JM// RA Eng Showcase

The lecture theatre looked familiar, then it hit me. The Royal Institution Christmas lectures are given in this very room! The steep wood panelled room steeped in history and tradition and Amanda was getting to pitch from right at the front!

The rain was pouring it down as I packed up the ⅓ model, changed into my suited finery, and began the unenviable task of carrying the 1m x 1m model base the 20 minute walk to the station. Between the rain and the sweat and I was worried I looked like an entrant into a wet t-shirt contest, but smelt like a rugby player!

The day was set to play out at the Royal Institution, who would be housing today’s Royal Academy of Engineering’s Showcase event. An event to showcase and introduce their Hub members, of which Amanda and Comp-A-Tent were one, to their Fellows and distinguished guests.

Exploring the book-lined rooms, scattered between pillars were 17 early stage start-ups and University spin outs, prototypes overshadowed by pull out banners with smiling faces and company descriptions – and we got to keep it!

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It was super cool chatting to the entrepreneurs/inventors – there was a heavy slant towards medical prototypes and it was nice to see my fellow Lufbra Product Design & Tech alumni, James Roberts, with his MOM inflatable incubator.

When the pitching came round, well, I never been so nervous for someone else!

Thankfully we had drafted the pitch 2 weeks earlier, which allowed us plenty of time to annoy people on buses and trains by reciting the pitch over and over again. Ten minutes in the lecture theatre during a break was plenty enough time for Amanda to map the pitch around the room and she was good to go!

But before the pitching could begin, there was the keynote speech from Gerard Grech of Tech Nation, enthusing the crowd with talk of how the UK is absolutely the best place for Tech startups, with diverse expertise developing across the country, coupled with generous governmental support and allowances.

Sitting through the first 13 pitches only added to my nerves for Amanda’s pitch. She had a tough act to follow, positioned after James’ Inflatable incubator to help save pre-mature babies across the world.

Thankfully, Amanda did great, getting laughs throughout the pitch, even ones we hadn’t anticipated, and got through the pitch perfectly – at least to the audience and me, she knew she had skipped an entire section!

Lesson learned? Just keep going through the pitch, and DON’T PANIC! Now, where’s my towel?

The after event introduced us to a range of people, with many and varying ideas and issues around Comp-A-Tent. We’ll spending the next few days chasing up!

So all-in-all, a superb day, both inspiring and helpful to Comp-A-Tent’s development. Onwards and upwards!