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New funding announced to support business enterprise

Posted on 19 April 2021

Students and academics are being invited to apply for a new round of enterprise funding to help turn business ideas into reality.

Venture One funded Harry Baldwin's project.

A further £10,000 worth of funding through the York Venture One initiative will open on April 19th to support business ideas from concept through to early stage investment.

This is the third round of funding from the project which was set up just as the Covid-19 pandemic struck.

Despite the impact of Covid-19, the University of York’s Enterprise Department shortlisted and heard pitches from several potential business ideas from students, alumni and staff.

Talent

Enterprise officer, Chris Hiscocks said: “The first round launched in April 2020 just as the pandemic hit. We quickly adapted to continue online and have since completed a second round in November. We are now planning to maintain this twice yearly schedule to capture as much talent as possible from our students, staff and alumni around the world. Now more than ever enterprise is vital to help re-start our economy in the wake of the pandemic.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, Professor Kiran Trehan said: “Entrepreneurial ambition, research and innovation is at the heart of the University’s mission to play a role in both the region and the country’s recovery.”

“Venture One is a great example of how the University recognises the value of enterprise.”

 Venture One has already supported four projects including most recently, a system for tracking reliability of train services led by student Harry Baldwin from the Department of Politics.

Harry said: “The Venture One Fund has been a wonderful opportunity. It has given me capital, support and expertise to really help me grow my business and to focus on a long-term strategy to ensure that the business succeeds.  I can't thank Chris and the team enough for their expertise and support over the last few months.”

Pandemic

Venture One also backed a software development company, Elbowspace, which focuses on data analysis in the education sector. In response to the pandemic they switched their business model to develop bespoke Fresher’s platforms that enabled student unions to engage with their members in new ways.

Aidan Laycock, the Director of Corporate & Information Services who is leading on the project said: “As a result of the Investment, we have been able to employ staff to focus on developing our MVP and to accelerate the development. It has also enabled us to dedicate time to core business development and to continue developing our working partnerships and to start building new ones to ensure the success of the business for the future.”

The third round of Venture One funding is open to University of York students, academics and recent alumni.

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