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.
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
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.
“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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: If you submit by the 6th of April, we will provide you with feedback before the final deadline!
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) email@example.com
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.
‘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.
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!