Week 19 Enterprise Events

Get Involved

Tuesday 13th

Share It Lab with Dan Ghita, 2-3pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Dan Ghita is a current Management student, developing a new business based around cycling holidays in Eastern Europe.

Dan will be joining us for a session to share his personal entrepreneurial story, talk about the power of storytelling, importance of not following the crowd and how to generate business ideas.

Come along to find inspiration and advice for your own venture and ask Dan any questions.

Book on Target Connect

Wednesday 14th

Art, Film, LICA Alumni Event, 12-2pm, Bowland North SR 6

Interested in freelancing in the Arts after graduation? Join this panel event for LICA students – come and listen to Lancaster University graduates of Art, Design and LICA subjects talk about their jobs and the routes they took to get their dream job. Find out more about working in the arts, media, freelance work and portfolio working.

Book on Target Connect

Design Thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation, 2-5pm, Bowland North SR 7

This is the second of three design sprints. In this session you will work on design challenges focusing on two aspects of the process:

Inspiration – looking at research methods that are used in Design Thinking to unpack a problem space.

Ideation – looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.

Don’t worry about having attended the last session – each session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.

Book on Target Connect

Thursday 15th

UnLtd – Thrive accelerator information session for social enterprises, 12-2pm, Learning Zone Pod 4

Thrive is a new social accelerator run by UnLtd, aimed at supporting ambitious social ventures to scale. For their first cohort, Thrive are looking for ventures with the aim of improving access to employment for those distant from the labour market.

Cathryn Chrimes from UnLtd will be coming in to potential applicants, so if you would be interested in finding out please come along.

Book on Target Connect

Commercial Awareness for Designers

Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange Sessions

Gerasimos Balis, the Enterprise Team’s Design Facilitator recently collaborated with Bijan Aryana to deliver some commercial awareness workshops as part of Bijan’s Design and Business module for MA Design Management students. The sessions were successful and appeared to add great value to the student’s projects. Below is a bit more information on what was covered in the sessions and some of the feedback received.

Commercial Awareness for Designers

The first 3 hour session involved:

  • An introduction to Business models and tools to evaluate them
  • Reflection on the impact of design expertise on business

The second 3 hour session involved:

  • Design process models and roles designers play in a ventrue
  • Examples of best practice from design agencies
  • Workshop on articulating their own design process

Great feedback was received for both sessions from student’s who took part:

‘I like the activities which were really engaging, fun and new to me’

‘I like the interactive exercises and tools provided’

‘I like the groupwork elements because it helps our ideas flow and we get some really interesting inputs and ideas’

‘Good content, helped a lot towards our project and ensured we followed a plan to effectively accomplish the activities’

‘Loved the activities, really helpful’

‘The activity further strengthened the understanding of the design process and its adaptability’ 

‘wonderful experience’

These sessions are all part of the Enterprise Team’s wider aims to contribute to enhancing student’s commercial awareness by equipping them with some useful tools within the curriculum. This is a scheme we have named CAKE (Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange). To find out more, please visit the dedicated CAKE webpage.


Design Thinking Sprints

Do you want to become more employable by demonstrating you have experience applying 21st century skills?

Are you an entrepreneur – or an entrepreneur in the making- who wants to develop a business idea?

Join our Design Thinking Sprints this March and gain experience of applying Design Thinking to a real project.

What is Design Thinking?

Design thinking is an approach to innovation that is sought after by employers and invaluable for entrepreneurs. It transforms the way you approach the world when imagining and creating new solutions for the future, based on empathy, collaboration and experimentation. These 21st century skills will help you futureproof your career or be a more innovative and systematic entrepreneur.  In this workshop you will learn the fundamentals of Design Thinking and gain hands-on experience of applying Design Thinking on real world problems. This session contributes towards the Enterprise Centre Commercial awareness certification as well as the Lancaster Award.

First Session

Session 1. Design Thinking Sprint – The Design Thinking process / Shaping a useful challenge

Time: Wednesday the 7th of March at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: County South Lecture Theatre (LT A70)

In the first session we will go through a quick design cycle to get you familiarised with Design Thinking and shape a challenge to focus on in rest of the sessions. Don’t worry if you don’t have an idea or if you are uncertain about joining future sessions. This session can be attended as a stand-alone as well.

Book a place on this session through Target Connect. 

Future sessions:

Session 2. Design thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation

Time: Wednesday the 14th of March at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07


Session 3. Prototyping

Time: Wednesday the 21st of March at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

To find out a bit more about what Design Thinking is all about, read our account from our last introductory workshop here. Please also feel free to email the Enterprise Team for further details.


Santander Entrepreneurship Awards Workshops

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. 

  • Pitching Workshop 

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.

Introduction to Design Thinking: 31st January

On the 31st of January 2018, 13 students from a range of disciplines and areas of study gathered in a room in the FASS building for an exciting session, led by Amanda Brooks of the Enterprise Team. Inspired by her trip to Stanford University’s d.school and the Crash-course in Design Thinking hosted by Humera Fasihuddin from the d.school last year, Amanda was excited to lead her own Design Thinking session. The aim of the session was to help students try out a human-centred design approach to problem-solving, whilst developing their 21st century skills – creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication.

Human-centred design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions, tailor-made to suit their needs. It involves a five step process – the students worked through each stage to design a wallet for a member of another team.


1. Empathize. The process begins with empathy – understanding what the customer’s needs are. This was done through interviewing the customer, first on a broad level and then digging deeper to fully understand their requirements.




2. Define. This stages involves making sense of what was learnt from the interview and identifying opportunities for design. Teams identified the goals and wishes of the customer and then worked to re-frame the problem into a point-of-view statement.


3. Ideate. This stage involved many a post-it notes and free flow of ideas relating to the design of the wallet. Following the free flow of all kinds of ideas, teams sketched out a few potential solutions.



4. Prototype. This stage began by presenting initial designs to the customer for feedback. Then, armed with tinfoil, card, pipe cleaners, glue etc., the teams set about creating a prototype solution.


5. Test. Time to present the prototype to the customer and take on their feedback, has it met their needs?

Design Thinking 3


Overall, the session was very well received, some of the elements people expressed that they really enjoyed included:

“Engaging with people who share similar attitudes but have different methods of approach to ideas”

“Working with people from different backgrounds”

“Exercising creativity”

“The group discussion vibe”

“Working through a process with an end goal “

“The flow and ease of the process”

To see all of the photos, please visit our Facebook page. 

To find out more about Human Centred Design, check out this short video on IDEO’s website which gives a great overview.  The Enterprise Team are will be hosting more sessions like this in the future – so keep your eyes on our website, social media and newsletter!

Win £25,000! Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards info session next week

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!

Using the Business Model Canvas to unpack placement employers

Workshop: 7th February, 1-3pm

Before you start your placement in a company you need to understand how it operates, this will help you to find the best way to leave your mark –and a good impression. In this session we will present examples of how you can achieve this using the Business Model Canvas.

Experimenting with this tool will allow you to explore and dig into all the elements of a organisation’s business model, creating new and deeper questions and insights which will enhance your commercial awareness, your ability to quickly get to grips with how different organisations tick, and get you thinking about how you might fit into, and create value for the organisation in your role.

The session will take place in the Learning Zone in Pod 4. To confirm your attendance, please sign-up on Target Connect.

Play It Labs

Play games to enhance your enterprise skills!

Next week we will be hosting the first ever ‘Play It’ Lab. Play It Labs are facilitated sessions that aim to help you learn more about enterprise  and develop your entrepreneurial skills through playing games. We have a whole stash of games, covering a range of topics from IP to cashflow, to scaling up your start-up. The games are designed to convey transferable real-life concepts in a fun way for those who don’t necessarily have a lot of experience or knowledge around business.

Sessions will be fun and relaxed and an ideal opportunity to meet other like-minded, enterprising students from across the University.

In you would like to attend a session, please book on via Target Connect.

WEEK 14: The Big Idea Tuesday 6th February, 1:30pm-3:30pm (Target Connect Booking)

This game is all about coming up with crazy ideas from a set of cards and pitching them to the group as through they were venture capitalist looking to invest. The game will get you thinking on your feet and is a great chance to practise your pitching skills in a safe and fun environment.


WEEK 15: Black Swan Wednesday 14th February, 2-4pm (Target Connect Booking)

Developed by student and staff at the University, Black Swan is a board game which will help you to get your head around the basic principles of Intellectual Propery – how it is created, it’s different forms, legal complexities and factors that affect its value and people’s behaviours around it.



Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop

Workshop: 31st January 1-4pm

As more employers call for graduates with 21st century skills like creativity, innovation, collaboration  and communication, we’re testing new ways for you to actively learn these competencies with fellow students from all disciplines.

 Design thinking is relevant to all as a life skill and is transferable potentially in all contexts, disciplines and organisations.

Human-centered design is a creative approach to problem solving. It’s a process that starts with the people you’re designing for and ends with new solutions that are tailor made to suit their needs. Human-centered design is all about building a deep empathy with the people you’re designing for; generating tons of ideas; building simple prototypes; sharing what you’ve made with the people you’re designing for; and eventually putting your innovative new solution out in the world.

Human-centered design consists of four phases. In the Empathy Phase you’ll learn directly from the people you’re designing for as you immerse yourself in their lives and come to deeply understand their needs. In the Define Phase you’ll make sense of what you learned and identify opportunities for design. In the  Ideation Phase you’ll learn to generate loads of ideas and build possible solutions in the Prototype Phase. With your prototype developed you  bring your solution to life to test in the Test Phase with real users or customers for Iteration or Launch!

Anyone can learn and apply Human Centred Design to any challenge to find innovative solutions. It’s a valuable life skill and a process for collaborative problem solving.

The Enterprise Team will be hosting a short taster session allowing you to experience the process of human centred design. For more details and to register, visit the event on Target Connect. 

You can also check out the Facebook photos from the Design Challenge we ran last academic year in collaboration with and to learn from Stanford d.School’s University Innovation Fellows Programme.

If you find you like what we do you can develop your skills beyond the session  e.g. develop your commercial awareness or develop that idea that’s been lurking in the the back of your mind, register with the Enterprise Team to hear about future sessions –  and explore our website at  www.lancaster.ac.uk/enterprisecentre


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.