Written by Lynn O'Byrne

Swansea University Students Take Part in Invent for the Planet 2024
40 students from Swansea University took part in Invent for the Planet 2024, representing the UK as the only UK university invited to take part. Hosted by Texas A&M University, the 48-hour hackathon is an innovation-fostering global collaborative competition, where students from 35 universities come together to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our planet. Swansea’s winning team, Pure Flow, focused on providing a clean water solution for Papua New Guinea. Supported by the Engineers in Business Competition, Pure Flow received a top prize of £1,500 and were invited to take part in the European semi-finals at Atlantic Technological University, coming in 2nd place.

Newcastle: NEW – UN Sustainable Development Goals Toolkit available in 7 languages!
Some of you may have attended my Enterprise activities and action using the UN Sustainable Development Goals workshop at IEEC 2023 in the Sustainability track. The full toolkit is now digitised and free to use from Newcastle University’s ESD website UN Sustainable Development Goals Toolkit. There are 17 activities to choose from so loads of flexibility, and is available in seven languages (UN official languages, plus German), so please do use and disseminate the link to your global networks. If you’re planning to or already use the SDGs and thinking about applying for Fellowship of EEUK then let me know. Carys Watts, Senior Lecturer in Enterprise (Biosciences) Newcastle University.

Southampton: Go Freelance Series
The University of Southampton’s Student Enterprise team celebrates the success of their recent “Go Freelance Series” at the new Student Enterprise Junction. Located in Southampton City Centre, this collaborative co-working space empowers students and recent graduates to explore business ideas. The event delivered an insightful introduction to freelancing as a viable career path, featuring an expert panel from diverse creative backgrounds sharing inspirational stories and insights. A dynamic networking session followed, integral to understanding the freelancer experience. The increasing student turnout year on year reinforces our conviction that universities should offer more support for those interested in pursuing freelancing opportunities.

Bangor University Innovation Leadership Training Award (BUILT)
The 2024 Bangor University Innovation Leadership Training Award (BUILT) is well underway. Postgraduates and undergraduates in seven multi-disciplinary teams are working on the Challenge, to ‘Increase the production and/ or consumption of local food in Bangor.’ Teams are supported by alumni mentors and academics and informed by “Deep-Dives” given by senior leaders working in the food industry. They are following a process developed by the Design Council and will be battling it out on the 2nd of May for a slice of the £15k prize pot donated by the Bangor Fund, alumni, and judged by a distinguished panel from industry. For more information please contact: Dr Andy Goodman or click here.

Strathclyde: Inspire Exploring Entrepreneurship Challenge

An idea to reduce the wastage of educational resources by creating a marketplace for students to buy and sell textbooks, lab coats, and calculators at affordable prices took the top prize at Strathclyde Inspire’s Exploring Entrepreneurship Challenge (EEC) Final on 13th March.  The EEC develops students’ creative thinking and collaborative skills, helping them to unlock their potential whatever their ambitions for the future. Twenty-eight teams created ideas in response to UN Sustainable Development Goals, honing pitches with guidance from mentors in Strathclyde Inspire’s ecosystem of entrepreneurs.  The winning team, ‘StrathEssentials’, pitched against four other finalists to win £2,000.  Find out more here.

Dundee: Venture 2024 Showcases

Winners of the University of Dundee’s Venture competition are set to make their mark on Scotland’s business landscape. Eighteen innovative concepts, developed by students, graduates, and staff, secured cash prizes ranging from £1,000 to £12,500 from a record £78,500 prize pool. The competition, part of the University’s Entrepreneurship Week, showcases Scotland’s entrepreneurial spirit and fosters small enterprise opportunities. Alongside financial support, winners gain access to Elevator’s summer business accelerator program. Cognicall, offering automated phone-based cognitive health monitoring, and AQusTx, a software tool for AI-driven drug design, are among the standout ventures, each awarded £12,500. Find out more here.

KCL: BBC Woman’s Hour: Female Entrepreneurship
Rachel Stockey, Head of Entrepreneurial Skills at King’s College London joined BBC Woman’s Hour for a live panel show in Doncaster to discuss female entrepreneurship, starting and sustaining thriving businesses and empowering women to make waves by practicing the Seven Skills of an Entrepreneurial Mindset. Listen here.  

British Council: Generation AI High School Project
The Generation AI High School Project, implemented by the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture, and Sports, is a pioneering educational program aimed at creating the educational pipeline for AI innovators by enhancing advanced math education and introducing AI education to Armenian public schools. Launched in September 2023, the program currently involves 15 schools across 7 regions, with 370 10th-grade students and around 60 teachers/educators. As part of the mandatory high school curriculum, despite the core subjects in math, Python and AI, the program encompasses career guidance and soft skill development components. As an integral part of the program, the aim is also to cultivate entrepreneurial skills in high school students, nurturing innovation and creative thinking in this field.