Congratulations Ikigai Factory!
Congratulations to International Innovation graduates, Kyaw, Patrizia and Sebastien of Ikigai Factory limited who were awarded Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards last month. The Enterprise Team nominated Ikigai Factory in recognition of their hard work and success developing and taking their product REVR to market. Launched in 2017, REVR is a virtual reality solution that allows estate agents to view, manage and share virtual property tours; improving the viewing experience for customers too busy or remote to easily visit properties.
The team have written a short account to share their experience from the presentation day, where they were presented with the awards by the Duke of York himself.
In the morning of the 9th July before the ceremony we had the chance to meet with our mentor from LUEC, it was a good opportunity to catch up and to prepare for the event. At about 1pm we moved to the Buckley Innovation Centre at Huddersfield University where the other entrepreneurs from different universities from the North of England were. After setting up our stand we had the opportunity to network during lunch with the other students/entrepreneurs, and found the potential for future collaborations. Our solution also caught the attention of University representatives and a photographer present that day.
HRH presented The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award to the ten companies there, and at 2pm the Duke arrived and went around to the stand of each company, we were able to present our product and answer his questions regarding REVR. Meeting the Duke of York and discuss with him about REVR it was a great experience! One wisdom that the Duke shared to all young entrepreneurs resonated with us. He said “No plan survives the first contact with the enemy”.
We were honoured to be presented with the award by the Duke of York in person, this could not have been possible without the LUEC team that supported and is supporting us in our start up journey.
To read more about their story and check out their product, visit their website or their page on our Enterprise Directory.
WorldLabs Elevating Ideas Competition
WorldLabs’ aim is to help ideas develop and grow by providing the funding, tools and connections needed. To celebrate the launch of their platform they are holding a competition that will award £50k to the most innovative idea from any field! The top 10 applicants will have the opportunity to pitch at a large startup conference in October. The competition is a great opportunity to gain publicity, valuable connections and an opportunity to work on and grow your idea through the platform.
For more information, please visit the WorldLabs website.
Application deadline: 3rd September 2018
Please let the Enterprise Team know if you are interested in applying and we will see how we can support you in the application process.
‘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.
‘Opportunities don’t happen. You create them.’ – Chris Grosser
Earlier this year, LU graduate entrepreneur Nadeem Khan received funding from the Lancaster University Enterprise Fund to help him attend a People Analytics conference in London, an opportunity which enabled him to network and learn from leading HR practitioners and thought leaders. Here, Nadeem shares an update on what the funding unlocked for him and the opportunities which have arisen since.
After graduating with honours from the MA Human Resources & Consulting, I was engrossed in academic jargon. With the support of both the Enterprise Team and the Department of Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Innovation at Lancaster University; I audited courses on selling, networking, funding for entrepreneurial ventures, and product and service innovation. Simultaneously, I worked alongside the Enterprise Team at Lancaster University to develop and mature my entrepreneurial idea to set up an HR Consultancy around my research area in People Analytics. The concept materialised with the establishment of Optimizhr Ltd. – a human capital consultancy that offers consulting and advisory services around People Analytics, Talent Strategy and Leadership Development. As an international student, I had now received the prestigious Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visa. Consequently, I felt the need to venture out and connect with practitioners and consultants in the industry and learn contemporary best practices around People Analytics. One of the best way forward was to attend Europe’s largest People Analytics conference – People Analytics World (PA World), organised by Tucana. PA World was scheduled to be held in London on April 11 and 12, 2018 and encompassed thought leaders, industry practitioners, consultants and technology companies across the globe sharing their best practices. I discussed this opportunity with the Enterprise Team and I decided to apply for funding (provided by Santander Universities) to help towards the ticket price to attend PA World.
The conference was chaired by IBM’s former Global Director of People Analytics – David Green. Key note speakers included CEO of CIPD, Peter Cheese, People Analytics Directors from Deloitte and thought leaders such as Bernard Marr and Alec Levenson. The cornerstone of the conference was the insights I gained while attending presentations of best practices from industry leaders. I witnessed first-hand how Twitter, ABN-AMRO, Unilever, Nestle, British Airways, Procter & Gamble, Swarovski and Cisco are using People Analytics to drive business insights and performance. The opportunities to engage and connect with these individuals opened new horizons. A key learning from this conference was the increase in the big data and analytics in our lives and business. As intimidating as this may sound, everything we do essentially creates a digital data footprint from our mobiles to our credit cards, thus enabling us to anticipate our behaviour. Hence, experts also shed light on the implications for collecting such data after the GDPR. I also connected to Tucana’s MD, Barry who after our conversation offered me to write blogs for their official website thus, enabling me to share my expertise among Tucana’s community of thought leaders and practitioners.
After returning to Lancaster, I wrote a reflective article – ‘The Business Case for Data-Driven HR’ sharing my insights from the PA World and sent it to Tucana. Not only did they accept my piece but also offered me to write further blogs in an ongoing arrangement to attend future Tucana events and conferences. This arrangement will be reviewed after their next PA Forum conference 2018 with a view for it to becoming an ongoing arrangement in future enabling me to become part of Tucana’s media team and contributors. Each of Tucana’s subsequent events are priced on an average at £1095. This conscious effort has enabled me to not only attend, learn from and network with thought-leaders and industry practitioners but also gain another opportunity to attend PA Forum conference 2018 on a complimentary pass. Prospectively, I hope to present on stage among the ‘Who’s Who’ of People Analytics thought leaders and practitioners at the PA World conferences.
Founded by the Duke of York in 2014, Pitch@Palace aims to support and connect entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses with potential supporters including CEOs, influencers, panels, mentors and business partners. There will be three regional events across the country and winners from each will be invited to a bootcamp, with the final taking place in November.
To find out more and apply, please visit the Pitch@Palace website.
If you are interested in applying, please also let us know so that we can help to support your application.
Brilliant business idea which could work on eBay?
The Guardian Labs and eBay are looking for 15 individuals or teams of two with an exciting new idea or one which is already in development to join their new eBay Doers scheme.
The chosen entrepreneurs will receive 10 weeks of mentorship from a leading industry expert and £500 PayPal credit to help build their business, a photoshoot for their product and additional support and promotion on eBay worth over £200.
To find out more and apply, please visit The Guardian’s website.
Applications close: 17th July
“Creativity will increasingly be the defining human talent”
I have read a few articles recently on the importance of creativity for the future of the economy and workforce and how we need to design an education that fits future needs.
With increasing levels of mechanisation associated with advances in technology, a number of jobs are at risk of automation, even jobs such as coding will likely soon be quicker done by machines. As a result, greater emphasis is being placed on developing creativity within today’s children as this is something which machines won’t be able to do. So, whilst we should embrace and take advantage of the incredible capabilities of technology, we should also be working to strengthen our uniquely human qualities.
Two articles which discuss this topic in more depth include:
Win £10,000 for your business
Varsity Pitch 2018 hosted by NACUE and Tata is on the hunt for the best student and graduate business ideas across the UK. The competition involves three stages including a public vote, bootcamp and grand final. Up for grabs is a £10,000 equity free cash prize, a chance to practice your pitching and opportunity for networking.
The competition is open to any current students at a UK university or college or anyone who has graduated after 2013. There are a number of different categories which can be entered – to find our more and apply visit the NACUE website.
Ethical business is booming
The ethical goods market in the UK has quadrupled in size since 2000 and millennials appear more willing to pay for and choose brands doing social or environmental good. However, making money ethically is not always easy, many will not have profit at the forefront of their minds but as chief exec of Cafédirect John Steel explains, ‘financial sustainability is paramount.’ Other aspects such as recruiting the right people, who share the same values as the business are also vital.
The article is a very interesting read with a number of ethical business examples discussed, including the Big Issue, the Ethical Landlords Association and Brighton supermarket hiSbe. You can read the full article on The Guardian’s website.
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.