Run your idea past an entrepreneur

Meet an Entrepreneur in Residence

We have meeting slots available with four Entrepreneurs in Residence over the coming two weeks, they come from a variety of sectors with a wide range of experience and advice to impart to budding entrepreneurs. Below are the profiles of each – if you would be interested in meeting any of them, please email enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk

Ruth Power (Director of Business Development at Financial Management Bureau)

Wednesday 22nd November

Ruth is on the board of a financial services SME in Cumbria, employing over 35 staff servicing over 2000 clients with financial planning and advice. Her role involves developing enhanced service strategies, communicating with potential new customers, looking after the needs of existing customers and managing internal communications. Ruth has had the benefit of a complete career change which has given her experience in both the public and private sector, education and management and now marketing.

 

Jane Dalton (Director of Groundswell Innovation)

Friday 24th November

Jane Dalton has managed brand strategy and innovation projects for companies with global brand reach for the past 17 years – from Unilever global brand teams through to banks and service brands across Europe . Cross-cultural customer understanding and creative problem solving in highly regulated markets are particular strengths. Her skills sets comprises of strategic brand planning and brand positioning, the commercialisation of intellectual property, innovation management, new product/service development and qualitative market research

 

Glyn Jones (Business Partnership Manager, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University)

Friday 24th November

Glyn Jones is the Health Business Partnership Manager in the Health Engagement and Innovation Team at Lancaster University’s Faculty of Health and Medicine. Glyn’s role involves supporting the creation and growth of health and social care focused SMEs by providing mentoring, signposting, procurement advice, workshops, student projects and access to clinical staff, patients, carers and evaluation resources. He also volunteers as a primary school governor and a Trustee of a local youth project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Cox (Managing Director of George Cox & Sons)

Thursday 30th November

George Cox & Sons is an award-winning £15m per annum turnover business specialising in high-quality highway and footway projects. Chris has been Managing Director of the company for 20 years.The company employs 100 staff out of three offices within the North West of England, has it’s own in-house apprenticeship and mentoring programme, and was one of the early pioneers of the ‘Investors in People’ within its sector and it’s own employees lead the company Community charity.

Learn from experienced International Entrepreneurs!

We are excited to have two US based entrepreneurs – Bill Lewis and Renwick Brutus coming to Lancaster to share their experience and expertise with budding Lancaster entrepreneurs. Take a look below at their profiles and email the Enterprise Team to book a place on either (or both!) of the sessions. Both sessions will take place in Learning Zone Pod 4.

Bill Lewis (Advisor to the Board – Temasys Communications)

Talk and Q&A – Tuesday 14th November, 11am-1pm

‘Things I wished I had known when I was 20’

Bill Lewis, Lancaster alumnus, former international corporate director, serial entrepreneur, author and speaker will be sharing his worldly lessons including both successes and failures. Being threatened with murder by the head of a Caribbean Drug Cartel and being bombed out of Beirut, Bill has seen more than most in this life time. His wisdom and relaxed style will help to inspire you to do great things, avoid many mistakes, and live a life of health, wealth, joy and recognition.

 

Renwick Brutus (Founder & CEO of Achievement Resources & UDECOM LLC)

Thursday 16th November, 10am-12pm

Renwick believes in the power of the possible. His uncanny ability to identify issues, extrapolate solutions, project the positive, and prioritise the path to success informs his every moment – personally, in business and as a community leader. Renwick grew up in rural Guyana and experienced a powerful mix of adversity and accomplishment. He later moved to the US to study for an MBA and went on to work on Wall Street, where he was recognised numerous times for outstanding achievement in the financial and investment services industry. Now based in Michigan, Renwick owns three companies, consults with an impressive list of clients, is in demand as a motivational speaker and is writing a book.

 

Bright Sparks Award: Submit your pitches!

Submit a 90-second video pitch to win up to £1,000 to make your idea happen!

Do you have a bright idea which you think will capture the imagination and support of your peers? Then this may be just the opportunity for you…

As you will have probably heard by now, we are busy planning for the re-launch of the Lancaster University Enterprise Awards this December. The Bright Sparks, People’s Choice award is looking for individuals or teams of students, recent alumni (past 3 years) or staff with an idea for a new venture. The proposal may be for an idea that is still as concept stage, or it may already have been registered as a formal trading entity, as long as it is still in the survival stage and has not yet achieved financial sustainability.

The Bright Sparks Award is unique from the other award categories – as not only are we asking for video pitch nominations, but also because the actual winner of the award will be determined on the night of the awards through an audience poll! The winner will receive access to support and up to £1,000 funding from The Enterprise Team through Santander Funding to help make the idea happen.

Think you’ve got a great idea which fits the bill?

To nominate an idea, send a link to your 90 second video-pitch to enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk. It is expected that your video pitch will cover the following:

  • A brief statement of opportunity (pain points for users)
  • A description of the solution you put forward
  • Is the solution desirable? (Consider competitors and alternative solutions)
  • Is the solution viable? (How will it be financially sustainable)
  • Is the solution feasible? (Do you have the skills and resources necessary, and if not what skills/resources would you need and how would you acquire them?)
  • How would the award help you kick-start your idea?

Deadline for submissions: Sunday the 19th of November. 

Please email The Enterprise Team if you have any questions.

Terms and conditions of the Bright Sparks Award:
Entrants will be judged and shortlisted by the Enterprise Team based on the following criteria: desirability, feasibility and viability of idea ; creativity and presentation. The shortlisted videos will be presented on the night of the awards event. Finalists will be invited to attend the awards event where a winner will be judged by the audience. To be eligible, nominations need to be submitted by Lancaster University students or staff, as well as alumni who have graduated up to three years ago. To claim the prize teams need to be able to engage with the offering of the enterprise team to develop their project, which would mean being able to attend regular meetings in Lancaster.

New student-run investment fund

Campus Capital to invest thousands in Lancashire startups

Lancaster University have signed a partnership with venture capital firm, Campus Capital, to bring investment to the region and further strengthen Lancashire’s startup ecosystem. The model is unique in the sense that the fund is part-run by teams to Student Venture Capitalists!

This partnership will see the investment of between £50k-200k in early stage, high-growth potential companies, on and off campus.  There is a particular focus on ‘making sure existing startups who are already doing great things get the investment they need to scale.’ It is hoped that the fund will help to increase opportunities for companies to collaborate with the University, stay and grow in the region.

Campus Capital will open to Lancashire-based startups in the New Year, although companies who are considering fundraising within the next six months are encouraged to get in touch sooner.

Fancy trying your hands at being an venture capitalist?

Students are given the opportunity to take part in an experiential learning opportunity where they will be trained as Student Venture Capitalists to run some of the early aspects of the fund pipeline. In addition to training, students will receive ongoing mentoring and experience of assessing and analysing a company’s investment-readiness. Application to take part in the scheme are now open, you can find out more here.

To find out more, visit the Campus Capital website.

Enterprise Awards – Call for nominations!

 We need your nominations!

We are currently busy planning for the relaunch of our annual Lancaster University Enterprise Awards. The awards aim to recognise and celebrate the diversity of ways in which students, researchers and alumni have applied their entrepreneurial mindsets, acted as creative-problem solvers and made a genuine impact on the world around them.

The awards seek not only to celebrate the successes but also recognise the journeys and distances travelled to reach those successes -every winner should have a story to tell, which hopefully will help to inspire others to engage in similar pursuits to realise their own dreams and ambitions.

The award ceremony itself is set to take place in December and will involve  a formal dinner attended by various VIPs, stakeholders and of course a number of students. The dinner will be followed by entertainment, and an opportunity to network and socialise.

But now we need your help!

We need your assistance in identifying nominees within the following categories:

  • Student Leader – Individuals/teams with a leadership role on behalf of a segment of the student body e.g. Society Execs, College JCRs, Departmental Reps, LUSU Offices and Student Ambassadors who have demonstrated the application of entrepreneurial behaviours to the realisation of an event, project, activity or other intervention.
  • KE Champion – Individuals/teams who have displayed entrepreneurial behaviours in the undertaking of a Knowledge Exchange Intervention with an external organisation. For example through a Student Consultancy Project, Placement or Internship, KTP or PG Rise project.
  • Impactful Researcher – Early Career Researchers who have translated, or taken active steps to translate their research into sustainable research impact, for example via a licensing agreement, spin-out or other business model.
  • Sustainable Venture – Individuals/teams who have successfully launched a venture that has a clearly identified ‘triple bottom line’ business model, and has demonstrated or begun to demonstrate its viability. Must be formally registered, and trading for a maximum of three years.
  • Organisational Innovator – Individual alumni (up to last three years) who have gone into employment in any role, industry or sector except self-employment, or as a founder member of a start-up

There will also be a ‘bright sparks’ category which will involve the submission of short video pitches for ideas – more details on this category to follow!

Further details on each of the categories and what we are looking for can be found within the nomination form. If you think there is either a team or individual (or maybe you are them!) that fits into one of the categories, please download and complete this nomination form and send it back to enterpristeam@lancaster.ac.uk no later than the 31st of October.

 

An update from Ikigai Factory Ltd

Things have changed for Patrizia, Sebastien & Kyaw (MSc International Innovation, 2016) since they last shared an update following their victory at the 2016 Santander Big Ideas competition. Having established their company Ikigai Factory Ltd earlier this year, the trio have taken part in two startup accelerators and are going from strength to strength. Here they share an update and some valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs.

Our company is called Ikigai Factory Ltd and the flagship product we are developing is called REVR, which stands for real estate virtual reality. REVR is a simple tool to create, manage, view and share virtual property tours. Virtual tours help the property listings of real estate agents become more engaging and compelling. The idea originated from our experience of renting a flat in China from the UK by only looking at photos…. and well, it’s an understatement to say what we saw on the pictures did not reflect at all what we got!

So in February 2017 we incorporated our company with the support of the Enterprise Centre who also helped us with finding an accountant (at a convenient price, which is always important when you are a startup). We also started a 12 week pre startup accelerator in London (FFWD) which was very useful as it gave us guidelines on how to carry out different parts of the business such as, finance and marketing. Also it was a great opportunity to network with experts from different business areas and discuss and get advice from mentors. We worked on different important topics every week and had to present the results in front of other startups which was excellent practice for pitching on stage.

At the same time, we applied for the Barclays Eagle Lab Flight in Brighton, a startup accelerator which gave us access to some funding (always welcome) in the form of an unsecured loan. One of the best parts of the programme was to have office space; it’s not always very productive to work from home. Since there were only seven or eight other startups it was easy and natural to network and we spent a lot of time together and we came to know each others businesses quite well which allowed us to share suggestions, advice and learn from each other.

The programme finished at the end of June. During the summer we decided to hire a freelance senior developer to make progress quickly and have a functioning product as soon as possible. Through the Brighton accelerator we were introduced to a local real estate that since August has been testing our solution; this has been very useful and getting feedback from both the agency and the customers has allowed us to improve our product/service to add genuine values.

Lancaster University was very helpful as we have been introduced to a potential investor from China, and at the same time, LUSU Living has become our customer #1! Since August we have had a fantastic intern working on our social media (thank you Camille!).

It we could give one piece of advice or recommendation to our fellow aspiring student entrepreneurs, it would be to use the resources available at Lancaster University!

So what’s next for us? Our current main goal will be to get on board between 5-10 customers per month, and look for potential investors to develop REVR further and focus on growth and scaling.

If you want to know more about REVR and Ikigai Factory, check out their website here and have a look at their page on our Enterprise Directory.

If you’d like to make the most of the resources and support available at Lancaster, register with us and get started! 

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.

Paid Internships with Nesta Innovation Foundation

Recent graduate interested in working for an innovative organisation?

Nesta are an innovation foundation, their mission is to ‘seek out, spark and shape powerful new ideas, joining with others to take on the big challenges of our time and shift how the world works for everyone.’ They are currently advertising 12 six month internships, within a variety of areas across the organisation including, government innovation, International innovation, Health and Design. All internships at to be paid at London Living Wage.

Maybe you’re a graduate looking to take your next steps? Why not take a look to see if something catches your eye? The full list can be found on the Nesta website.

Applications close at 10am on Tuesday the 29th of August 2017.

 

Santander Entrepreneurship Awards Semi-Finals

Santander Awards Semi-Final Update

This week, Lancaster University’s Santander semi-finalists traveled to Northumbria University to pitch their ideas in the North & Ireland Semi-Final.

Charles Rogers pitched his virtual queuing app first in the pre-revenue category followed by Ze and Adam of Kaizen Academy in the post-revenue category. Both delivered excellent, well prepared five minute pitches which were followed by a grilling from the panel.

 

The results were announced on the day, unfortunately amidst very tough competition neither made it through to the final. However, as winner’s of the People’s Choice Vote, Kaizen Academy have been selected to attend the forthcoming accelerator week and have also be awarded £500 of funding. Both Charles and Kaizen were a credit to Lancaster –  we would like to thank them for all of the hard-work they put into the competition. I think would agree that it was a great day and a lot can be taken away from the experience.

 

Enterprise Nation: Student Start-up of the Year

Win £3,500 for your business!

Enterprise Nation have just launched a brand new competition: Student Start-up of the Year.

Supported by Microsoft and 123 Reg, Enterprise Nation are looking for brilliant ideas from both current students and those who have graduated within the past two years.

Entries will be accepted from businesses who are not yet trading and also businesses that have been trading for less than a year.

Applications need to be submitted by the 12th of May.

10 applicants will then be shortlisted to pitch in front of a panel of judges at Microsoft’s offices in London on the 19th May, from those five will be selected to go to a public vote.

To find out more about the competition, the prizes and to apply visit enterprisenation.com/student.