Fife businesses get a crash course in becoming pitch perfect

Fife College students join local businesses to enjoy a pitching masterclass with Scottish Enterprise chairman Bob Keiller 

Fife students and members of the local business community were given a crash course in how to deliver the perfect pitch recently when ‘Pitch Master’ and former CEO of the Wood Group Bob Keiller paid a special visit to Carnegie Conference Centre in Dunfermline.
Also attended by ‘Acorns’ – businesses which have taken part in the Acorn Enterprise 20-week Business Accelerator Programme – the four-hour masterclass was co-hosted by Acorn Enterprise and Fife College and gave insights into how to craft a memorable, authentic and emotional pitch guaranteed to get the desired results. 
Keiller, who is the current chairman of Scottish Enterprise, said: “I was delighted to share some lessons on pitching and presenting with Acorn Enterprise at Fife College recently. I have made more mistakes than most giving talks and have lots of hard won lessons. I also realise that the more work I put in – the better the outcome.”
For the last two years, Acorn Enterprise has worked with Fife College to foster a culture of enterprise and, as a result, has delivered several Business Bootcamps for students and organised a college-wide enterprise competition.
The two organisations are also currently working together on a project they say will enable enterprise to be embedded into more subject areas in the future.
Chief enterprise officer Kallum Russell said: “We love working with Fife College because they truly understand the impact and importance of enterprise, regardless of subject area. The students and staff we have worked with have always impressed us with their genuine enthusiasm, energy and willingness to learn.
“We also have to give a huge shout out to Bryan McCabe as he is really spearheading the enterprise agenda at Fife College.
“Acorn Enterprise aims to add value to the student experience, by bringing an entrepreneurial edge to the curriculum.  We are very excited by the prospect of working with even more students in the future.”
Students Lewis O’Donnell, Declan Murray and David McKinlay were part of a team who took part in a recent enterprise competition organised by the accelerator and the college. As a result, the three students were invited to attend the pitching masterclass and hope that their new skills will help them progress their business idea of a garage app – an idea which actually won them the enterprise competition.
O’Donnell from Kincardine, who is currently studying HND Interactive Media, said: “We really enjoyed the masterclass from Bob Keiller. As pitching is new to us, we found it as equally exciting as we did scary but when Bob took to the floor, he made us feel like we had met him before and we were hooked from there on. We hope to to take the experience from the event and use it for our app idea – thank you Bob, Acorn Enterprise and Fife College for all your help and support.”
Keiller is also a director at AB15 Ltd and former chairman of the Entrepreneurial Exchange. He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and 2008 and named Scottish Businessman of the Year in 2007, as well as Grampian Industrialist of the Year in 2008.
In 2011, he was voted ‘Scottish Male Business Leader of the Year’ at the Scottish Leadership awards.
Acorn Enterprise, which is Fife’s only business accelerator, says it’s on a mission to grow Scotland’s entrepreneurial culture by working with new businesses and students to educate and accelerate enterprise.

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