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.

 

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.

 

DT1
DT2

 

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.

DT3
dt4

 

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
dt6

 

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!