Upcoming events!

30th May: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship workshop
Sir Duncan Rice Library
| 13:30-15:00

Do you have an idea for a new product or business opportunity but not sure how to proceed? Are you interested in learning some tools you can use to develop your entrepreneurial mindset? Would you like to meet others and possibly form a team?

Barry Middleton from Opportunity North East will give an introduction to the right mindset and some practical tools to get you started, followed by an opportunity to meet other likeminded individuals and find out more about forthcoming taster sessions and formal programs to come later in the year.

Barry hails from Aberdeen and is a former RGU graduate who left Aberdeen 20 years ago. Since then Barry has worked in a range of companies from Global players such as financial gurus Ernst & Young to AIM listed Pharmaceutical companies, VC backed life sciences companies and start-ups. More recently Barry has been delivering LifeSciences business accelerator programs across Scotland, supporting over 100 opportunities in the past 3 years. Barry also has a PhD and an Executive MBA from Nottingham University.

Register for free HERE: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking/5908/

1st June: Meet The Entrepreneurs
| ABVenture Zone, Macrobert Building, Room 830
| 13:00-14:00

The team at ABVenture Zone invites all PhD students at the university to check out our incubator space, grab a light bite to eat, and find out about how to get on a path towards success in entrepreneurship. We will give a short presentation on what’ve been up to so far, how we’ve benefitted and collaborated with postgrad students, and what the future has in store. You will also have the opportunity to network with some of our occupant entrepreneurs, some of whom recently got their PhDs and are now developing their bright ideas.

8th June: Marketing and Social Media workshop
| ABVenture Zone, Macrobert Building, Room 830
| 13:00-14:00

Are you keen to understand how to get more likes, followers, interactions and shares on your social media channels?


Then once you grow, how do you turn these fans into loyal customers?

These are the key questions the workshop will aim to address. We will be covering an overview of how to use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, in addition to giving you the chance to work on your brand positioning, target audience profiling and social media content strategy.

An interactive workshop for those who want learn more about building their business online, smart ways of marketing, and the benefits of using social media. The workshop will help you to understand how to create an effective social media presence and select which channels are best suited to your target market. We will look at some “social media fails” and success stories, and we’ll think about how to best identify trends and adapt to them.

The workshop will have an engaging, interactive format and will include a presentation by Graceann Robertson, the Marketing Director at a fast-growing SME, EC-OG.

Whether your business is already up and running, or you’re just searching for that entrepreneurial spark, this workshop is a great opportunity to delve into the fast-paced world of marketing and explore the best ways of interacting with your market. See you there!


Events, events!

We at ABVenture Zone believe that networking lies at the heart of a successful, growing business. It enables you to exchange ideas, gain insights and new perspectives and establish a web support. While the business world is highly competitive, there’s loads and loads of support, mentoring and advice available – especially if you’re a student entrepreneur.

We have a few events in store for you in February and we really recommend you check them out:

15th February, 14:00 // Marcus Thompson from the Aberdeen University Business School will be running a seminar on venture marketing here in ABVenture Zone, on the 8th floor of the Macrobert Building. The seminar is open to everyone and may be particularly useful for those who are at the branding stage and want to reach out to more customers. The focus of the seminar will be on how to put together a marketing strategy and marketing plan for your business.

22nd February, 14:00 // Anne Fraser, Royal Society of Edinburgh’s (RSE) Awards Manager, will host an information briefing on the RSE Enterprise Fellowship, for which applications are now open. It will also take place in ABVenture Zone and complimentary refreshments will be provided.
This session will explain the background and success of the Enterprise Fellowship Programme, outline the entrepreneurial support provided and provide information on the application process.

(Learn more about the RSE Enterprise Fellowship HERE and book your free ticket for this event HERE)

22nd February, 17:30 // If you want to see what the connection between penguins, hospitals & sausages could be, this MBA Connect seminar could be perfect for you. It will be all about business model innovation and a fantastic opportunity to learn about developing a successful business model in varying contexts. It’ll take place at the Sir Duncan Rice Library and complimentary refreshments will be provided. The seminar will enable you to be part of an ‘interactive safari’ and thought experiment, and will be a great evening to network, share experiences, and hear from an industry expert – Steve Harrison from Scottish Enterprise.
Book your spot HERE (it’s free!)

In March, we’ll have even more events for you, including a Converge Challenge applications drop-in, more MBA Connect seminars, and our flagship enterprise competitions which we absolutely can’t wait to announce. Watch this space, you’ll hear more from us soon!

Push yourself to the limits at the Elevator Challenge

Hello again!

Our friends over at Elevator have just launched the applications for this year’s Elevator Challenge, which will take place between the 16th and the 18th of June. This weekend residential will test your team building and leadership skills and developed through participation in physical and mental activities. You’ll be tasked with problem-solving and idea development – using your communication skills and initiative to motivate yourself and team members through demanding and unfamiliar situations.
The aim is to get out of your comfort zone – as you often will be in business.

Setting up and developing a start-up often involves hurdles which you’ve never jumped before. It is, in a way, a leap into the unknown and comfort-zone-stretching can certainly help you build confidence and resilience.

What’s more, this residential is completely FREE to participate in. It is funded entirely by Elevator, including transport from Aberdeen to the outdoor centre in Aberfoyle, Trossachs.

Are you ready for a weekend of raft-building, abseiling, orienteering and pushing your boundaries in a friendly, supportive environment of like-minded individuals? Are you looking forward to the extensive programme of pitching workshops and mentoring sessions to develop your business skills and ideas?
If so, don’t delay and give the Elevator Challenge a go. Apply HERE now.

The revolution will be digitised. Come to our workshop.

Calling our entrepreneurs, budding entrepreneurs, innovators, problem-solvers, digital geeks!
On Wednesday (30th November) we will be hosting the first in our series of themed workshops, and we are kicking off with an interactive workshop about all things digital.

The event will be split into two parts. The first part will feature a talk by Dr Ernesto Compatangelo, who will bring his expertise in software development and business innovation. The remaining three talks will be given by Aberdeen entrepreneurs who all operate in and around the digital sector. We will hear the business stories of Hamish Blythe (Twigd), Surakat Kudehinbu (E-LIT) and Chris Burnett (SURGE Aberdeen).

The second part of the workshop will be all about innovating. We will split into a few teams (or pairs) on separate tables.
We will start with brainstorming and looking at the pre-prepared ‘inspiration deck’ with recent digital start-ups. The teams will identify elements that they think are inspiring and innovative, and look for opportunities to transfer these insights to a new start-up idea.
After that, we will identify a selection of recent trends and look at how they impact specific markets. Each cross-section between a trend & market will trigger new business ideas or new problems to solve.

The event will conclude with each team presenting their findings and an informal discussion about problems, solutions and business ideas.

Hopefully you can come along so we can innovate together!

Link to the event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/938444442966464/

Mapping out the tea industry with different drivers
There will be no shortage of Post-its.

Nibbles and networking

Tomorrow (17/11) ABVenture Zone hosts an informal drop-in lunch session, which brings together enterprise support staff from various backgrounds, as well as some of our vibrant and exciting entrepreneur occupants.
It will take place between 12 and 2 and it will be a great opportunity to develop new connections, gain new information and find out about upcoming competitions and funding opportunities.

We hope you can come along to the 8th floor of Macrobert and take part in our vibrant idea-sharing event, along with lunch and panoramic views of the Granite City.

See you there!

Enterprise Campus feeling quite at home in ABVenture Zone
Enterprise Campus will be here to help. Now all we need is you.

LaunchMe: accelerator with an impact

LaunchMe, a Big Lottery Fund initiative, aims to expand the social investment market in Scotland.

Seven Scottish social enterprises, ranging from a community shop in the Western Isles to soccer training and health education for children, went through a rigorous selection process to join the unique £825,000 business accelerator programme delivered by social enterprise development agency Firstport.

These people-powered social enterprises help to drive real change within their communities. Firstport works with these inspiring enterprises over a long time frame to help them find and secure the right investor to rapidly scale up their social and economic impact.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Social enterprises do tremendous work to help boost skills, confidence and innovation amongst our entrepreneurial businesses.

“The Scottish Government recognises the critical role the third sector plays in addressing issues of inequality and the needs of disadvantaged communities, and the contribution that the sector makes to Scotland’s economy.   We also firmly believe in a values-based approach to business where diverse business models, including co-operatives and social enterprise, contribute to increased productivity and wellbeing.

“Since 2014 we have seen LaunchMe encourage and support ambitious early stage social enterprises to attract new investors who will help them rapidly scale and grow their social and economic input.”

The 2015 LaunchMe businesses received a total of £130,000 in funding, as follows: Sylvia Douglas, MsMissMrs, Glasgow (£20,000); Josee Scott, Freedom Unlimited, Edinburgh (£20,000); Josh Littlejohn, Social Bite, Edinburgh/Glasgow (£20,000); Rachel DuBois, Hostel Hub, Alyth, Perthshire (£18,000); Dominic McNally, Future Soccer Stars, Stirling (£17,500); Reuben Chesters, Locavore, Glasgow (£17,500); Sarah MacLean, Buth Bharraigh, Barra (£17,000). And for many, this is only the beginning.
Firstport’s expertise in social enterprise development, as well as the exposure opportunities from LaunchMe pave the way for further investment.

Social enterprises based in remote locations, such as the Isle of Barra, often find it difficult to gain access to support, training and funding.
Sarah MacLean, director of Buth Bharraigh, said: “Getting onto LaunchMe will help us achieve our ambition by giving us access to excellent business and peer support”

“This opportunity will give us the support and confidence to move forward with our expansion plans. We want to provide our island with opportunities: a local produce hub that will inspire and have a positive effect on island sustainability.”

LaunchMe is now open for new applications and the deadline to apply is November the 28th. If you are an ambitious, early-stage social enterprise and you want to achieve scale and increase your impact, why not take a chance and apply?
It is the only programme of its kind in Scotland and has already helped dozens of social enterprises drive change in their communities. The programme’s wealth of expertise and access to funding can be the bridge between a great idea and a real success.

Find out more about LaunchMe and the application process:

Apply here:

Good luck!



Enterprise Campus hosts first event in ABVenture Zone

ABVenture Zone had it’s very first event post-launch last week. Enterprise Campus North hub, with help from colleagues from the East hub, hosted a two day business bootcamp for students who had business ideas they wanted to develop. The event was open to students from all of the North hub’s five partner universities and the range of ideas the students brought with them was incredible. Feedback has been very positive and we can’t wait to start planning for the next bootcamp! Enterprise Campus will be hosting many more events in this excellent space over the coming months so watch this space…

Lucy from Enterprise Campus East hub talking about competition and drivers
Lucy from Enterprise Campus East hub talking about competition and drivers
Mapping out the tea industry with different drivers
Mapping out the tea industry with different drivers
Enterprise Campus feeling quite at home in ABVenture Zone
Enterprise Campus feeling quite at home in ABVenture Zone