• Question: What made you decide if you win the money you will give it to engineering yes?

    Asked by 762spcc35 to Mike on 16 Jun 2015.
    • Photo: Mike Lawton

      Mike Lawton answered on 16 Jun 2015:

      When I was at school I took a class called “Technology” where I got to do lots of practical and exciting things with mechanical & electrical engineering. This inspired me to go on and take my Degree and become a space engineer before staring my own space company. But nowhere in the early part of my career was the really important of subject of business talk about. All technology business need customers to buy their product otherwise they’d soon go bust! But how do you know what customers will buy before you actually make something new?

      Also, at school and university the focus is all about finding a company to work for. Tt’s never about working for yourself – become a technology entrepreneur. The UK can only grow (and provide more engineering & science jobs) if students aspire to start their own companies.
      So I spend quite a bit of time helping students (via Engineering YES! ) to understand if their business ideas make sense and are likely to succeed. I never actually say an idea is good or bad – so many experts always get that bit wrong! – but I work with them to make sure they’re asking themselves the right questions and helping them make connections that might help.
      I think it’s really important that those of us that run technology businesses work with aspiring studnet entrepreneurs to help them learn from our mistakes (and I’ve made plenty!) and guide where we can.

      Engineering YES! relies on entrepreneurs like me to give my time for free but it needs donations to pay for the hire of places for us to meet across the UK, materials such as pens etc.

      And that’s why I think it deserves the £500 if I win!