Nesta’s innovation predictions for 2018

’10 trends, tech breakthroughs and social movements for the year ahead’

Innovation foundation Nesta have made some predictions for the coming year in terms of tech breakthroughs and social movements.  Predictions include drones delivering public benefit, Artificial Intelligence creating prize winning art, the internet going green, tech giants racing to buy a healthcare provider and the increased use of complex simulation methods to experiment with new ideas.

You can read the full article on Nesta’s website.

Monetising your app idea

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!


What’s new for 17-18?

If you’ve engaged in Enterprise & Innovation support through us previously, you are probably wondering what’s happened to the Wednesday IdeasLab and Thursday StartupLab sessions.

We found that so many people were bringing new ideas, having just a couple of fixed-time drop-in sessions per week wasn’t giving everyone enough time and space to get the attention they needed

So, this year we’re opening up more slots and letting you call the shots on when they should happen.  We’re still calling them Labs, but there are now lots of different Lab types to choose from.

How does it work?

The idea is simple – we’ll help you put together a personalised development programme and you work through it at your own pace. Whenever you’re ready to work on something new, you book a Lab session and we’ll supply the space, the know-how, the resources, and, where appropriate, bring in like-minded collaborators.

To make this work though, there are a couple of other things that have changed.

  • Firstly, before you start ‘dropping in’, we’ll ask you to register or re-register by completing a short Registration Form so we can get you into the system.
  • Secondly, we’ll book you in for a 1-2-1 chat (called an IntroLab) so we can find out more about you, what you are trying to achieve and what you are looking for right now.
  • Thirdly, we’ll get you underway so you can start putting together your bespoke development programme from our new menu of different Lab types. Regardless of what you are working on or where you are up to, there’ll be something for you.

To get started right away, please complete the Registration Form.

To find out more about Labs, please visit this page.

Calling all tech startup founders!

Founders’ Network: The Summit Event

Tech North are hosting an exciting conference aimed at all tech startup founders in the North of England. The Summit will take place on the 2nd of March 2017 in Sheffield. It brings world-class educators and speakers to the North of England for a day full of entrepreneurial education and peer-to-peer learning.

The day will take the form of a ‘pick-and-mix’ style conference, allowing you to tailor the day to suit your needs and stage of business. There will be practical workshops, one-to-one mentoring sessions with experienced entrepreneurs and a peer-to-peer unconference.

You can find our more about the event here and book at ticket through their Eventbrite page. 


Make It Happen today: Coding for Non Coders

Coding for Non Coders lecture

Countless students around the world have an idea they want to turn into a startup. Many of these students need a software developer to make this dream a reality. 

These students run into a catch 22. The best way to meet a coder is to be a coder oneself.

Coding for Non-Coders, a one hour lecture given by 3 Day Startup’s Maia Patrick Donohue, is designed to help non-technical startup founders understand the basics of software development. The lecture covers UI/UX, coding languages 101, and the essentials of wire framing.

When? Monday 14th Nov, 4pm-5pm (HINT: that’s today!)

Where? Learning Zone, Pod 3-4

How? Sign up to the event via TargetConnect.

This event is part of Make It Happen.

Apps are rarely the right answer for SMEs…

Aidan Watt, technical director at Hotfoot Design has written an article for the Lancashire Business View which helps to simply explain why Apps may not be the best use of resources for SMEs. The launch of the Apple App Store in 2008 transformed the digital dimension, but really how many of these apps are actually used? How many businesses benefit from them?

To read more click here.

Make It Happen – Tech Startup Panel

Tech Startup Panel – Monday 16th November, 3.30pm – 5pm


Hear from those who have brought their mobile apps and other digital developments to life, won investment or found ways to generate income from their tech skills.

Key Info:

  • Time: 3.30pm – 5pm
  • Location: Green Lane, Big Room
  • Pathway: Entrepreneurship
  • Lancaster Award points: 5pts

What’s this event about?

If you’ve ever had an idea for an app, wondered how your coding skills might help a tech startup, or identified an online business opportunity but need help from a developer to make it happen, then this event is for you. You will hear from a range of people who have done all these things and more.

It’s also a great chance to find other students with complimentary skills, ideas, or contacts that you can buddy up with and boost your progress to achieving your tech vision.

[Panel members to be confirmed soon]

Sign up here.


Did you know all our Make It Happen events are now on Target Connect?

Tom and Fraser: Back from San Francisco

Silicon Valley is the place to be for tech start ups


In April 2015,  LU students Tom Young and Fraser Williams, went on a trip of a lifetime to San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Meetings with venture capitalists, visits to Google and Stanford University, and even breakfast outside Twitter, the pair made the most of their fantastic opportunity in the Californian city and are willing to share their experience and advice on pitching, networking and entrepreneurship.

Tom and Fraser’s trip was sponsored by several groups who they wish to thank:

“Our trip was funded through four sources, which we’d like to extend our highest gratitude to. Santander Universities, Lancaster University Enterprise Centre, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster University’s Institute for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development – thank you!”

To read about what the pair got up to in San Francisco and what they learnt on the way, access Fraser’s blog here.

£10,000 pitch opportunity with F Factor

Tech Savvy Entrepreneurs- pitch opportunity with Talk Talk and Founders Forum


Are you a tech minded entrepreneur, aged 14 to 25? Have you got an innovative idea for an app, a game, or a technology business?

Founders Forum are working with Talk Talk to offer 10 young entrepreneurs the chance to win £10,000. There’s no need to write a business plan or have an existing business model, and experience isn’t necessary- all you have to do is create and submit a 30 second video and your idea in 140 characters. Finalists will have the opportunity to present their ideas to a gathering of tech entrepreneurs in London and network with venture capitalists and business founders on 18th June 2015.

Entries must be submitted to ‘F Factor’ by midnight on 5th May 2015.

For further information on the competition, and to apply, click here.

Crowdsourced app creation: Cash for comments


Guest News Post

A lucky chance encounter at a drop in session with Lancaster Universities Enterprise Team has kick started my ideas into more than just a list in my i-phone.

I’ve been using the ‘Business Model Canvas’ to explore and prototype a number of ideas and my latest project is an app called ‘Flirt Yeti’.

I’m experimenting with my ideas on a site called which makes it possible for anyone who does not have the time, money, or coding knowledge to make an app to have a go by getting involved. You can check out my app idea at

To get going, you simply submit your app idea into the Applits competition and it will receive valuable feedback/votes; you might be the creator of the next ‘Angry Birds’.

Lifelong royalties are paid to the submitter of the winning app and the three people who contribute the most to the development of the winning apps. is more than an app idea competition, anyone can contribute to every part of the crowd-sourced app development and earn monthly royalty payments for your creativity, knowledge, skills or research.

By getting involved you can input and gain a perspective of app:

–   Design – Development  – Naming – Slogan – Marketing – Business model  – Pricing strategy  – beta testing recently won the award for Americas coolest college start-up and is now listed along side the likes of Google, Facebook and Yahoo as Americas coolest college start-ups ever.

By getting app users to submit and vote on the apps that they want to see on their smartphones, Applits are developing apps that are proven to be desirable by end users.

Flirt Yeti was born at Lancaster University, and with your input and support it could be downloaded around the world.

To find out more or vote for my creation Flirt Yeti, hit this link to view and vote, and make a ‘serial innovator’s’ day.

Scott Baldwin

Lancaster University, Facilities Department