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!

Learn from experience entrepreneurs within the recruitment and food sectors

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

 

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.

 

New Enterprise Clinics!

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!

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.

 

Wantrepreneur or Entrepreneur?

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.

 

Is a job in a startup right for you?

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.

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!

B2B Customer Segments

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.

Santander Awards Reminder

Just a few quick reminders for anyone looking to enter the Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards 2018:

  • Deadline: 5pm Friday the 13th April

Please email your Business Model Canvas (completed using the Santander Template) and two minute video pitch (a good way to do this is to upload it as an ‘unlisted’ or password protected video on YouTube and send us the link) to enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk. Please note: If you submit by the 6th of April, we will provide you with feedback before the final deadline!

  • Review marking criteria

How the Buisness Model Canvas and video will be judged is detailed within the Awards Information Pack (page 5).

  • Looking for some help with your video?

ISS have a great online course which goes through the basics of video production and editing. Click here to access it.

Finally – if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in contact (please note, we will be out of the office 29th Mar – 5th Apr) enterpriseteam@lancaster.ac.uk