Venturefest North West

‘Bringing together the region’s innovators, entrepreneurs and investors’

Venturefest North West brings together the region’s innovators, entrepreneurs and investors. It’s an ideal opportunity to connect with people from around the region, find growth opportunities and be inspired. The event is a mix of speakers, workshops, exhibitors and networking opportunities.

When? 13th September 2018

Where? Manchester Central

You can find our more and sign up to attend the event on the Venturefest North West website.

Innovation Showcase Competition

At the centre of the event is the Innovation Showcase Competition. The competition is the perfect opportunity for North West businesses to promote their latest products, services and innovations to an audience of potential customers, partners and funders. There are four categories – Product Innovation, Service Innovation, Digital Innovation, and Innovative Established Business. Shortlisted businesses will present at the event. Winners will receive business support packages worth thousands of pounds.

To find out more and enter the competition, please visit the Venturefest North West website. Entries close: 16th July.

Eco Social Enterprise Start Up Programme

Do you have an eco social enterprise?

The School for Social Entrepreneurs North West in association with the Blackburn House BEE You Project have announced a practical 6 month startup programme starting in October, aimed to help eco-social enterprises to grow their ventures.

The scheme is open to 16-24 year olds from across the North West with enterprises tackling everyday environmental challenges such as food waste, green energy, community gardening, protection of wild habitats, sustainable fashion and green tech. To apply your idea must be a tested or existing social enterprise that has been running for less than 3 years, making less that £15,000.

Application deadline: 4pm, 23rd July

To find out more and download an application pack click here.

Commercial Awareness & CAKE…

Are you preparing to move into graduate employment and want to make sure you can stand our from the crowd? Do you like cake?

Commercial Awareness is increasingly cited by graduate employers as an essential competency when seeking new employees.  Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) is a short workshop that will accelerate your understanding of how their businesses work and give you the insights to show how you can make a difference as their latest recruit.

By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand why Commercial Awareness is so important to graduate employers
  • Understand what a Business or Value Model is and how you can apply it to your job seeking activities
  • Have practised analysing the Business Model of a popular graduate employer or on-campus company
  • Have practised analysing the Business Model of an employer that you are interested in
  • Have enjoyed eating some cake.

The session will be led by Lyndsey Egerton, Student Opportunities & Skills Developer, from the University’s Careers service.  She will draw on the Business Model Canvas as a framework for designing, analysing and describing Business Models for organisations of all sizes, in all industries and sectors.  If you are preparing generally for employment, or have a particular employer you are hoping to impress, the insights gained in this session could help you to stand out from other candidates.

If you are not graduating this time but would like to attend to develop your Commercial Awareness, please register as normal.

When? Thursday 7th June, 1:30-3:30pm

Where? Bowland North Seminar Room 23

Book on Target Connect

Entrepreneurial Panel Q&A

The Enterprise Team would like to invite students, staff and alumni to attend a special panel event with three of Lancaster University’s Entrepreneurs in Residence. The session will be run as a Q&A, so come prepared to quiz the panel, find out about their experiences and ask for advice on setting up your own venture! Even though the entrepreneurs run businesses predominantly in the engineering and IT sectors, their knowledge about what it takes to run and start up a successful business will be valuable to all aspiring entrepreneurs.

Sitting on the panel will be:

Michael Hill (Managing Director of Optima Control Solutions)

Optima Control Solutions is an expert industrial control systems company, supplying systems and services to companies from multiple sectors, in numerous countries, helping them to improve their processes, productivity and ultimately their profitability.

Andy Hooper (Managing Director of Westlakes Engineering)

Westlakes Engineering is a consultancy providing civil, structural , environmental and attraction safety services. The company has grown quickly since it started in 2004, by establishing a reputation for providing a high quality, professional service to a wide range of clients.

Mark Shepherd (Managing Director of Vertigo Solutions Ltd)

Mark has had a varied career in catering, engineering and even 12 years as a Police Officer – all this before setting up his own IT company. Vertigo Solutions Ltd provide a variety of IT support solutions to a range of markets from manufacturing to education and healthcare.

When? Friday 18th May, 1-3pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

Secure your space on the session by booking through Target Connect.

Come along to pick up some tips and learn from those who have been there and done it!

Learn from experience entrepreneurs within the recruitment and food sectors

Looking for advice from experienced entrepreneurs for your startup?

Considering starting a business within the food industry?

Ready to start hiring people to your startup?

Come and seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs within the recruitment and food sector who have been there and done it!

We are excited to welcome two entrepreneurs next week for open discussions about their experiences in business and to share their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Take a look at Wayne and Michelle’s profiles below and follow the Target Connect links to book onto either (or both!) of the sessions. Both sessions will take place in Learning Zone Pod 4.

Wayne Brophy (Managing Director of Cast UK)

Thursday 10th May, 1:30-3pm

Once Wayne got a taste for working in recruitment for a large firm he soon realised that he could make quicker strides forward working for himself and thus founded Cast UK in 2005. Cast UK are a specialist recruitment consultancy focusing on roles within procurement, purchasing, supply chain, logistics & transport. The company has grown year on year and now employs 30 people, with plans to double that number by the end of the year!

Book on Target Connect

 

Michelle Partington (Director of Shellys Drinks & Founder and Company Director of Lakeland Picnic)

Friday 11th May, 3-4:30pm

Michelle Partington founded Lakeland Picnic in 2006. Based in the Lake District, the aim of the company was to provide simple and delicious food through the use of some of the finest regional ingredients; served in street locations with a thoughtful and considered approach to customer needs. Michelle has also more recently established Shellys Drinks Ltd – originators of blended alcoholic drinks, supplying retailers and bars.

Book on Target Connect

 

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Accelerator

Are you an international student interested in setting up a business in the UK after graduation?

In order to start a business in the UK following graduation you will need to hold a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa allows you to stay in the UK for 12 months to establish and develop a business. This can then be extended for up to 12 months, provided satisfactory progress is being made.

Lancaster University is able to endorse a limited number of new T1 Visa applications each year from students interested in this career path. Each applicant is required to submit a strong business plan outlining how the proposed business idea will operate in the UK.

This summer, to support those interested in applying for a T1 Visa, The Enterprise Team will be running a Disciplined Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme, helping you to fully develop your business idea and write a comprehensive business plan.

You can read more about the accelerator programme here and if you have further questions, please come along to our information session on Thursday 10th May, 3-4:30pm in Learning Zone Pod 4. Let us know you will be attending by booking a space through Target Connect.

 

New Enterprise Clinics!

Coffee and a chat with an experienced entrepreneur

This week sees the first of our new weekly Enterprise ‘Clinics’ with entrepreneur Richard Baguley (LinkedIn).

Richard is Managing Director of GDR Public Relations and has 25 years’ experience in the PR & Communications industry for major blue chip brands. Richard is also a part-time tutor within the Lancaster University Management School.

This drop-in session will be a chance for you to come along and pick Richard’s brains – whatever stage you may be at please come along to have a chat with Richard about your idea, seek advice or discuss your progress.

We are looking to host this clinic with Richard on a weekly basis, rotating around campus locations. This week it will be hosted in Bowland Bar on Friday (4th May), 2-4pm. Let us know if you’re coming via email or Target Connect! Future dates will be added to our calendar as and when they are confirmed.

Coffees are on Richard!

Share It Lab: LinkedIn top tips

Graduate entrepreneur, Nadeem Khan to share LinkedIn top tips

Recent Masters graduate, Nadeem Khan, Founder of Optimizhr will be joining us to share his top tips for using LinkedIn to make a positive impression to clients. 

When? Tuesday 8th May, 3-4pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 3

Book a space through Target Connect. 

Take a moment to think about the impression that you want to create of yourself on the rest of the world. Then for a second the impression that you already have created?

Today digital media has transformed the way we work, eat, move, walk, talk and live. Our lives as I write these words create a digital footprint of me, who I am, my likes, dislikes essentially enabling me to create a personality profile. So anyone in the world who doesn’t know much about me can simply Google my name and find out more or less that what I have already made available on the worldwide web. Whether we like it or not these posts can stick around for a long-long time so how can we control what we post or should we be controlling them?

As you enter the professional world, you are likely to be screened according to your digital footprint and that’s when things can go haywire for you. There are therefore two personalities with your name, one the obvious you and the second the digital one that you create for your audience so be sure that you create a good one. Nevertheless, if you manage to create a good one, you also must make sure that the real you is synced to it as in the real word its only ‘authenticity’ that counts and can lead you to create trust and ultimately win!

This session will cover tips and tricks to optimise your social media profiles to position yourself positively in front of clients I.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

 

Wantrepreneur or Entrepreneur?

Getting out of the ‘wantrepreneurial state’

In an article written for the UK Domain, a wantrepreneur is defined as someone with an idea who doesn’t take any action towards it, or takes action which is less important or indirect, often skipping the validation stage.

The article gives some tips on how to get going with your idea and out of the ‘wantrepreneurial state’ and also how to stay motivated as an entrepreneur. You can read the full article on the UK Domain Site.

If you’re struggling to get started with putting your idea into action, why not come along to one of our workshops or tell us about your idea?

You can see all of our upcoming events in the events calendar, or register your interest via the registration form to book a 1-to-1 IntroLab with a member of the team.

 

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.