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.

Build a Country Challenge

Project Invitation: Build a Country Challenge

Student, Morgan Saunders is currently looking to form a team to take part in the Build a Country Challenge, this post is an invitation from Morgan to join his project team:

Do you have a winning solution for Digital Identity Management?

Do you want to compete in a prestigious international competition?

Do you have business experience or a business related degree?

Do you have an interest in programming or data science?

If you answered yes to any of the previous questions you may be interested in the Build a Country Challenge. I am forming a team, primarily of Lancaster Students, to compete in the Challenge.

What I bring to the team:

  • Commitment
  • Commercial awareness
  • Pitching skills

Ideal team member:

  • Committed
  • Creative
  • Experience of formulating business plans or programming or expertise in Digital Identity Management.






What taking part involves:

  • Assisting with the generation of a practical solution to digital identity management.
  • Assisting in the creation of a feasible business plan.

The deadline for submission is the 30th April 2017

What is the competition process?

If our idea makes it into the top three, we would be invited to speak at the 7th Follow The Entrepreneur Summit in Malta, 9th/10th July 2017. If our idea wins the challenge, €500,000 capital investment, coaching and mentoring would be the prize.

If you are interested please email the Enterprise Team and we will forward the message on to Morgan. More information on the challenge can be found here.


£10,000 to take the Environment Now Challenge!

Do you have a digital solution to an environmental challenge?

Following on from the recent Thinkspiration workshop hosted on campus by the Environment Now team we have some further details with regards to taking part in the Environment Now Challenge!

Through the Environment Now challenge you can apply for up to £10,000 to develop your idea and you’ll also receive mentoring, work experience and insight days with industry professionals help you make it happen.

To apply for the challenge you must:

  • Be aged 17-25 years old.
  • Use digital technology to solve an environmental issue
  • Be based within the UK
  • Be committed to completing project objectives within ten months
  • Have the passion to inspire other young people

To find out more about applying visit: or email

The Enterprise Team would also be very keen to hear from you if you are considering applying so please do get in touch or drop into an IdeasLab.


Calling all tech startup founders!

Founders’ Network: The Summit Event

Tech North are hosting an exciting conference aimed at all tech startup founders in the North of England. The Summit will take place on the 2nd of March 2017 in Sheffield. It brings world-class educators and speakers to the North of England for a day full of entrepreneurial education and peer-to-peer learning.

The day will take the form of a ‘pick-and-mix’ style conference, allowing you to tailor the day to suit your needs and stage of business. There will be practical workshops, one-to-one mentoring sessions with experienced entrepreneurs and a peer-to-peer unconference.

You can find our more about the event here and book at ticket through their Eventbrite page. 


Barclays Technology Challenge 2016

Competition Success!

Throughout November and December, students from Lancaster University took part in the Barclays Technology Challenge, with one team attending the finals at MediaCityUK, Salford. The challenge, run in collaboration between Barclays, the BBC and Bank of Merrill Lynch gives students from the North West the opportunity to pitch their innovative technology solutions in response to a real-world business challenge.

Two teams received coaching and guidance from the Careers and Enterprise teams following a competition launch event. The teams then competed in an internal qualifier to determine who would proceed to the grand final. Lancaster University’s final team were runners-up in the competition, with each team member being a credit to the university on the day, treating the event with professionalism and enthusiasm.

To read more about the competition read the full article on the careers webpage.

Make It Happen today: Coding for Non Coders

Coding for Non Coders lecture

Countless students around the world have an idea they want to turn into a startup. Many of these students need a software developer to make this dream a reality. 

These students run into a catch 22. The best way to meet a coder is to be a coder oneself.

Coding for Non-Coders, a one hour lecture given by 3 Day Startup’s Maia Patrick Donohue, is designed to help non-technical startup founders understand the basics of software development. The lecture covers UI/UX, coding languages 101, and the essentials of wire framing.

When? Monday 14th Nov, 4pm-5pm (HINT: that’s today!)

Where? Learning Zone, Pod 3-4

How? Sign up to the event via TargetConnect.

This event is part of Make It Happen.

Spark! Contest 2017

“Why SMR?”

Do you have an idea about the unique role that Small Modular Reactor deployment could play in the future challenges of a global energy supply?

The Spark! Content, a Franco-British energy innovation challenge, is now open for entries. The two round contest is overseen by Energy industries and is sponsored by EDF, Rolls-Royce, Assystem and Atkins. The aim of the competition is to bring talented innovators closer to the energy industry by developing international and professional team working skills, as well as encouraging the brightest minds to collaborate.

Prizes include internships, scholarships and introductions to senior stakeholders amongst many other incentives yet to be announced.

Spark! is open to any current student or recent graduate studying at French or British universities and teams of up to 3 people may apply.

To enter, prepare a 500 word one pager on the subject of “Why SMR?” and submit by 16th December 2016.

Find out more about the Spark! Contest 2017 here, and how to participate in this year’s challenge.

Innovate 2016

The Global Spotlight on UK Innovation

Hosted by the Department for International Trade and Innovate UK, Innovate 2016 is the UK’s largest Innovation conference, exhibition and networking event. This year it is coming to Manchester to showcase some of the UK’s most exciting innovations.

The event is your chance to learn from a number of inspirational guest speakers, attend practical workshops and seminars, network with buyers, investors and fellow innovators whilst also discovering what sorts of government business support you can access.

The event will be held at the Manchester Central Convention Complex on the 2-3 November.

For more details and to purchase tickets visit the Innovate 2016 website.

The Environment Now (TEN) Upcoming Funding Opportunity

“The National Youth Agency in partnership with O2 Think Big are launching an exciting programme aimed at 17-25 year olds in the UK. The Environment Now will fund young people up to £10,000 to use digital technology to find innovative solutions to pressing environmental issues.

We are looking to fund young people with unique ideas to help the environment, such as improving energy efficiency, reducing waste, or recycling, and will offer mentoring, work experience and insight sessions with industry professionals to help bring their ideas to life.

Environmental issues are already presenting challenges to how we live, and we believe that digital technology can help create solutions and lead us to a greener, better world.  We believe that young people have the innovation, skills and passion to drive positive change, and we want you to get thinking about the environmental problems we all face, and how digital tech can help solve them.

The Environment Now (TEN) programme is managed by the National Youth Agency through the Our Bright Future programme.

The programme will be launching in November. For more information please contact: