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Inspire innovation and entrepreneurship

26% of students

plan to or already have started a business

33% of students

turn their businesses in to a career

44,000 people

across the UK are employed by student startups

We want to harness the energy of the next generation of innovators.

We are developing the spaces, skills and support for talented entrepreneurs. 

With a global need for research-led technology to improve healthcare, resilience to climate change and the availability of food and shelter, now is the time for forward thinking and innovation. York students are given the necessary support to develop and test business concepts, and are offered practical knowledge and skills to help them launch their new business start-ups.

We will enable even more students, recent graduates, academics and researchers to try, to risk, to fail, and to succeed. They will grow in confidence and inspire greater numbers of new business and social enterprises to be created in York, for the wider world. 

"It's important to inspire the next generation to bring new ideas, to really test current thinking and really drive the agenda enabling our students to have a positive impact and legacy on society."
Tom Banham, Director of Employability and Careers

Tom Banham, Director of Employability and Careers

There are so many opportunities here, from funding to mentorship. If you have an idea, you can pursue it.

Phil Daneshyar, Alum and Entrepreneur

Unlimited entrepreneurs

Joni and Fynn began their venture into the world of business through the Digital Leaders Programme in 2017/18, whilst studying for their final year.  From meetings with industry experts, networking sessions and business support and guidance from our Careers office, Joni and Fynn became business partners and developed their idea to begin a games company: Mujo Games, and put together a business plan which won them a place on the Summer Accelerator programme.

The pair set to work developing their company, Mujo games, with specific aims to create a prototype for their game, form connections with potential sources of investment, and to make their company an official legal entity.

Mujo Games

The Innovator@York summer accelerator programme was fantastic for our team. It gave us a safe testbed to learn the basics of developing a product and making it commercially viable, and we got to meet a great network of others starting their business too.

Fynn Levy, Mujo Games  

Mujo Games showcased their prototype for Yellow Rock Road in September at EGX, where they gained the interest of a number of investors. They went on to enter and win Transfuzer 2018, succeeding over 17 other graduate teams and securing a prize of £25,000 with which to develop their video game.

Joni and Fynn are now looking to their third aim: registering their company as an official legal entity. They  accredit a great deal of their success to the opportunities given to them by the Digital Leaders programme and Summer Accelerator scheme.

How can I help?

  • A gift of £2,300 will equip a student entrepreneur to take an idea to market through the Innovator@York programme.
  • A gift of £8,150 will support an entrepreneur taking a year out from their undergraduate studies to start and run their business.
  • £70,000 will expand York's Enterprise Fellowships programme, enabling academics, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students to turn their business idea into reality.

To find out more and support this area, please contact Paul Tyack (paul.tyack@york.ac.uk) Associate Director and Head of Corporate and Foundation Philanthropy.