Making your app stand out against the competition
The UK app economy is estimated to be worth about £83bn by 2021, but with almost 1,000 apps submitted to the app store each day competition is high. A recent article in The Guardian spoke to a number of bestselling app producers to see what they thought was needed to make a successful app.
It is evident that marketing is a crucial factor which can make all the difference, with developers sometimes spending too much on producing the perfect app rather than prioritising their marketing budget.
Utilising and building a network of users, testers, tech journalists and investors before launching is also mentioned as important to getting an app out there.
Other points discussed in the article include framing the purpose and function of the app with a story you can tell and the advantages of using a Freemium model.
To read the full article, please visit The Guardian’s website.
Do you have an app idea? Want help developing a marketing plan or building up your network? Get involved in Enterprise Team Labs!
Meet an Entrepreneur in Residence
We have meeting slots available with four Entrepreneurs in Residence over the coming two weeks, they come from a variety of sectors with a wide range of experience and advice to impart to budding entrepreneurs. Below are the profiles of each – if you would be interested in meeting any of them, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Power (Director of Business Development at Financial Management Bureau)
Wednesday 22nd November
Ruth is on the board of a financial services SME in Cumbria, employing over 35 staff servicing over 2000 clients with financial planning and advice. Her role involves developing enhanced service strategies, communicating with potential new customers, looking after the needs of existing customers and managing internal communications. Ruth has had the benefit of a complete career change which has given her experience in both the public and private sector, education and management and now marketing.
Jane Dalton (Director of Groundswell Innovation)
Friday 24th November
Jane Dalton has managed brand strategy and innovation projects for companies with global brand reach for the past 17 years – from Unilever global brand teams through to banks and service brands across Europe . Cross-cultural customer understanding and creative problem solving in highly regulated markets are particular strengths. Her skills sets comprises of strategic brand planning and brand positioning, the commercialisation of intellectual property, innovation management, new product/service development and qualitative market research
Glyn Jones (Business Partnership Manager, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University)
Friday 24th November
Glyn Jones is the Health Business Partnership Manager in the Health Engagement and Innovation Team at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine. Glyn’s role involves supporting the creation and growth of health and social care focused SMEs by providing mentoring, signposting, procurement advice, workshops, student projects and access to clinical staff, patients, carers and evaluation resources. He also volunteers as a primary school governor and a Trustee of a local youth project.
Chris Cox (Managing Director of George Cox & Sons)
Thursday 30th November
George Cox & Sons is an award-winning £15m per annum turnover business specialising in high-quality highway and footway projects. Chris has been Managing Director of the company for 20 years.The company employs 100 staff out of three offices within the North West of England, has it’s own in-house apprenticeship and mentoring programme, and was one of the early pioneers of the ‘Investors in People’ within its sector and it’s own employees lead the company Community charity.
Online, open access event that asks the question: what if we could redesign everything?
Accessing the Disruptive Innovation Festival is simple as it is all online and free! The festival will involve 200 hours of content streamed throughout it’s three week duration, including live studio discussions, animations, pre-recorded videos and roundtable debates with leading thinkers. Whilst watching you can chip in with your your own thoughts or questions.
When? It’s already kicked off – 6th-24th November
Find out more on the thinkdif.co
We are excited to have two US based entrepreneurs – Bill Lewis and Renwick Brutus coming to Lancaster to share their experience and expertise with budding Lancaster entrepreneurs. Take a look below at their profiles and email the Enterprise Team to book a place on either (or both!) of the sessions. Both sessions will take place in Learning Zone Pod 4.
Bill Lewis (Advisor to the Board – Temasys Communications)
Talk and Q&A – Tuesday 14th November, 11am-1pm
‘Things I wished I had known when I was 20’
Bill Lewis, Lancaster alumnus, former international corporate director, serial entrepreneur, author and speaker will be sharing his worldly lessons including both successes and failures. Being threatened with murder by the head of a Caribbean Drug Cartel and being bombed out of Beirut, Bill has seen more than most in this life time. His wisdom and relaxed style will help to inspire you to do great things, avoid many mistakes, and live a life of health, wealth, joy and recognition.
Renwick Brutus (Founder & CEO of Achievement Resources & UDECOM LLC)
Thursday 16th November, 10am-12pm
Renwick believes in the power of the possible. His uncanny ability to identify issues, extrapolate solutions, project the positive, and prioritise the path to success informs his every moment – personally, in business and as a community leader. Renwick grew up in rural Guyana and experienced a powerful mix of adversity and accomplishment. He later moved to the US to study for an MBA and went on to work on Wall Street, where he was recognised numerous times for outstanding achievement in the financial and investment services industry. Now based in Michigan, Renwick owns three companies, consults with an impressive list of clients, is in demand as a motivational speaker and is writing a book.
Mind Your Own Business
Furness College’s ‘Mind Your Own Business’ scheme offers an entrepreneurial individual or team of students access to a dedicated office space, for use over the duration of a term. The space includes free use of a Mac computer.
Applications are welcome from individuals/groups of students from any college who are looking to develop or start a new commercial or social enterprise. Each term, Furness College holds a call for applications from interested students for the subsequent term. If students wish to use the space for more than one term, they will be required to reapply. Candidates will be invited to an interview to present their business ideas in week 10.
Current/previous occupants of the space have included Charles Rogers, founder of Cloudline queuing app and semi-finalist in this year’s Santander Entrepreneurship Awards and also, the Ikigai Factory team.
Applications close on the 17th of November at 3pm (download application form). If you have any further questions get in touch with the team in Furness College: email@example.com.
As part of the Sustainability Responsibility Plus Network’s seminar series, Agata Dembek (Department of Organisation, Work & Technology | LUMS | Center for Research on Organizations and Workplaces | Kozminski University) will be presenting her research project 12-1:30pm on Thursday the 2nd of November in Charles Carter C37/40. Agata’s research aims to describe and understand sustainability-orientated practices and patterns within organisations, without imposing triple-bottom line scheme of analysis.
If you are interested in attending the seminar please email Dermot O’Reilly to confirm attendance. You can read more about the Network online here.
‘Time is worth more than money’
A recent article on Strategyzer’s blog discusses the importance of allowing adequate amounts of time for serious innovation including time to explore, test and de-risk ideas. The article focuses on workers within organisations who are often expected to innovate on top of their day job. However, time is of course important for any innovator whether it’s part of your job or not – do you think you are allowing enough time for innovation?
Read the full article on Startegyzer’s Blog.
Submit a 90-second video pitch to win up to £1,000 to make your idea happen!
Do you have a bright idea which you think will capture the imagination and support of your peers? Then this may be just the opportunity for you…
As you will have probably heard by now, we are busy planning for the re-launch of the Lancaster University Enterprise Awards this December. The Bright Sparks, People’s Choice award is looking for individuals or teams of students, recent alumni (past 3 years) or staff with an idea for a new venture. The proposal may be for an idea that is still as concept stage, or it may already have been registered as a formal trading entity, as long as it is still in the survival stage and has not yet achieved financial sustainability.
The Bright Sparks Award is unique from the other award categories – as not only are we asking for video pitch nominations, but also because the actual winner of the award will be determined on the night of the awards through an audience poll! The winner will receive access to support and up to £1,000 funding from The Enterprise Team through Santander Funding to help make the idea happen.
Think you’ve got a great idea which fits the bill?
To nominate an idea, send a link to your 90 second video-pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is expected that your video pitch will cover the following:
- A brief statement of opportunity (pain points for users)
- A description of the solution you put forward
- Is the solution desirable? (Consider competitors and alternative solutions)
- Is the solution viable? (How will it be financially sustainable)
- Is the solution feasible? (Do you have the skills and resources necessary, and if not what skills/resources would you need and how would you acquire them?)
- How would the award help you kick-start your idea?
Deadline for submissions: Sunday the 19th of November.
Please email The Enterprise Team if you have any questions.
Terms and conditions of the Bright Sparks Award:
Entrants will be judged and shortlisted by the Enterprise Team based on the following criteria: desirability, feasibility and viability of idea ; creativity and presentation. The shortlisted videos will be presented on the night of the awards event. Finalists will be invited to attend the awards event where a winner will be judged by the audience. To be eligible, nominations need to be submitted by Lancaster University students or staff, as well as alumni who have graduated up to three years ago. To claim the prize teams need to be able to engage with the offering of the enterprise team to develop their project, which would mean being able to attend regular meetings in Lancaster.
Campus Capital to invest thousands in Lancashire startups
Lancaster University have signed a partnership with venture capital firm, Campus Capital, to bring investment to the region and further strengthen Lancashire’s startup ecosystem. The model is unique in the sense that the fund is part-run by teams to Student Venture Capitalists!
This partnership will see the investment of between £50k-200k in early stage, high-growth potential companies, on and off campus. There is a particular focus on ‘making sure existing startups who are already doing great things get the investment they need to scale.’ It is hoped that the fund will help to increase opportunities for companies to collaborate with the University, stay and grow in the region.
Campus Capital will open to Lancashire-based startups in the New Year, although companies who are considering fundraising within the next six months are encouraged to get in touch sooner.
Fancy trying your hands at being an venture capitalist?
Students are given the opportunity to take part in an experiential learning opportunity where they will be trained as Student Venture Capitalists to run some of the early aspects of the fund pipeline. In addition to training, students will receive ongoing mentoring and experience of assessing and analysing a company’s investment-readiness. Application to take part in the scheme are now open, you can find out more here.
To find out more, visit the Campus Capital website.
Accelerating gender equality from the North
Northern Power Women is a campaign aiming to transform the culture of organisations to increase opportunities for women and showcase role models and best practice for organisations that are helping to drive economic growth.
As part of their campaign, monthly podcasts are recorded discussing the big issues which affect our careers and lives. You’ll hear form an individual at the top of their game on the challenges they faced and the mistakes they made. You might even have the opportunity to discuss and seek some advice on some of your own career related issues.
When? Monday 30th October, 12-1pm
Where? Lancaster Management School
Interested? Register your attendance on Eventbrite.
Even if you can’t make the live recordings, you can download and subscribe to the podcasts on the Northern Power Women website.