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Success for University entrepreneurs at Start-up Saturday

News | Posted on Tuesday 21 March 2023

Entrepreneurs from the University of York are celebrating after receiving 3 awards at the recent Start-up Saturday event

The Enterprise Nation Start-up Saturday event took place on Saturday 11th March at the Guildhall in York, which was designed to support local entrepreneurs to set up and grow their businesses. 

We are delighted to report that three of the 10 winners of £1000 businesses were entrepreneurs supported by the University Enterprise team over the last year via a range of initiatives.

The three entrepreneurs were awarded grants of £1000 to kick-start their business, as part of a funding competition backed by the York-based youth enterprise charity the Enterprise Trust.

All three entrepreneurs have been supported through a 10 week long Creative and Cultural Enterprise programme which took place at the Guildhall last Autumn and supported early-stage entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and prepare their pitches for investment. 

Course lead Heather Niven explains “Having the opportunity to work with University of York students to support their enterprise skills development has been massively rewarding. To see how well they are now applying those skills and winning awards is testament to their hard work and commitment. I am hugely proud of what they have achieved.”

Award recipients Martin Sabucha and Olive Kitteredge are tenants of the Universities Phase One Incubator. The Phase One Incubator Programme is an entrepreneurial start up programme supporting digital, creative, tech and science innovators, students and University spinouts to turn their ideas into sustainable businesses.

Developed in collaboration with partners from across the region, members gain access to a practical support programme of advice, workshops and one-to-one mentoring from  specially selected partner organisations who share their expertise, knowledge and skills to accelerate growth.

Olive is also on the University’s Year in Enterprise Programme, which enables students to gain academic credit for their work developing a new business, with funding and coaching to support their development.

Find out more about our successful entrepreneurs….

Joly Black is a co-founder of Four Wheel Drive, a new theatre company producing 'off-road' theatrical experiences in the non-traditional theatrical spaces of York. Joly, currently studying at the University of York, is passionate about pushing the boundaries of possibility within theatre and has free-lanced on open-air productions at Kew Gardens. Four Wheel Drive Theatre are developing IMMERSE, which aims to create a non-linear narrative combining the heritage, history and political gravitas, this will be performed in the council chambers at the York Guildhall this Year. This form of audience-led narrative gives the viewer agency in the outcome of the play.

Joly says “Meeting Heather and the other entrepreneurs as part of the C&C Enterprise programme last year was hugely helpful to uncover some of the brilliant innovative work coming out of the University and York as a city, particularly in the development of XR and digital storytelling. The creation of Four Wheel Drive was inspired by this and a way to make my mark in the creative landscape of this city.”

Olive Kitteridge from Real Time Stories delivers narrative-driven digital experiences that engage with users, with inclusive technology for all. Olive uses immersive technologies to translate data and insights into interactive and Immersive experiences for anyone to participate in. She has a particular interest in climate change and sustainability and would love to find an academic partner to work with on her next project!

Olive says "The University has provided me with support networks and mentoring that has helped me understand how to develop my entrepreneurial. Ideas. The experiences I've undertaken thus far have taught me how to market myself as a developer”

Martin Sabucha from StagStrat, delivers cutting edge algorithmic trading solutions for investors, reducing their risk of failure for early-stage and inexperienced investors. Martin’s strategies use AI and machine learning to accelerate effectiveness and minimise risk to the end user.

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