Social Saturday 2017

Support for Social Enterprises

Occurring this year on the 14th of October, Social Saturday is an annual campaign aiming to raise awareness of the difference that social enterprises are making in communities, not only locally, but also around the world. Social enterprises are businesses that put people and the planet first through re-investing their profits to provide training, employment, housing, health, education, clean water and much more.

Check out some of the great social enterprises that exist around the country online through Social Enterprise UK and see how you can support them! Find out more here.

‘Embrace Failure’ – James Dyson

Sir James Dyson discusses prototyping, failure and patents

In a recent interview on Radio 2’s breakfast show, British inventor Sir James Dyson talks about why he sees failure as something exciting which should be embraced. He also answers questions on whether he’s ever invented something in a dream, how many patents they hold and whether he uses his own hairdryers…

It a great, short interview – well worth a listen on the Radio Two website. 

Innovative clothes that grow with your baby…

Example of design focused innovation

Buying new clothes every few months for a growing child can be costly and resource consuming. This is why engineer Ryan Yasin, 24 has come up with new children’s clothing range, ‘Petit Pli.’ Petit Pli clothes are made from an inventive new material inspired by solar panels and satellites. The material grows along with the child – so one garment can be seven sizes in one!

Petit Pli was the result of over 500 prototypes and now Yasin’s efforts have been recognised through becoming the UK winner of the James Dyson Award! But he is not stopping there, him and the team are currently working towards trying to make a garment out of a single material, allowing for it to be recycled more easily!

Read more about Ryan Yasin and his innovative design on the Wired website. 

 

 

Some of 2017’s less successful startups…

Ventures aren’t always a success

It is of course not always good news for startups, even those which may have at one stage looked very promising and been valued highly. An article on the BBC’s technology pages takes a look at just a few of this year’s biggest failed technology startups including Juicero – a wi-fi connected juicing machine and YikYak anonymous messaging app.

It all just goes to show that no matter how well funded an idea may be, changing circumstances is our unpredictable environment can result in a turn for the worse.

Click here to read the article. 

The Food Exchange 2017

Looking to start or grow a food or drink business?

Join retail buyers, entrepreneurs and experts from the food and drink industry for this one day exchange event in London.

The event will help to put you in touch with large brand buyers, learn form experienced entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done it and access expert advice in topics such as sales, marketing and PR for the food industry.

Already confirmed speakers include Sainsbury’s, Green & Blacks and Selfridges.

When? Friday 29th September

Where? Presentation Suite, KPMG, London

To find out more and purchase tickets, visit the Eventbrite page.

£10,000 Funding to help the environment

Do you have a digital solution to an environmental problem?

Are you aged between 17 and 25? Do you have an idea that could help the environment through digital technology, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing waste or increasing recycling?

If so, this is your chance to apply for up to £10,000 of funding from Environment Now to help make that idea into a reality!

This exciting opportunity from O2’s Think Big will not only provide successful applicants with the money, but also support from the Environment Now team, their own professional mentor and other sustainability partners and industry professionals.

Current applications are open until the 8th of September, however this will be followed by another round of applications, open until October the 27th.

To find out more, watch the video below and visit the Think Big website, where you can also read about previously funded projects.

Paid Internships with Nesta Innovation Foundation

Recent graduate interested in working for an innovative organisation?

Nesta are an innovation foundation, their mission is to ‘seek out, spark and shape powerful new ideas, joining with others to take on the big challenges of our time and shift how the world works for everyone.’ They are currently advertising 12 six month internships, within a variety of areas across the organisation including, government innovation, International innovation, Health and Design. All internships at to be paid at London Living Wage.

Maybe you’re a graduate looking to take your next steps? Why not take a look to see if something catches your eye? The full list can be found on the Nesta website.

Applications close at 10am on Tuesday the 29th of August 2017.

 

Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2017

‘Celebrating Entrepreneurship in Great Britain’

Now in its fifth year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrates the hard work and inspiring stories of outstanding British entrepreneurs and businesses. The awards not only set out to celebrate successes but also the stories behind the people – ‘true entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are about their balance sheet.’

This year the award is expanding, with ceremonies to be held in five cities – Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and  London.

There are 11 different categories in which you can nominate including, Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year.

The deadline for nominations is the 1st of September 2017. To find out more and submit an application, visit the awards website.

‘Airbnb for retail’

Pop-up shops to test your product

With an estimated worth of £2.3bn (Centre for Economics and Business Research, 2015), the pop-up sector is thriving. A temporary stall or pop-up shop could provide an entrepreneur with the ideal opportunity to validate their product and gain valuable experience, in turn, assisting in the formulation of a compelling business case.

A recent article on The Guardian’s website, explored this new temporary retail trend and talked about new startup – ‘Appear Here.’ Hailed as the ‘Airbnb for retail,’ Appear Here allows entrepreneurs to find temporary business spaces quickly and simply.

The concept is not dissimilar from LUSU facilitated ‘Deli Takeover’ nights, a number of which took place last year, allowing food entrepreneurs and societies to organise their own event or test out their food related business idea. Lancaster Charter Market also offers the opportunity for new traders to rent a pitch for free if they are offering a product which is new to the market.

What do you think? Would you fancy trialing your product on a temporary stall/pop-up shop? Read the full article on The Guardian’s website.

Cohort learning and R&D tools

‘Why cohort learning works’

Using the example of a recent Research & Development phase focused bootcamp, Nesta explains why a cohort approach to learning can be beneficial, especially for groups of people with common needs. Cohort based learning helps to encourage natural collaboration and peer support –  building stronger networks among participants, whilst also providing them with the relevant skills.

In addition to talking about cohort learning, their blog post includes a number of useful tools used during the bootcamp to help projects to start undertaking R&D work, including help to conduct a ‘pre-mortem,’ stakeholder mapping tools and guides to prototyping. To read the full article visit the Nesta blog.