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!
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.
“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.
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.
Get plugged into Lancaster’s Digital network
Digital Lancaster are hosting a free networking event on Thursday 29th of March at The Borough on Dalton Square, to talk all-things digital and help bring like-minded people together. Digital Lancaster are part of Digital Lancashire, a not-for-profit community interest company aiming to accelerate the growth of the digital economy within Lancashire. This is a great opportunity for any budding digital entrepreneurs in the city!
You can register your attendance through Eventbrite.
Support in your application to win up to £25,000 for your startup!
Hopefully you’ve already heard about The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2018 – your chance to compete against other students and recent graduates to win a wealth of support for your startup or established idea!
For the first round of the competition, applicants will be required to submit a two minute video pitch and completed simplified Business Model Canvas (using the template provided by Santander).
The Enterprise Team have two workshops scheduled to support you with your applications:
- Business Model Canvas/Value Proposition Workshop
Thursday 1st March, 2-5pm, Learning Zone Pod 4
This workshop will focus on helping you to bring your customer profiles together with your value proposition to successfully complete Santander’s template Business Model Canvas. Book through Target Connect.
Thursday 8th March, 2-5pm, Physics B009
This workshop will focus on how to best pitch your idea, the art of storytelling and also how to create an engaging video. Book through Target Connect.
The deadline for submissions to the first round is noon on Friday the 13th April. To find out more about the awards including details such as eligibility, please visit our dedicated competition webpage or email the Enterprise Team.
One of the UK’s largest student and graduate business pitching competitions, is HERE!
How can I find out more?
Come along to our information drop-in on Friday 23rd February in Pod 4 in the Learning Zone. We’ll be there throughout the day, ready to answer your questions and help you get off to a flying start. If you’re interested in hearing from someone who has been involved before, Charles Rogers, semi-finalist from last year’s competition will be joining us at 10:30am to share his experience. It would be great if you could email us to let us know if you are planning to attend.
Can I read anything in the meantime?
Yes! Please visit our competition information page here. You’ll be able to get an overview of the competition and download the information pack.
What other support will be available?
We will announce dedicated workshops on completing your competition Business Model Canvas, and producing a 2 minute video pitch, and offering 1-2-1 support with your individual application before Easter. Watch this space!
Looking for funding to help your startup?
Campus Capital is working in partnership with a number of UK universities to deliver on-campus venture capital funds, part-run by students!
The Lancaster team will be hosting their first event this Monday the 29th of January, 6:30-8pm in The Hub, Lancaster University Management School. This event will provide the opportunity for entrepreneurial students and alumni of the University to find out more about potential funding for their startups. With Campus Capital being able to provide investment of up to £350k to startups – this is not an event to be missed! Anyone who attends the will get the chance to meet the Students VCs and receive advice for securing funding.
Please visit the event page for further information and you can find our more about Campus Capital Lancaster here.
’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.
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!
Online, open access event that asks the question: what if we could redesign everything?
Accessing the Disruptive Innovation Festival is simple as it is all online and free! The festival will involve 200 hours of content streamed throughout it’s three week duration, including live studio discussions, animations, pre-recorded videos and roundtable debates with leading thinkers. Whilst watching you can chip in with your your own thoughts or questions.
When? It’s already kicked off – 6th-24th November
Find out more on the thinkdif.co