Nurturing Entrepreneurial Potential

Improving students, staff and recent graduates' self-reliance and employability through business enterprise skills development, helped by local business patrons and involving competitions, awards and prize money.

At the centre of the most buoyant and prosperous cities around the globe sounds a strong entrepreneurial heartbeat within a thriving business ecosystem. In some places this happens organically and in others the heart and rhythm is created - a destination within easy reach and a beacon for entrepreneurship. Dundee is undergoing its most significant transformation in a generation. The foundations are being laid for the future economic success of city and region. Enterprise, new business start-ups, and existing company scale-ups will play a critical role in the continued reinvention of the area.

University of Dundee in partnership with ElevatorUK.com aims to establish the city’s first Centre of Entrepreneurship in Dundee, dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs with everything that they will need on their business journey. The vision is to further develop and support an entrepreneurial and enterprising culture in Dundee positively contributing to the area’s economic health and to job creation.

To ensure the new Centre in Dundee is easily distinguishable around the world it aims to have a focus (not exclusive) on fast-tracking businesses located in the city from the creative industries, digital technology and life sciences sectors coupled with embedding a design-led approach – all areas that Dundee as a city is becoming increasingly renowned for‌

The University of Dundee's Centre of Entrepreneurship provides a focal point for any student, researcher, staff member or recent graduate (up to 24 months) to access expert support and advice to explore a new business idea or to learn the latest enterprising skills. In a unique approach the centre utilises a design-led approach throughout the activities it runs to inspire innovation, building on our global reputation in this field.

With the annual Venture competition with start-up funding awards, the £1.5k Enterprise Challenge, transferable skills training, masterclasses and access to some of the top business mentors available in the UK - there is something for everyone.

From early 2017 The Centre of Entrepreneurship will be based in a cutting-edge facility on campus in partnership with the Elevator UK business accelerator. The Centre forms a beacon of entrepreneurship for the city of Dundee, regularly hosting public events with high-profile speakers and partners.

1. Enterprising Skills

The Centre of Entrepreneurship is not only about starting a business. Firstly, an important part of our remit at the university is to embed the key enterprise skills and thinking that the world's top entrepreneurs are renowned for into our students, staff, and recent graduates.

Enterprise Challenge

Alongside our credit bearing enterprise modules within the curriculum we have an extra-curricular enterprising skills programme that will expose you to fundamental business knowledge delivered by experienced industry speakers. The workshops will allow you to develop sought-after skills that can be utilised for whatever stage your career is at. The Enterprise Challenge workshops run on Thursday evenings in the Dalhousie Building 2F14 during Semester 2 from 5-7pm in the Dalhousie Building.

On selected Fridays from 1-2pm in Semester 1 and 2 we will be bringing in a successful entrepreneur to talk a little bit about their journey and also to deliver a session on the cutting-edge area that they have become experts in:

  • The 21st Century Entrepreneur/Intrapreneur
  • Ideation using Design Thinking
  • Business Modelling
  • Agile Development/Project Management
  • Online Content Marketing (User Personas/Lead Generation)
  • Analytical-based Decision Making

By attending our events you will be providing yourself with a safe environment to dip you toe into the world of entrepreneurship, coming up with and trying out ideas, and being able to fail fast. This process will help you identify if being an entrepreneur might be for you and to take forward a viable idea to Stage 2.

2. Nurturing Entrepreneurship

Once you have a viable idea you will become a 'Supported Entrepreneur' and our team can work closely with you to nurture you through the following process:

  • Identifying and focusing on unique selling points
  • Customer/market validation
  • Establishing an iterative business plan
  • Development of a marketing plan
  • Building a team (co-founders, internships, advisory board)
  • Planning the development of the product/service
  • Bringing in expertise (feasibility studies, academic knowledge)
  • Establishing the business entity e.g. start-up or spin-out
  • Strategically protecting your IP
  • Pitching/applying for investment and grant funding
  • Launching the business and gaining traction

The Centre itself will be a thriving hub of entrepreneurship and an excellent place for you to hot-desk when developing your idea. One of the biggest advantages is that you will be able to surround yourself with other entrepreneurs to bounce your hypothesis' off of and to discuss the journeys they have taken with their own business.

As a supported entrepreneur you will also be provided with:

  • Help to enter the University of Dundee Venture competition
  • Access to the University of Dundee Mentor Network
  • Advice on how to apply for the Elevator UK accelerator programme
  • Assistance in the development of an investable business plan

3. Accelerating Success

In a unique partnership with Elevator UK, we are proud to be one of the few academic institutions in the world with a bespoke business accelerator hosted on campus at the Centre of Entrepreneurship.

Once you have embraced the essential enterprise skills, and developed your idea to a stage where it is ready to be sky-rocketed, you can then apply to one of the 3 yearly intakes of Elevator's accelerator programme.

The accelerator is designed to fast-track your business to investment and success by providing you with: free desk space alongside fellow entrepreneurs, a bespoke curriculum and access to all of the advice. Expertise and contacts you will require to take your business to the next level.

Please contact our team today to find out more:-

entrepreneurship@dundee.ac.uk

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