Latest #EntEd news from 5 EEUK members

Written by Kate Beresford


Queens: Up to £30k for university researchers to validate business ideas

The ICURe Programme is now open for applications! The initiative supports teams of researchers at universities across the UK to validate their product or service by offering a fully funded 16 week online discovery opportunity.  Participants will receive a salary and access to a host of experts to ensure that their project achieves the best chance of success.  Deadline to apply is 20th August 2021.  For more information and to apply, please click here or email the ICURe team for more details.


Bristol: QUEST pre-incubator open for applications

QUEST is a six-month pre-incubator programme that will kickstart new quantum and deep technology ventures. The QUEST programme of in-person and online training supports commercially driven researchers and provides them with the training and support to create pre-seed technology ventures. Over four years, QTEC has supported the creation of 28 active companies with a combined valuation of over £120 million, that have raised over £56 million in equity, grant and revenues and created over 170 new highly skilled jobs. Applications are now open at this link. Selected ventures start the six-month programme in October 2021. To learn more, please contact the QTEC team.


Manchester: Winners announced for the 2021 Harari Graphene Enterprise Award

Physics alumnus and founder of global flash-memory giant, SanDisk, Dr. Eli Harari has generously supported the annual competition to encourage Manchester University students, researchers and visionaries toward innovation and risk taking based on developing the commercial prospects of graphene and other 2D materials. This year’s first prize winning venture aims to utilise the unique properties of graphene and research expertise in advanced robotics at The University of Manchester to develop an architectural scale-model of a proposed design for permanent human settlements on the Moon and Mars.  The second prize was awarded to a company developing 2D materials to reduce energy consumption during wastewater treatment. Find out more about the winners


Kings: Partnership with Santander to support low-income students with entrepreneurial skills

The Entrepreneurship Institute at King’s College London, with Santander Universities UK, is launching a new £300k project to support students from low-income backgrounds with entrepreneurial skills development. The Institute will work with the university’s in-house What Works team of research and evaluation specialists to use cutting edge data analysis and research methods to identify and combat issues that students face in accessing and succeeding at university. The first year of the project will be dedicated to research, which will then go on to inform a suite of initiatives, programmes and changes to existing programming that directly address the challenges identified. Read more here.


Arts: Mayor of London, Entrepreneur Awards

Twelve London College of Fashion students have been shortlisted as semi-finalists for the Mayor’s Entrepreneur 2021. The prize supports the creation of sustainable businesses, while championing ideas that will prime London for a greener future. It also serves to promote entrepreneurship as a viable career path for students and graduates and is delivered by the Greater London Authority with funding from the Citi Foundation. The 5 winners will each receive £20,000 towards their businesses, along with expert mentors within City Hall and the finalists will pitch their ideas to a celebrity panel in front of a live audience. Students received support from The LCF Graduate Futures Team, who support students’ career, freelancer and business start-up ambitions. Read more here.

April #EntEd news from EEUK members

Written by Kate Beresford


Newcastle: Enterprise Challenge – Sustainability in Science

Bioscience students stepped out of their comfort zone for an afternoon to think divergently to address the provocation of improving sustainability in science. Hosted off-campus, a set of fast-paced enterprise group activities were intermingled with Lego creativity, and food to stimulate both inspiration and teamwork. Coached by entrepreneurial bioscience alumni and enterprise academics, students challenged ‘the way things are done’ with a naïve yet bold ambition. Solutions pitched were diverse, fresh and innovative; from virtual reality laboratory training, to biodegradable labware and re-purposing waste water. Outcomes; novel, disruptive and enterprising bioscience solutions for a more sustainable future of scientific research!


Swansea: Invent for the Planet

Invent for the Planet is an Intensive Design Experience which tasks students with solving some of the world’s most pressing problems in just 48 hours. Led by Swansea’s partner, Texas A&M University, Swansea is still the only UK University invited to participate against another 37 Universities around the world. Students work in teams to develop solutions, prototypes and elevator pitches which are presented to a panel of expert judges. In 2019 a team from Swansea came 3rd in the Invent for the Planet Grand Final in Texas. 2020, was their third year running Invent for the Planet Swansea and they were successful in obtaining £3,000 from Engineers in Business Competitions to award to the winners.


Birmingham Venture Crawl

Replicating the idea initiated in London, the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University teamed up to run Birmingham Venture Crawl. 34 students from a range of degrees joined together for this epic city trek. Visiting start-ups, co-working and maker spaces they met entrepreneurs from various sectors and discovered support available to them. What a fantastic day with a great buzz! The students were highly engaged asking lots of questions and they networked with each other as well as with the entrepreneurs. They were inspired and encouraged and learnt that “Birmingham is an exciting place to start a business”. Job done!

Latest #EntEd news from EEUK members

Written by Kate Beresford


Plymouth: Techstars Startup Weekend returns

The Techstars Startup Weekend (pictured above) returns to Plymouth in November to help budding entrepreneurs develop their business ideas in a special Techstars Global Women’s Edition. Plymouth Startup Weekend Women’s Edition is designed to engage more entrepreneurs and will be focused on empowering more women within our community to lend their voice to innovation. Register your interest in Plymouth Startup Weekend Women’s Edition here! The event is being run by the University of Plymouth’s The Bridge initiative alongside Global startup support company Techstars and is part of the iMayflower projectFind out more here.


Glasgow: Reflections on a university start-up programme published

Colin Mason and colleagues at the University of Glasgow have published a paper in volume 35 (1), 2020 in Local Economy which describes the outcomes of an ongoing small-scale student business start-up programme at their University, and reflects on some wider lessons concerning the objectives, design and evaluation of such programmes and the need to be part of a the wider university entrepreneurial ecosystem. The study also emphasises the need for such programmes to be embedded into the wider local, regional and national entrepreneurial ecosystems. This final point is further developed in an article, “It takes an ecosystem to raise a successful start-up”, in The Conversation.


UCL: 550 PhD students engage in entrepreneurial mindset development

UCL Innovation & Enterprise witness 550 PhD students over 18 months engage in entrepreneurial mindset development through a programme of dedicated extracurricular workshops to help Doctoral students think and act like entrepreneurs by developing their skills to spot opportunities, generate ideas and maximise resources. Three levels of training support the journey from ‘Discovery’ taster sessions to more ‘Advanced’ workshops which delve deeper into the key concepts for early-stage enterprise creation, through a combination of didactic teaching and hands-on activities. The skills learned contribute to the overarching development and employability of the UCL doctoral students both within and outside-of academia.


Wolverhampton: Support secured for ‘designer makers’

The University of Wolverhampton’s Enterprise Department has been successful in securing support from eBay Fire-Up and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, enabling them to assist a number of student and graduate ‘designer-makers’ to launch their own enterprise. The successful applicants will receive support via workshops, 1:1 consultancy and an award of £1250. eBay Fire-Up will support eight new retail-based businesses. By supporting this sector, and in particular those creating their own products and bringing them to market, it is believed that students and graduates will be able to generate income speedily. Winners of eBay Fire-Up will be announced in May 2020.


Swansea: 2019 impact follows new strategy

In November 2018, Swansea University released its first Student Enterprise Strategy, setting out the vision of the University to become more entrepreneurial in the way that students are taught but also supported outside the curriculum to exercise their Entrepreneurial mindsets, skills and behaviours. In 2019, Swansea University has worked to create a safe, connected and supportive entrepreneurial environment; as a result 40 Students started businesses, 9010 engaged with Enterprise and 50 Staff are championing the Enterprise agenda around the university and their subject areas. To read more about the achievements of 2019 please see the Swansea University Student Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Impact Report 

EEUK writes to Ofsted

Written by Kate Beresford


EEUK Chair, Gareth Trainer, has written to Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, to make the case to retain Ofsted’s National Lead for Economics, Business and Enterprise. EEUK is concerned that a decision to remove this role has the potential to impact on the quality of enterprise education and diminish oversight on this important element of pupils’ school experiences.

Read the full letter here: