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!
Looking for advice from experienced entrepreneurs for your startup?
Considering starting a business within the food industry?
Ready to start hiring people to your startup?
Come and seek advice from experienced entrepreneurs within the recruitment and food sector who have been there and done it!
We are excited to welcome two entrepreneurs next week for open discussions about their experiences in business and to share their advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Take a look at Wayne and Michelle’s profiles below and follow the Target Connect links to book onto either (or both!) of the sessions. Both sessions will take place in Learning Zone Pod 4.
Wayne Brophy (Managing Director of Cast UK)
Thursday 10th May, 1:30-3pm
Once Wayne got a taste for working in recruitment for a large firm he soon realised that he could make quicker strides forward working for himself and thus founded Cast UK in 2005. Cast UK are a specialist recruitment consultancy focusing on roles within procurement, purchasing, supply chain, logistics & transport. The company has grown year on year and now employs 30 people, with plans to double that number by the end of the year!
Book on Target Connect
Michelle Partington (Director of Shellys Drinks & Founder and Company Director of Lakeland Picnic)
Friday 11th May, 3-4:30pm
Michelle Partington founded Lakeland Picnic in 2006. Based in the Lake District, the aim of the company was to provide simple and delicious food through the use of some of the finest regional ingredients; served in street locations with a thoughtful and considered approach to customer needs. Michelle has also more recently established Shellys Drinks Ltd – originators of blended alcoholic drinks, supplying retailers and bars.
Book on Target Connect
Coffee and a chat with an experienced entrepreneur
This week sees the first of our new weekly Enterprise ‘Clinics’ with entrepreneur Richard Baguley (LinkedIn).
Richard is Managing Director of GDR Public Relations and has 25 years’ experience in the PR & Communications industry for major blue chip brands. Richard is also a part-time tutor within the Lancaster University Management School.
This drop-in session will be a chance for you to come along and pick Richard’s brains – whatever stage you may be at please come along to have a chat with Richard about your idea, seek advice or discuss your progress.
We are looking to host this clinic with Richard on a weekly basis, rotating around campus locations. This week it will be hosted in Bowland Bar on Friday (4th May), 2-4pm. Let us know if you’re coming via email or Target Connect! Future dates will be added to our calendar as and when they are confirmed.
Coffees are on Richard!
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.
Getting out of the ‘wantrepreneurial state’
In an article written for the UK Domain, a wantrepreneur is defined as someone with an idea who doesn’t take any action towards it, or takes action which is less important or indirect, often skipping the validation stage.
The article gives some tips on how to get going with your idea and out of the ‘wantrepreneurial state’ and also how to stay motivated as an entrepreneur. You can read the full article on the UK Domain Site.
If you’re struggling to get started with putting your idea into action, why not come along to one of our workshops or tell us about your idea?
You can see all of our upcoming events in the events calendar, or register your interest via the registration form to book a 1-to-1 IntroLab with a member of the team.
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.
Different customer profiles when selling to a company
When people look at business-to-business operations they often map the companies they serve as customer profiles. However as explained within a recent Strategyzer blog post, it is actually the different groups of people within the company that should be mapped. Categories may include for example, decision makers, economic buyers, recommenders, saboteurs and end users, and each will have a different set of jobs, pains and gains.
Read more on the Strategyzer Blog.