The six graduate enterprises, which range from a digital prototyping service for the fashion industry to a social enterprise making retro arcade games, are the latest businesses to join the University’s Launchpad FUEL programme.
The programme, which is now in its seventh year, offers a package of support of student, graduate and staff business, including dedicated office space at the University’s business incubator, Teesside Launchpad, expert mentoring and coaching and business workshops and networking opportunities.
At the end of an intensive seven-week programme, businesses are given the opportunity to pitch to funders for a share of graduate funding.
This year, the six businesses selected for grant funding were:
It feels like I'm part of a community of like-minded people and everyone is happy to help.
This approach has seen businesses founded by Teesside University students having some of the highest turnover in the country and the viability of its graduate enterprises ranking as the best in the region.*
Head of Enterprise at Teesside University, Steve Dogan, said: “We are delighted to welcome these six new businesses to the FUEL programme.
“With its mixture of funding, business accommodation and expert mentoring, FUEL is responsible for the ongoing success of some of the region’s most exciting and innovative businesses.
“I am sure that this latest cohort of FUEL businesses is destined for similar accomplishments and I look forward to working with them further.”
Zara King, the founder of Zara King Designs, said being accepted on the programme was one of the proudest days of her life. She plans to use the funding to manufacture a prototype of her invention, the EasyMode Reusable Bedpan, which offers improved toileting for bed bound patients in healthcare settings.
Zara added: “The FUEL programme is so much more than the funding. The things have learnt over the seven weeks have been worth their weight in gold.
“It feels like I'm part of a community of like-minded people and everyone is happy to help, there is no such thing as a stupid question on FUEL.
“I think for anyone who is considering FUEL in the future, they need to know that even if you might be nervous or don't have the confidence, just go for it.
“Everyone wants you to succeed and the level of support from the team is incredible.”
* HESA Intellectual property: Spin-off activities by HE provider 2014/15 to 2021/22 table, sourced from Higher Education - Business and Community Interaction survey data.