Queen Mary entrepreneurs supported by £50,000 Santander Universities fund
Queen Mary University of London has been awarded a grant of £50,000 as part of Santander Universities Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund.
Queen Mary will use the money to improve and grow 'InQUBEate', the university’s start-up incubator programme, which provides seed funding, mentoring and training for students to test and develop business ideas.
By providing an incubator workspace, the programme offers an essential aspect of support to entrepreneurs so that they can develop their teams, recruit new employees, and have a meeting space with clients in a respected location.
The networking opportunities with other members will also form an essential part of the benefit this provides. Additionally, participants in the InQUBEate programme will have access to mentors through the workspace, and will receive regular visits from the Queen Mary enterprise team who will provide additional guidance and support.
Professor Peter McOwan, Vice Principal (Public Engagement and Student Enterprise), said: “Our student population is a source of innovative business ideas, but in order to bring these ideas to fruition it is vital that we work with students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and mindsets. This new funding from Santander will help us develop support for high potential businesses and provide dedicated workspace, as well as expert mentors for our budding entrepreneurs.”
Sometimes you just need a little push to make magic happen
Olga Kravchenko, Queen Mary BA Drama graduate, took part in InQUBEate from January to March 2018 to develop her virtual reality company ‘Musemio’.
Musemio’s vision is to provide quality, accessible cultural education for all children through virtual reality. This edtech platform provides a gamified learning journey for children between the ages of 7 to 12 by engaging with arts and cultural content supported by physical museum collections.
Ms Kravchenko said: “The progress we have made because of this programme - from February until March - was very impressive. Starting from huge re-branding, website development and finishing with potentially securing a museum partner to start building the credibility. We have achieved 700 likes on our Facebook page after the digital marketing session, therefore now I can show and not only tell that idea has some interest from the target market.”
At the end of the programme, Ms Kravchenko applied for financial support and received £6,000 in grant funding to build the product and conduct in-depth research with children to prepare for a launch this August. She added: “Sometimes you just need a little push and I am thankful to InQUBEate programme for being my magic.”
The Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund
The Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund is designed to support universities in delivering large-scale projects benefiting over 5,000 people directly and driving economic benefits across the UK.
Queen Mary is one of 15 institutions across the UK to receive a grant from the fund, which was launched to celebrate Santander Universities’ 10th anniversary in the UK.
Matt Hutnell, Director at Santander Universities, said: “The Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Fund was created to enable universities across the UK to develop ambitious projects that deliver real economic, social and employment benefits. We are delighted to award this grant to Queen Mary University of London, and we’re very excited to see its economic impact across the UK.”
- Applications are now open to continuing Queen Mary students to apply for the 2018-19 intake of InQUBEate; so if you have an idea you’d like to explore further; or would like to help another student to realise their own entrepreneurial idea,apply here.
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