Venturefest North West

‘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.

Eco Social Enterprise Start Up Programme

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.

Commercial Awareness & CAKE…

Are you preparing to move into graduate employment and want to make sure you can stand our from the crowd? Do you like cake?

Commercial Awareness is increasingly cited by graduate employers as an essential competency when seeking new employees.  Commercial Awareness for Knowledge Exchange (CAKE) is a short workshop that will accelerate your understanding of how their businesses work and give you the insights to show how you can make a difference as their latest recruit.

By the end of this session you will:

  • Understand why Commercial Awareness is so important to graduate employers
  • Understand what a Business or Value Model is and how you can apply it to your job seeking activities
  • Have practised analysing the Business Model of a popular graduate employer or on-campus company
  • Have practised analysing the Business Model of an employer that you are interested in
  • Have enjoyed eating some cake.

The session will be led by Lyndsey Egerton, Student Opportunities & Skills Developer, from the University’s Careers service.  She will draw on the Business Model Canvas as a framework for designing, analysing and describing Business Models for organisations of all sizes, in all industries and sectors.  If you are preparing generally for employment, or have a particular employer you are hoping to impress, the insights gained in this session could help you to stand out from other candidates.

If you are not graduating this time but would like to attend to develop your Commercial Awareness, please register as normal.

When? Thursday 7th June, 1:30-3:30pm

Where? Bowland North Seminar Room 23

Book on Target Connect

Entrepreneurial Panel Q&A

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!

Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Accelerator

Are you an international student interested in setting up a business in the UK after graduation?

In order to start a business in the UK following graduation you will need to hold a Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa.

The Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa allows you to stay in the UK for 12 months to establish and develop a business. This can then be extended for up to 12 months, provided satisfactory progress is being made.

Lancaster University is able to endorse a limited number of new T1 Visa applications each year from students interested in this career path. Each applicant is required to submit a strong business plan outlining how the proposed business idea will operate in the UK.

This summer, to support those interested in applying for a T1 Visa, The Enterprise Team will be running a Disciplined Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme, helping you to fully develop your business idea and write a comprehensive business plan.

You can read more about the accelerator programme here and if you have further questions, please come along to our information session on Thursday 10th May, 3-4:30pm in Learning Zone Pod 4. Let us know you will be attending by booking a space through Target Connect.

 

Share It Lab: LinkedIn top tips

Graduate entrepreneur, Nadeem Khan to share LinkedIn top tips

Recent Masters graduate, Nadeem Khan, Founder of Optimizhr will be joining us to share his top tips for using LinkedIn to make a positive impression to clients. 

When? Tuesday 8th May, 3-4pm

Where? Learning Zone Pod 3

Book a space through Target Connect. 

Take a moment to think about the impression that you want to create of yourself on the rest of the world. Then for a second the impression that you already have created?

Today digital media has transformed the way we work, eat, move, walk, talk and live. Our lives as I write these words create a digital footprint of me, who I am, my likes, dislikes essentially enabling me to create a personality profile. So anyone in the world who doesn’t know much about me can simply Google my name and find out more or less that what I have already made available on the worldwide web. Whether we like it or not these posts can stick around for a long-long time so how can we control what we post or should we be controlling them?

As you enter the professional world, you are likely to be screened according to your digital footprint and that’s when things can go haywire for you. There are therefore two personalities with your name, one the obvious you and the second the digital one that you create for your audience so be sure that you create a good one. Nevertheless, if you manage to create a good one, you also must make sure that the real you is synced to it as in the real word its only ‘authenticity’ that counts and can lead you to create trust and ultimately win!

This session will cover tips and tricks to optimise your social media profiles to position yourself positively in front of clients I.e. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

 

Enhance your skills through Design Thinking

New term…. New series of Design 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 term 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. Design Thinking is relevant to all as a life skill and transferable as an approach within many contexts, disciplines and organisations.

Whether you are just looking for a new way to enhance your creativity, innovation, collaboration and communication skills or are interested in becoming a more innovative and systematic entrepreneur, this series of Wednesday afternoon workshops are not to be missed!

You will learn the fundamentals of Design Thinking and gain hands-on experience of applying it to real world problems. Below is an overview of the three sprint sessions including links to sign up through Target Connect. Don’t worry if you are unable to attend all three sessions, each can be attended as a standalone session too. The first session takes place next Wednesday, 25th of April, please sign up through Target Connect.

1: The Process

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

Wednesday the 25th of April at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

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 on Target Connect

2: From Inspiration to Ideation

Design thinking Sprint – From Inspiration to Ideation

Time: Wednesday the 2nd of May at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 07

In the second session we 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, and
Ideation, looking at techniques that are used to visualize, brainstorm and evaluate ideas in order to reach a viable choice.

Book on Target Connect. 

3: Prototyping

Design thinking Sprint – Prototyping

Time: Wednesday the 9th of May at 14:00 – 17:00

Location: Bowland North SR 27

In the third session we will introduce the benefits of prototyping and focus on common approaches to prototyping in Design Thinking.

Book on Target Connect.

You can read more about the Design Thinking process through our account of a previous workshop, but better still… just come along and try it out!

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.