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Evolving tech start-up reaps benefits of academic partnership

on Monday, 09 March 2015. Posted in March 2015

Local Tech Company Cobra simulation benefits from business students’ expertise

Young evolving technology start-up Cobra Simulation today announced that it has rolled out the first phase of its strategic marketing plan by launching its new, simple yet sharp and informative website

Interface connected Cobra with theUniversity Of Edinburgh Business School .The project was headed up internally by Suzie Larcombe a professional marketing and communication consultant with a team of Executive MBA students.

Interface helps companies like Cobra contribute to the Scottish economy through business-academic partnerships. In 2014 the contribution was £17m and is expected to increase to £ 80 million by 2018, along with the creation of up to 2,400 new jobs.

Cobra Simulation is a simulation-based immersive technology solutions provider for the training, communication, medical and entertainment sectors.

Alexander Bradley, Managing Director at Cobra Simulation said:

“Companies must adapt to ever changing market conditions and be clear about their message to clients. If you do not keep up with change, understand your business or correctly plan for the future then you will not continue to grow.

That’s why it’s important to work with the right people; people like Suzie Larcombe and take advantage of great schemes like Interface whose core objective is to bring together academia and commercial interests to generate positive outcomes for our economy and the people who help drive it.

For a small growing company having the right people makes the difference. When we heard about Interface and recognised the need to clearly define our future we jumped at the opportunity to work with Malcolm Kirkup (Director MBA Programmes and Director of Educational Innovation) and Copil Yanez (MBA Relationship Manager) and their MBA Executive team at the University Of Edinburgh Business School. The experience from start to finish was fantastic and a huge learning curve. Both Suzie and the team of Executive MBAs went out of their way to ensure we got as much value from the project as possible. And I am proud to announce that phase 1 of that plan; our new website has now gone live.”

Louise Arnold, Business Engagement Executive at Interface, successfully brought together Cobra Simulation and the University of Edinburgh Business School. The project had reciprocal benefits for all parties. Cobra Simulation was introduced to a highly skilled team of business leaders from some of the world’s most recognised corporates to dig deep into the underbelly of the company and put together a strategic marketing plan to be implemented in 2015.

The team of Executive MBA students each worked with Cobra Simulation and Suzie over an eight week period to formulate the plan. The project has already proven to be hugely beneficial for the MBA Executives having received Distinctions for their work. It is an excellent example of where academic and commercial collaboration can help drive education, understanding, partnerships and our economy forward.

Suzie Larcombe is best known for her uncanny ability to help product and service providers communicate their solutions succinctly and appealingly to their target market. Bringing her years of experience to the business, Suzie is ensuring that the work carried out by the MBA Executives is integrated into the business across the various touch points, starting with Cobra Simulations website.

2012 Olympic Park Designs and Oxford University contracts are only two examples of where she’s enabled her clients to win bids by appealing to their client’s (sometimes unspoken) pains or problems. Suzie joined Cobra in March 2014 to support its management team with its communications and marketing strategy.

Asked what attracted her to Cobra Simulation she first said: “because Alex makes great tea, he eats bridies and crisps.”

She went on to say: “on a serious note, I think I was attracted by Alex’s down to earth and self-deprecating LinkedIn profile. I also saw it as a huge challenge that he had created this great piece of kit but didn't know really why folk would buy it.”

Dr Siobhán Jordan, Director at Interface, said: “We are at a really exciting time for innovation in Scotland and Interface is playing a key part in making sure that businesses know about the benefits of working with the Higher Education Institutions, from testing new products or services to developing existing ones.
Like Cobra, there are some fantastic examples of this, however, many companies are still unaware that they could work with higher education institutions in the first place, or of the knowledge, specialist facilities and technologies which exist and which could make a real difference to their business.
In fact, 79% of the businesses we have helped have seen an increase in turnover and a growing number have returned to work with academics and researchers to further develop a product or service, having realised the benefit from the first time round.”

Visit the Cobra Simulation website to see first-hand how the impact of this project has changed the company’s shop front Or perhaps you would like to find out more about the scheme by contacting interface
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