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In recent weeks CDP hosted two delegations of entrepreneurs from Europe, who were keen to learn more about how they could use innovation to create value in their early stage businesses.

The entrepreneurs, from universities in Finland, Latvia and Estonia, visited Cambridge Design Partnership as part of a Venture Camp organised by Professor Alan Barrell.

Cambridge is a key destination for entrepreneurs seeking to learn what makes one of Europe’s largest technology hubs so effective at generating and commercialising new ideas. While Cambridge is best known for its world-leading university, recent statistics show that the Cambridge cluster hosts over 4,300 knowledge intensive companies, employing nearly 60,000 staff and turning over £11bn

Alan Cucknell, CDP’s Front End of Innovation Leader, hosted the Finnish group. Together they explored why so many innovations fail and identified some common pitfalls. Alan highlighted the importance of building innovation for both entrepreneurs and bluechips on an evidence-based framework. He also introduced them to CDP’s process for identifying market insights, translating these to compelling ideas and then developing optimised products. (CDP calls this Potential Realised). Alan reflects on the visit, “I’ve learnt a lot about innovation from entrepreneurs and start-ups. It was super to spend the afternoon meeting entrepreneurs from such a range of industries and sharing our experience of what it takes to succeed with innovative businesses.”

Mike Cane, Partner and Founder hosted the Latvian and Estonian teams. The energetic entrepreneurs were keen to pitch their business concepts and receive feedback from CDP’s team. They were developing an exciting range of businesses including micro car parks for busy cities, laser therapy devices and an app-based incentive scheme for food brands.

“It’s always great fun meeting entrepreneurs”, explains Mike. “Turning ideas into commercial products is our expertise and we’re passionate about it. So meeting enthusiastic entrepreneurs who are at an early stage in their business journey is very exciting. We had so much experience to share with them and wish them every success in their respective projects.”

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