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!

Campus Capital Launch Event

Looking for funding to help your startup?

Campus Capital is working in partnership with a number of UK universities to deliver on-campus venture capital funds, part-run by students!

The Lancaster team will be hosting their first event this Monday the 29th of January, 6:30-8pm in The Hub, Lancaster University Management School. This event will provide the opportunity for entrepreneurial students and alumni of the University to find out more about potential funding for their startups. With Campus Capital being able to provide investment of up to £350k to startups – this is not an event to be missed! Anyone who attends the will get the chance to meet the Students VCs and receive advice for securing funding.

Please visit the event page for further information and you can find our more about Campus Capital Lancaster here.

Apply for free office space on campus!

Mind Your Own Business

Furness College’s ‘Mind Your Own Business’ scheme offers an entrepreneurial individual or team of students access to a dedicated office space, for use over the duration of a term. The space includes free use of a Mac computer.

Applications are welcome from individuals/groups of students from any college who are looking to develop or start a new commercial or social enterprise. Each term, Furness College holds a call for applications from interested students for the subsequent term. If students wish to use the space for more than one term, they will be required to reapply. Candidates will be invited to an interview to present their business ideas in week 10.

Current/previous occupants of the space have included Charles Rogers, founder of Cloudline queuing app and semi-finalist in this year’s Santander Entrepreneurship Awards and also, the Ikigai Factory team.

Applications close on the 17th of November at 3pm (download application form). If you have any further questions get in touch with the team in Furness College: furnessoffice@lancaster.ac.uk.

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.

The Food Exchange 2017

Looking to start or grow a food or drink business?

Join retail buyers, entrepreneurs and experts from the food and drink industry for this one day exchange event in London.

The event will help to put you in touch with large brand buyers, learn form experienced entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done it and access expert advice in topics such as sales, marketing and PR for the food industry.

Already confirmed speakers include Sainsbury’s, Green & Blacks and Selfridges.

When? Friday 29th September

Where? Presentation Suite, KPMG, London

To find out more and purchase tickets, visit the Eventbrite page.

Northern Stars Competition 2017

Are you one of the North’s most promising early stage tech companies?

Applications for the North’s biggest startup competition are now open!

Over the past two years the Northern Stars competition has helped 20 winning startups to grow their businesses on both a national and international level. Now it’s your chance!

What’s the prize?

Up for grabs is an impressive prize package including:

  • Trip to TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin
  • Entry into the Northern Tech Awards
  • Investor networking events
  • Ministerial roundtable with the UK government
  • Media and pitch training.

In addition to the 10 winners, all 10 runners up will also received support from Tech North.

Who can apply?

  • Early-stage tech startups
  • Must have a product on the market that has gained traction
  • Have raised no more than £2 million in equity-based investment.

A series of regional heats will be held in the coming months, with the grand final taking place in November. Visit the Tech North website to find out more and apply!

Chance to exhibit at eCommerce Show North

‘Celebration of the North’s strength in eCommerce’

Delivered by Prolific North, the eCommerce Show North is the largest gathering of eCommerce companies, vendors and suppliers held outside London, reflecting the huge commercial marketplace that is the North.

Tech North have announced that they will be heading to the show and hosting a collection of stands to form the ‘Tech North boulevard.’ For your chance to exhibit as part of ‘the boulevard’ all you have to do is fill in a simple online form on Tech North’s website.

To apply, your business must be no more than five years old and have fewer than 25 full-time employees.

The deadline for applications is the 14th of July, for more details visit the Tech North website. 

The eCommerce show North will be held from the 11th-12th of October at EventCity in Manchester, for more details on the event, visit their website.