Reaching for the sky with the CfEL Summer School


Matthew Byatt was inspired to reach for the sky after attending the 2004 Summer School run by the University of Cambridge's Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL - based at the Judge Institute).

He achieved a lifetime ambition to combine proven business skills with his flying hobby when he acquired Delta Aviation in February 2005.

'The Summer School played an integral role in the acquisition of Delta Aviation. The programme allowed me to test my levels of insight and experience to see if I was ready to develop my own business,' Matthew stated.

The Summer School, to be held from 11th to 16th July in 2005, is a unique training programme to help budding entrepreneurs turn business ideas into commercial enterprises. It has a great track record, having already played a key role in developing the executives now running successful new businesses such as Artimi, CMR Fuel Cells Ltd, Daniolabs Ltd, BlueGnome, Surface Generation, Alphamosaic (now Broadcom) and many more.

While studying at the University of Bristol for a degree in electrical engineering, Matthew Byatt trained with the Royal Air Force to be a pilot on a range of aircraft. He subsequently developed a successful career in industry working for number of companies including Texas Instruments, Symbionics and ARM. However, he has always been interested in flying and the Summer School experience gave him the confidence to integrate his hobby with a business.

The CfEL Summer School appealed because it was 'different, compact and focused', said Matthew. 'It involved a small amount of disruption to my day job while enabling the development of a specific business idea with access to mentors and complete focus on the issues.'

'The information provided at CfEL was a useful tool kit and framework for putting together the business plan. I thought the way the mentor was matched to my background in electronics was excellent and having access to somebody who is a business leader was invaluable.'

Dr. Shai Vyakarnam, Director of CfEL, congratulated Matthew on his success; 'It's great to see one of our Summer School alumni doing so well. The programme is really about developing the right business skills so that ideas can be transformed into commercial reality. Matthew is a good example of someone who has used the entrepreneurial environment and practical skills of the Summer School as a launch pad for his business. I look forward to supporting him in the future.'

Matthew Byatt stated, 'I have been able to meet up with Shai, update him on progress and get some additional coaching. I feel the open attitude of the CfEL makes it very easy for previous attendees to approach the organisation for more advice. I also believe I could call upon my mentor, Charles Cotton (Library House).'

The Summer School provides all the skills, contacts and confidence to accelerate business development. It can offer enormous potential rewards to attending entrepreneurs, as demonstrated by Alphamosaic which was sold to American ICT aces Broadcom Corporation recently in a deal worth $123m. The sky really is the limit.

Delta Aviation was founded in 1993 and is the UK's leading and award winning flying experience specialist. The company operates a fleet of beautifully restored Tiger Moths and other vintage aircraft to provide a unique and exhilarating flying experience. Delta Aviation supplies a number of high street retail organizations and gift experience providers and has won several supplier awards for quality of service. For further information and details visit or call 0870 446 4467.

The Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) delivers a range of educational activities to inspire and build skills in entrepreneurship and 'spread the spirit of enterprise' to both the University of Cambridge and beyond. CfEL is based at the Judge Institute of Management, Keynes House, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1QA. For further information please visit

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The Judge Institute of Management is the University of Cambridge's business school. Founded in 1990, it has over 300 students and 80 teaching and research staff. It offers a portfolio of undergraduate, graduate and executive management programmes, including the Cambridge MBA. Teaching and research benefit from a wide range of associate faculty in other departments within the university. The business school hosts one of the largest concentrations of interdisciplinary business and management research activity in the Europe. For more information please visit the web site at

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The Entrepreneurship Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School aims to inspire, enable and research entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship Centre, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge