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Teesside University’s Global Entrepreneurship Week is crowned by a Royal award

A week of events at Teesside University to stimulate the start-up culture in the Tees Valley has attracted entrepreneurs and business leaders from across Europe.

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Jordan Schlipf leads a workshop as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week at Teesside University.

Jordan Schlipf leads a workshop as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week at Teesside University.


And the week was crowned with the announcement that the University had won the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its outstanding work in creating entrepreneurship and opportunity in the local economy, particularly through DigitalCity start-ups.

Scores of entrepreneurs and business founders took part in Global Entrepreneurship Week at Teesside University.

The week was run for the University by Searchcamp, the Teesside-based business accelerator founded in partnership with the University this Summer.

The programme of activities was aimed at new and aspiring entrepreneurs and featured a ‘lean start-up’ programme with world class speakers.

Bobby Paterson, the Searchcamp programme director, said: 'It’s been an awesome week with some absolutely amazing business ideas.

'The energy levels have been fantastic and it’s been fascinating to see the ideas develop.

'There’s been a real mixture of cultures and backgrounds. People have come from as far away as Hungary to participate and we’ve also had people from Holland, Germany, Manchester and London.

'The aim of these events was to create an environment that was about learning and collaborating and we’ve definitely succeeded in that.'

The programme began with Evolv Weekend, an immersive structured learning experience for start-up companies.

Eight teams used lean start-up principles to develop their business ideas and explore ways of making their products and ideas commercially viable.

Julie Robertson, who set up Memory Lane Multimedia to provide tailored stimuli for dementia sufferers with the help of a DigitalCity Fellowship, took part in Evolv Weekend.

She said: 'It was great to be with people with other skill sets – it was a real hot-house of ideas.

'It made me think about solutions to the problems I faced and also made me ask the right questions with regard to my market research.

'It was tremendously useful and really helped change my perception of how to build a business model.'

At the conclusion of the weekend, FIRST, a networking events company for graduates and entrepreneurs run by Charlotte Windebank, was crowned the winner in recognition of the progress it had made over the 48 hour event.

As a prize, FIRST will now receive ongoing mentoring from crowdfunding platform, Growthfunders.

On Monday, the University hosted Leancamp, a high-energy day which has been run in several major European and American cities, which focused on learning and sharing different approaches to getting products to market.

The day was organised along an ‘unconference’ theme with no set agenda. Instead participants decided what it was they wanted to hear and were also encouraged to present and run workshops themselves.

Leon Pals, the chairman of Rotterdam-based not-for-profit company the Startup Foundation, came to Teesside University to deliver workshops as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

He said: 'With so many start-ups, the founder is the focus, but lean start-up follows the method where the customer is the focus, and that can really help achieve growth.

'I’ve really enjoyed visiting Teesside. It’s been a very vibrant event with some excellent entrepreneurial ideas.'

Jordan Schlipf, a partner in Foundercentric, which helps founders make quicker progress using Lean Startup and business model innovation techniques, also helped deliver workshops and breakout sessions.

'We’re passionate about giving founders the skills and confidence to increase their chances of success,' he said.

'These events have been about breaking down barriers so that everyone can share their opinions and help solve the problems that start-ups face.'

Other activities for Global Entrepreneurship Week included tailored workshops for academic staff and researchers, featuring high-profile experts in entrepreneurship.

There was also a day of activities for students who were interested in setting up their own business.

Laura Woods, Director of Academic Enterprise at Teesside University, said: 'This week was designed to be thought-provoking and different, and to help budding entrepreneurs ramp up their plans. What we got from everyone involved was some really exciting ideas and fresh thinking, and judging from the responses we’ve had, it has really stimulated people to take the next steps to start-up.

'To end the week with the announcement that the University’s work with DigitalCity and entrepreneurship had won the Queen’s Anniversary Award really was the crowning glory.'

This project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), managed by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The ERDF Competitiveness Programme 2007-2013 is bringing over £300m into the North East to support innovation, enterprise and business support across the region.

25 November 2013

In the News

Teesside University's Global Entrepreneurship Week is crowned by a Royal award
B Daily (Web), 25/11/2013
A week of events at Teesside University to stimulate the start-up culture in the Tees Valley has attracted entrepreneurs and business leaders from across Europe.

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