An Interview with Dr Liz Rattray

Our brand new mascot (still yet to be officially named) sent some questions to Dr Liz Rattray from the University of Aberdeen’s Research and Innovation Department to find out a little bit more about ABVenture Zone.

  1. Tell us a bit more about the purpose of the ABVenture Zone and how it’s come about?

The ABVenture Zone has been set up to support start up businesses and encourage entrepreneurs to develop new products and services. Using design ideas, it is hoped that the Zone will be an  inspiring place for students, staff, alumni and local start-up companies to plan and develop their business ideas. It also provides a focus within the University of Aberdeen for events, teaching and training in entrepreneurship.  It came about as part of a wider initiative – the Accelerate Aberdeen programme, funded through Aberdeen City Council under the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport Superconnected Cities initiative.

  1. What is your role in relation to ABVenture Zone?

I have been the overall nominated project lead for the University as supporting start ups and spin-outs is one of the roles for Research Innovation.  The day to day project management is primarily down to Ian Garioch from our IT Services department, with significant input from my colleague Ann Lewendon  and the Enterprise Campus team in Aberdeen.

  1. Which piece of kit are you most excited about and why?

I have to say, I am looking forward to trying out the 3D printers, and seeing how the tenants might prototype some of their ideas.

  1. What would you like to see come out of the project?

I would like to see a vibrant and entrepreneurial culture of creativity which encourages students and researchers to take that next step.  I’d like to see the Zone being the place on campus.

  1. What would your best piece of advice be to those wanting to start their own business?

Quoting Andy – our interior designer “If at first you don’t succeed, call it version 1.0”


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