Some of 2017’s less successful startups…

Ventures aren’t always a success

It is of course not always good news for startups, even those which may have at one stage looked very promising and been valued highly. An article on the BBC’s technology pages takes a look at just a few of this year’s biggest failed technology startups including Juicero – a wi-fi connected juicing machine and YikYak anonymous messaging app.

It all just goes to show that no matter how well funded an idea may be, changing circumstances is our unpredictable environment can result in a turn for the worse.

Click here to read the article. 

Startup Summit

Win a place on a Leadership Programme in Silicon Valley

Startup Summit is an exciting event ‘bringing the global eco-system to Scotland’s historic capital.’

The event is a one day exploration of all things startup – looking at the changing landscape of business, surviving in the startup world and growing into a thriving business. Founders and Executives of some of the world’s most successful companies will attend the event, speaking and sharing advice for your startup.

Each year, a number of emerging technology entrepreneurs are given the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges for a chance to earn a place on a five day leadership programme in Silicon Valley. To be in with a chance to pitch you can apply now, here.

For more information about the event on the 1st of November in Edinburgh visit the Startup Summit website. There are also opportunities to volunteer at the event.

T1 Graduate Entrepreneur Visa Info Session

Are you an international student interested in starting a business in the UK after graduation?

Did you know that there is a special visa which enables non-EEA nationals to start their own business in the UK after graduation?

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. The Enterprise Team are able to support you in the production of this business plan.

The window for undergraduate applications is now open so if you would like to know more about the scheme, including details relating to the process and requirements – this session is not one to miss! The session will also provide you with the opportunity to ask any questions you may have for the International Registry Team.

When? Monday 19th June, 11am-12pm 

Where? Learning Zone Pod 4

Please sign-up to attend the information session on TARGETconnect.

You can read more about the scheme here and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in contact.


Competition a positive for your business?

“Having a rival can strengthen your business”

A rival company launching just before you do may seem like the end of your journey… But what if you use that competition to your advantage?

A recent article for the The Guardian Small Business Network showcases how a number of businesses tackled the challenge of competition – whether that be current or prospective rivalry. Different companies had different approaches – for some it may be viable to keep their product completely under wraps until release but for others creating a strong unique brand, pivoting the the business model or simply racing to be the first to market were their chosen pathways. Cooperation with competitors may even be an option.

The case clearly depends on the business and actual scenario, but competition could well help to strengthen your business and give it the edge, rather than being the end of the road.

Read the full article ‘Rivalry can bring out the best in a startup’ on The Guardian Small Business Network.


Insights into setting up a Biotech company

Careers in Bioscience – Insider knowledge from Lancaster Alumni!

The Faculty of Health and Medicine are hosting a Bioscience Careers event during which three alumni will be returning to speak about their career journeys. Laura Walsh will be coming to discuss the range of opportunities available in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industries in particular the Adelphi Group and Chris Ball about graduate entry programmes in dentistry.

However, of special interest to any entrepreneurial bioscientists – Tiffany Thorn, Chief Executive Officer of BiVicTriX Therapeutics will be attending to talk about her route starting up a biotech company. She will discuss her more unusual career path, bridging the gap between the NHS and Industry to help deliver better healthcare. Tiffany with also talk about the key values which guided her down this particular path.

When? Monday 6th February 6:30pm-8pm

Where? Faraday Lecture Theatre

All students from the Faculty of Health and Medicine and Faculty of Science and Technology are invited to attend

Register on Target Connect now.

University Entrepreneurs Challenge

Are you an entrepreneur with a brilliant business idea born out of your time at university?

Have you created a business whilst working in academia? 

Enter the University Entrepreneur’s Challenge and you could walk away with a cash prize, expert assistance, a professional promotional film highlighting your business and influential new contacts.

The challenge is run in conjunction with the prestigious Educate – North and UK Leadership Awards and Conference 2017. Sponsored by the Telegraph Media Group, the challenge aims to find the most innovative businesses that have been founded by graduates, undergraduates, postgraduates or staff from the HE sector across the North of England.

To read more about the competition and entry requirements visit the Educate North website, where you will also find an application form.

Deadline for Applications: Friday 10th March

Get the most out of Startup Weekend!

‘It’s amazing what you can get done’

A very timely blog post for all of you taking part in this weekend’s Startup Weekend Lancaster or similar events in the future. Peter J Thomson, shares his experience as a mentor during Startup Weekend Auckland and provides a number of top tips to help participants make the most of the weekend. However most of the lessons listed could equally be applied to your day job! The tips include thinking about the whole business model, adopting a lean startup mindset, and knowing why you are there in the first place.

It’s definitely worth a read here.

Oli Monks: ‘Nobody’s Listening’

‘But it’s ok not to be ok’

Alumnus Oli Monks recently posted a very honest blog post in which he highlights the hidden, yet all too frequent pressure placed on people to put on a front that everything is going brilliantly. Not only is this a common pressure for entrepreneurs but it is applicable everywhere and very important to recognise. The post is well worth a read here.

Startup Weekend Lancaster 2016

No Talk. All Action. Launch a startup in 54 hours.

Organised by the Lancaster University Entrepreneurs Society, Startup Weekend Lancaster is returning for it’s 3rd year!

Kicking off on Friday the 2nd of December, the competition aims to bring together designers, developers, marketers, business people and startup enthusiasts to launch a startup in 54 hours.

60-second pitches result in the formation of small teams around the best concepts. Then 54 hours are spent focusing on customer and product development, validating ideas and building prototypes with the help of experienced mentors. Finally, each team has the chance to present their results and receive feedback from a panel of industry experts. There are also some great prizes up for grabs!

To find out more see the Facebook event here.

Tickets can be purchased on the Eventbrite page (Hint: get £5 off with the code SWLANUK)


‘Startup founders have to be a little bit crazy’

‘Entrepreneurs are gloriously imperfect’

Luke Lang, founder of Crowdcude has written a great response to a recent letter published in The Guardian from a startup employee who claimed that unless you’re lucky, working for a startup often isn’t as fun and successful as portrayed, describing many startups as ‘rudderless and stuffed with clueless children.’ In this article, Luke defends the often somewhat crazy nature of entrepreneurs and discusses how this is something which should be embraced and celebrated rather than criticised.

It may well be that the entrepreneurial mindset does not align with that of others, however it is just that unique mindset of not following rules, bravery and creativity which enables them to succeed. As Luke rightly concludes, ‘without the creativity they bring and the impact they make, life would be quickly squeezed out of the UK’s business environment.’

To read the full article on The Guardian website click here.