Term may have just started, but the programme of student enterprise activities has already begun. This year’s programme is fuller than any put together before, and we’re rather excited about it.
To those unfamiliar with what student enterprise is/means, it’s principally about inspiring and supporting student innovation. This can range from supporting a student who wants to start their own business to offering more general advice on idea formation and articulation. At whichever end of the spectrum you are, there’s something for you in this year’s programme.
At the time of writing, we’ve already enjoyed the most successful Spark course to date. Spark is our intensive, four-day entrepreneurial boot camp, and this year we had the pleasure of watching 42 students develop their ideas, learn from experts on subjects such as marketing and intellectual property, and pitch their final ideas to our ‘Dragons’ in a Dragons’ Den-style evening at Deloitte’s Bristol office. (You can read all about the week in our Student Enterprise blog.) We hope to carry on this momentum with a series of activities and events across the year, details of which are listed below.
- Our societies, Bristol Entrepreneurs, Bristol Social Enterprise, and Bristol Students in Free Enterprise (Bristol SIFE) have put together strong programmes of speaker and social events designed to promote student networking and business education.
- We’re running events specifically designed for postgraduates this term, entitled Postgraduate Introduction to Innovation and Enterprise and the Postgraduate Start-up. If you’re a postgraduate with a business idea already, Postgraduate Start-up is for you, and if you want to find out more about how to relate your research to business, Postgraduate Introduction to Innovation and Enterprise may be something to consider. Both courses are free to attend.
- We have three members of staff at Basecamp (based in the Merchant Venturers Building), comprising two Entrepreneurs in Residence and one Enterprise Consultant, who are there to support students in their enterprise endeavours. All are recent UoB graduates with a variety of business experience.
- Basecamp organises both Masterclasses and Surgeries to inspire and support students in their innovation. Masterclasses take place every Monday and may appeal to students running clubs, societies, their own businesses or those who simply want to find out more about what it means to be in business. Surgeries take place every Wednesday and provide free advice from business specialists on subjects ranging from book keeping to branding.
- You may have an idea already, but can you summarise it on the back of a coffeemat? Our annual Coffeemat Challenge is up and running: look out for mats and post boxes around campus. Prizes include a digital camera and Xbox Kinect.
- Our New Enterprise Competition encourages students (and staff) to really think about their business idea and write a comprehensive plan. The winners of this share spoils of £35,000.
So, a packed year ahead! For more information about student enterprise and this year’s activity schedule, see our Student Enterprise website, check out our University of Bristol Student Enterprise Facebook page or follow @uobenterprise on Twitter.
Dr Hannah Mossman, Relationship Development Officer