cent, but 16 per were attracted to entrepreneurship and only 10 per cent to
By Greg Hurst, Education Editor