Edinburgh Business Weekend 2011
The inaugural Edinburgh Business Weekend, organised by members of the Heriot-Watt University Economics Society (HWUES) and held at Heriot-Watt University, has been hailed as an outstanding success by participants, industry representatives and senior academics.
The Edinburgh Business Weekend brought together 11 teams from leading business schools across the UK including Cambridge, Imperial, Queen’s Belfast, and UCL to compete against each other in a series of business challenges for the £1000 prize and Edinburgh Business Weekend trophy.
Building on Heriot-Watt’s strong links to the energy and finance industries, the inaugural Edinburgh Business Weekend took energy and investment as its theme for both the guest speakers as well as the business challenges – which were designed and judged by the event sponsors who included BP and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Scotland. Friday night saw the teams and invited guests from industry and academia gather to hear two world class speakers. In setting the scene for the weekend Professor Jeremy Peat, Chairman of the David Hume Institute, and Ramon Fiestas of the Global Wind Energy Council gave their views on energy and investment. Pelayo Orts, event organiser and Vice-President of HWUES, said “Our speakers were outstanding. Jeremy Peat’s insight into his rich career as an economist and Ramon Fiestas’ overview of challenges and opportunities facing the wind energy industry were both fascinating and educational. We are extremely grateful to both of them for taking the time to come and talk at the event.”
On Saturday, Geirr Haarr of Statoil and Trevor Garlick of BP gave presentations on their respective companies to help students understand the energy sector in more detail before the challenge began. For the challenge teams were asked to choose a country of their preference and outline its energy challenges, and then identify an investment opportunity that a company such as BP could exploit.
Teams chose a wide range of countries from Indonesia to Brazil and presented their proposals very creatively. They were scored on the creativity, feasibility, profitability and sustainability of their proposals by a panel of judges from the energy and investment industries including Paul Lawson of BP and Geirr Haarr of Statoil. The calibre of the teams and their excellent performance made picking the winner a difficult task
The judging panel awarded first place to Durham University citing their consistency and exceptional performance with the time available as a key to the success of their idea of investing in Scotland. Warwick took second place and were commended by the panel for their outstanding research into the energy challenges in India, while Lancaster, in taking third place, had proposed investment in Laos and convincingly persuaded the judging panel that this could be a profitable strategy despite the local social and political climate.
Durham University - winners of the Edinburgh Business Weekend 2011
Photography by Michael Ainslie
The winning teams were presented with their prizes at a gala dinner held in Edinburgh city centre on the Saturday evening. Kelly Corbett, event organiser and Secretary of HWUES, said “In addition to the business challenge itself, the organising team was keen to give the participants an opportunity to socialise and the gala dinner proved to be a great way for everyone to make friends and connections.”
In summing up Milos Bartosek, event organiser and President of HWUES, said “The Edinburgh Business Weekend provided not only an opportunity to hear world-leading guest speakers but also to broaden networks and build contacts with prominent graduate employers, students and academics at leading business schools across the UK. I would like to thank everyone who took part and contributed to making the event such a great success.”