Is a job in a startup right for you?

What to consider when looking for a tech job in a startup…

Working in a tech role for a startup can be a very rewarding, challenging and great for building experience and connections; pay also tends to be competitive and may include some perks. However, a job in a startup can also be extremely demanding and it may be difficult to establish a good work-life balance. This article on Dice UK’s blog discusses the importance of weighing up the pros and cons carefully when considering such a job.

Read the full article on the Dice Blog.

Funding Update: Charles Rogers

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford

Last year, final year BA Hons Management & Entrepreneurship student, Charles Rogers, received funding from the Lancaster University Enterprise Fund in order to develop his startup, Cloudline. Cloudline is an app based platform which enables users to queue for nightclubs, without actually standing in line.  Here he shares an update on Cloudline and what’s changed for him in recent months.

Since the funding a lot has happened for Cloudline. We have been rolling out to The Deltic Group’s clubs. We’ve encountered a few issues along the way but we’ve been able to get around these one way or another. Working with The Deltic Group has attracted the attention of other companies such as Merlin Entertainment who we’re currently in talks with, as well as several airports in Europe. We’ve taken onboard a new team member, Florian Wiedmann, former employee of EY. As of March we have been raising a seed funding round for £250,000, of which we have completed 50% of the round. The money will go towards employing two more programmers, a programmatic marketer and moving the project down to London.

The funding enabled me to draft a terms & conditions document with Stephen Wright from Morecambe’s Wright & Lord solicitors, enabling us to have a legal contract to sign between each business we implement the app with. It also helped us to learn the process of drafting legal documents with a lawyer, a valuable skill for the future. The validation of Santander standing behind this project has also considerably helped gain interest from potential clients and get meetings.

As a result of the above, we have been able to gain confidence from investors to secure funding and I have been able to meet with highly experienced people in the entertainment and app development industries. These factors have all had knock on effects which in turn have lead to more investor interest and further meetings with industry experts to help us refine our product and to explore different potential avenues which this project can go down. As things currently stand we will be moving to London mid June and couldn’t be more excited for the future of this project.

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The Lancaster University Enterprise Fund is available through our partnership with Santander Universities. If you’re interested in applying for a maximum of £500, find out more here

Enhance your skills through Design Thinking

New term…. New series of Design Sprints!

Do you want to become more employable by demonstrating you have experience applying 21st century skills?

Are you an entrepreneur – or an entrepreneur in the making- who wants to develop a business idea?

Join our Design Thinking Sprints this term and gain experience of applying Design Thinking to a real project.


What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is an approach to innovation that is sought after by employers and invaluable for entrepreneurs. It transforms the way you approach the world when imagining and creating new solutions for the future, based on empathy, collaboration and experimentation. Design Thinking is relevant to all as a life skill and transferable as an approach within many contexts, disciplines and organisations.

Whether you are just looking for a new way to enhance your creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication skills or are interested in becoming a more innovative and systematic entrepreneur, this series of Wednesday afternoon workshops are not to be missed!

You will learn the fundamentals of Design Thinking and gain hands-on experience of applying it to real world problems. Below is an overview of the three sprint sessions including links to sign up through Target Connect. Don’t worry if you are unable to attend all three sessions, each can be attended as a standalone session too. The first session takes place next Wednesday, 25th of April, please sign up through Target Connect.

1: The Process

Session 1. Design Thinking Sprint – The Design Thinking process / Shaping a useful challenge

Wednesday the 25th of April at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

In the first session we will go through a quick design cycle to get you familiarised with Design Thinking and shape a challenge to focus on in rest of the sessions. Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea or if you are uncertain about joining future sessions. This session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.

Book on Target Connect

2: From Inspiration to Ideation

Design thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation

Time: Wednesday the 2nd of May at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

In the second session we will work on design challenges focusing on two aspects of the process:
Inspiration looking at research methods that are used in Design Thinking to unpack a problem space, and
Ideation, looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.

Book on Target Connect. 

3: Prototyping

Design thinking Sprint – Prototyping

Time: Wednesday the 9th of May at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 27

In the third session we will introduce the benefits of prototyping and focus on common approaches to prototyping in Design Thinking.

Book on Target Connect.

You can read more about the Design Thinking process through our account of a previous workshop, but better still… just come along and try it out!

B2B Customer Segments

Different customer profiles when selling to a company

When people look at business-to-business operations they often map the companies they serve as customer profiles. However as explained within a recent Strategyzer blog post, it is actually the different groups of people within the company that should be mapped. Categories may include for example, decision makers, economic buyers, recommenders, saboteurs and end users, and each will have a different set of jobs, pains and gains.

Read more on the Strategyzer Blog.

Santander Awards Reminder

Just a few quick reminders for anyone looking to enter the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2018:

  • Deadline: 5pm Friday the 13th April

Please email your Business Model Canvas (completed using the Santander Template) and two minute video pitch (a good way to do this is to upload it as an ‘unlisted’ or password protected video on YouTube and send us the link) to enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk. Please note: If you submit by the 6th of April, we will provide you with feedback before the final deadline!

  • Review marking criteria

How the Buisness Model Canvas and video will be judged is detailed within the Awards Information Pack (page 5).

  • Looking for some help with your video?

ISS have a great online course which goes through the basics of video production and editing. Click here to access it.

Finally – if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact (please note, we will be out of the office 29th Mar – 5th Apr) enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk

GDPR – are you ready?

“The regulatory elephant in the room”

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect on the 25 of May 2018. Before then you will need to make sure you have made any relevant changes within your business to ensure compliance. As Enterprise Nation state in their blog post, ‘no business, big or small, can afford to ignore it.’

The blog article also gives six fundamentals for achieving GDPR success. Take a read of the article to help you start getting to grips with what may be required. The Enterprise Team will also hopefully be running a workshop on the topic early next term.

Nesta’s best books on innovation

‘8 of the best books on innovation’

To mark World Book Day, Nesta created a list of 8 of their favourite innovation reads.

Take a look at the full list on Nesta’s blog.

Do you have any favourite enterprise reads?

 

 

UnLtd Awards

Awards to help start and grow your social enterprise

UnLtd offer support for enterprises with a social or environmental aim at the core of what they do. They have two types of awards available at present, for which expression’s of interest close on the 27th March 2018. Although this deadline is soon, award cycles run three times throughout the year, so good to keep in mind for future too!

Do It Awards

For those who want to create social change and would like to start working on an idea. Award includes 1-to-1 support, expert advice and access to resources including some funding.

Grow It Awards

For those who have identified a social issue and are committed to tackling it and have experience relevant to grow a venture. Award includes support to grow your venture and up to £15,000 funding.

For more information on UnLtd awards, visit their website.

 

Thrive: A Social Accelerator

‘Help your venture to Thrive’

Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aiming to help ambitious social ventures to scale. The programme will include six months of intensive support along with an opportunity to secure up to £50,000 for your venture.

20 social ventures will be supported each year and for their first cohort they are looking specifically for ventures which are working to improve access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

If you would like to find out more about the accelerator or are interested in applying, Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in on Thursday the 15th of March to talk to potential applicants. This information session will take place from 12-2pm in Learning Zone Pod 4. You can also read more about the accelerator online. 

Week 19 Enterprise Events

Get Involved

Tuesday 13th

Share It Lab with Dan Ghita, 2-3pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Dan Ghita is a current Management student, developing a new business based around cycling holidays in Eastern Europe.

Dan will be joining us for a session to share his personal entrepreneurial story, talk about the power of storytelling, importance of not following the crowd and how to generate business ideas.

Come along to find inspiration and advice for your own venture and ask Dan any questions.

Book on Target Connect

Wednesday 14th

Art, Film, LICA Alumni Event, 12-2pm, Bowland North SR 6

Interested in freelancing in the Arts after graduation? Join this panel event for LICA students – come and listen to Lancaster University graduates of Art, Design and LICA subjects talk about their jobs and the routes they took to get their dream job. Find out more about working in the arts, media, freelance work and portfolio working.

Book on Target Connect

Design Thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation, 2-5pm, Bowland North SR 7

This is the second of three design sprints. In this session you will work on design challenges focusing on two aspects of the process:

Inspiration – looking at research methods that are used in Design Thinking to unpack a problem space.

Ideation – looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.

Don’t worry about having attended the last session – each session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.

Book on Target Connect

Thursday 15th

UnLtd – Thrive accelerator information session for social enterprises, 12-2pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aimed at supporting ambitious social ventures to scale. For their first cohort, Thrive are looking for ventures with the aim of improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in to potential applicants, so if you would be interested in finding out please come along.

Book on Target Connect