Case study – Bubble’s partnership with academia

Summary 

Bubble has a longstanding and ongoing relationship with academia. Co-founder Leigh Wharton is a visiting lecturer at Manchester Business School (AMBS), where he teaches an elective module to students on the Global MBA course. At the core of the module is the course book Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology: A Guide to Core Models and Tools, co-written by Leigh and his colleagues. 

Global MBA lecturing at AMBS

Bubble has worked with universities for decades, both in teaching roles and through the management of business incubators. From 2001 to 2009, Bubble Enterprises led a business incubator at AMBS, delivering enterprise awareness and creation for dozens of startups.

When the project ended, Leigh began attending AMBS as a visiting lecturer, delivering the material for the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management elective programme he and his colleagues Professor Oswaldo Lorenzo and Peter Kawalek had created. Leigh still holds this position, more than a decade later.

Initially, the elective was delivered via workbooks until the programme went online several years ago. At this point, the workbooks were added to with tables, examples, case studies and models, creating what is now the course textbook ‘Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology: A Guide to Core Models and Tools’.

The course book is now available as an eBook, which is used by hundreds of students on the Global MBA programme each year. 

Additional project responsibilities 

The elective is taught via online learning and three-day workshops at AMBS’ international centres in Manchester, San Paolo, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai, either by Leigh or by Lorenzo, who travel to the specific locations and work directly with the students.

In addition to teaching the elective, Leigh has filled the role of convener of the Global MBA projects since the start of 2018, which involves giving final-year students an initial overview of project requirements and assessment criteria, and then overseeing their projects.

Students in their last year of the Global MBA are divided into groups of four or five and set a project to round off their programme. They produce abstracts for their projects, which Leigh then assesses and categorises into one of four subject areas: finance, innovation, operations and marketing/people. In a management role, Leigh then oversees the groups as they progress, handling internal moderation, grading and more. 

Leigh works with around 400 students each year through the AMBS Global MBA course, equipping budding businesspeople with the knowledge and skills necessary to get their careers off to the best start.