Featured Post: Heriot Watt x Micro-Tyco

Micro-Tyco Ideas, Execution, Results

During October, Julie and I assembled a team of Heriot-Watt students to take part in the Micro-Tyco challenge. Our team was made up of third-year students from a range of degrees across the university. Each team member brought their own skills and social capital to the team and we were able to leverage these to make the most of our month-long Micro-Tyco Challenge!


Prior to starting the challenge, Julie and myself held a team meeting as a chance for the team to get to know each other better! This also presented an opportunity to share ideas and ensure everyone fully understood the challenge. As we dis-cussed ideas, we began to sway more towards providing a service, or services, throughout the month due to the time constraint of the challenge making us wary of attempting to manufacture a product. After discussing ideas that targeted the Heriot-Watt market, we focused our attentions towards running student-focused events, particularly those which would provide an insight into a career or industry. We identified this as an unfulfilled gap at Heriot-Watt due to the limited number of formal events held at the beginning of each academic year. For this reason, we were keen to get speakers that students could relate to and those who were not necessarily in student recruitment roles.


We kicked off October with a bake sale and online silent auction. Whilst initially designed to simply build on our £1 seed capital, it quickly became apparent that we could add value through offering businesses that helped us promotion on our Facebook page set up in the run-up to the challenge. This helped us to secure cupcakes from a professional baker for our sale and a great selection of items to auction off! The earnings from the auction and the bake sale then provided us with a comfortable amount to reinvest in our up-and-coming events!
The main events we planned were two speaker events and a tennis tournament followed by a pub quiz. These events either linked to our overarching strategy, or related to where our team had existing connections – two team members are on the Tennis Club’s committee! We secured two fantastic speakers within the first week of the challenge, each of whom would be able to give students an insight into relevant careers or industries! Our marketing strategy primarily involved our Facebook page, which provided a channel for other promotional activities to link back to. Each event had a Facebook event created for it, which we shared with relevant societies and university staff that could help us reach students the event would be most applicable to. Furthermore, individual team members shared the events on their own Facebook profiles and with those friends most likely interested in attending.
Our first speaker event featured Grant Property’s own Nicole Perry and was held at the midpoint of the month. This was of relevance to finance, accounting and economics students who tend to make up a large proportion of active students on campus, especially at career events. To further encourage event attendance and indeed paying to access the event, we secured a photographer to take LinkedIn headshots and goodie bags for those that attended. Unfortunately, this event had a rather disappointing turnout compared to the number of sign-ups we had received. As frustrating as this was, it did mean that we learnt the age-old lesson of ‘always get the money first’ the hard way!!
With our second speaker event fast approaching, we were con-tinuing to push for sign-ups and organise payment for attendance. Our speaker for this event was Alan Mahon, Founder of Brewgooder, and to add value to this event we had purchased a case of Brewgooder’s Clean Water Lager for each attendee to try a can! Still struggling for sign-ups and conscious of wasting Alan’s time, we made the tough decision to cancel the event ahead of time, a decision I am grateful we made! All in all this worked out well; leaving things with Alan and the Brewgooder team on good terms and repurposing our case of beer as prizes for our tennis tournament.
Our afternoon of tennis followed by a pub quiz turned out to be a huge hit, making good use of myself and Emma’s roles on the HWU Tennis Club’s Committee. The pub quiz itself was a great example of one of our team members embracing the Micro-Tyco method and working to utilise their social capital! From her role as HWUTC Social Sec, Emma had already been work-ing with Villager, the bar where we held our pub quiz, and was able to use this existing relationship to allow us to host the quiz at no cost and even secure a prize for the winners!


  • Lauren Smith is currently an undergraduate studying at Heriot-Watt University. For more information, view her profile here.