Catch up on the last day of this year's Accelerator Programme

9am…Time to leave

After a late night/early morning, depending on which way you look at it, the finalists head out of the Cohen Quad for the last time. It’s safe to say that the full English breakfasts and coffees were well and truly needed, before departure for the Saïd Business School.

9.30am Hacking Social Media

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Peter Tufano, the Dean of the Business School, offers the finalists a few words of wisdom and thanks before the team are given some details on the online voting from Laurence in the Chivas team.Warren, also from the Chivas team, goes on to show the finalists 7 principles for social media success which gives an overview of quick wins that could be easily applied to their organisations. Warren leaves the group pondering how social can be made manageable, spending just 15 minutes per day thinking about the moments they can share with their social audience to not only help keep content regular, but to also help them discover new ways to engage.

10.30am A Mind for Business

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The final talk of the Accelerator Programme is from Andy Gibson, an award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Mindapples. Focussing on looking after your mind first to help your business, Andy has some invaluable tips for the group about identifying what affects the mind, concentration, avoiding stress and staying playful. This thought-provoking lecture really hammers home the importance of mindfulness for those with their own businesses, as the mind is, as Andy says, ‘their greatest asset’Ending with a Mindapples exercise where everyone writes down 5 things they do that is good for their mind, the group finish the programme on a reflective note.12pm Time to say goodbye

And with that it’s time to reflect on their time in Oxford, Peter Drobac and Laurence round off proceedings by thanking all those involved in heartfelt (and emotional) speeches. While the group tell everyone what they’ve taken from the whole experience.

‘We’ve won this already. $1m is nice, but the relationships I’ve built and people I’ve met means I’ve already won.’- Papu Haroon, Kenya

‘These are memories for life. It’s not just a competition, it’s been about friends, learning and exploring new things.’- Koen Van Pottelbergh, Belguim

‘The sessions have been indispensable, filled with relevant and useful content. I’ve been to a lot of these courses, but this is the one where the most consideration has been given’ – Diana Yousef, USA

‘I was expecting a lot of things, but I wasn’t expecting to get a new point of view. I feel like a man with a mission; I need to go back and spread that new way of thinking at home.’ - Ignatios Fotiou, Greece

1pm…That’s a wrap!

A last lunch and quick group photo spells the end of this year’s action-packed Accelerator Programme. The group do their final farewells before embarking on their coach journey to London. Everyone involved leaves bleary-eyed but satisfied by a triumphant few days well spent in Oxford.

The next time we see them will be in Amsterdam for the final in May and we simply can’t wait! The public voting period starts on April 4th, so stay tuned on our blog and social channels to keep up with all the latest goings on from this year’s competition.

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