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!


The smart way to map out your business model

The business model canvas — as opposed to the traditional, intricate business plan — helps budding businesses and established organisations alike. It allows you to conduct structured, tangible, and strategic conversations around new businesses or existing ones. Leading global companies like GE, Nestlé or Lego use the canvas to manage strategy or create new growth engines, while start-ups use it in their search for the right business model.

In fact, some insiders point out to the canvas as the key to Lego’s great turnaround story. Facing bankruptcy a few years ago, the company had to reinvent themselves and re-position their brand. The canvas allowed them to smartly map out the key challenges and helped come up with direct solutions, such as streamlining the manufacturing process and adapting the kits to the modern times.

The canvas’s main objective is to help companies move beyond product-centric thinking and towards business model thinking.
It is also increasingly popular in competitions, such as the upcoming 2017 Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards. (Keep an eye out on this blog to find out more soon!)

In summary, the canvas is incredibly useful because it lets you look at all nine building blocks of your business on one page. Here’s a sleek little video explaining it in more detail:

 

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.

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:
http://www.firstport.org.uk/programmes/launchme

Apply here:
http://www.firstport.org.uk/programmes/launchme/apply-now

Good luck!

 

 

Aberdeen: Scotland’s Start-Up City and Global Entrepreneurship Week ’15

This week has seen the publication of a study that declares Aberdeen as the best city in Scotland for start-up companies.

[Click here to read Aberdeen City Council’s press release]

What do you think about that! Personally, we agree wholeheartedly. ABVenture Zone came about thanks to funding from Aberdeen City Council, who also gave funding to Robert Gordon University and Elevator UK to set up their own incubation hubs. Now that we are all open for business, there certainly seems to be a flurry of enterprise related activity and interest in entrepreneurship. We’re mightily proud of our wee city and can’t wait to see what new businesses take off thanks to the support available here in the Granite City.

In other news, next month sees the enterprise and entrepreneurship activities turn up a notch with the arrival of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015. Our own Enterprise Thursday is during this activity-packed week and our friends at Elevator are also holding their annual Elevator Conference at the AECC on Friday 20th November. Make sure to add these dates to the diary, register for them online and we’ll see you there!

EuroBiotix at University StartUp World Cup Finals in Copenhagen

We at EuroBiotix, first tenants of ABVenture Zone Aberdeen, have just finished our week in Copenhagen taking part in the in Copenhagen taking part in the University Startup World Cup.

Eurobiotix world cup.jpeg

There was a fantastic buzz around the city and throughout the World Cup cohort. It was awesome being part of such a large-scale high profile competition, and to be around inspiring individuals from all over the world. There really were some fantastic teams with great ideas, and we did our best to network at every possible opportunity.

On our first day we met our fellow competitors and the staff team. Throughout the day we had a number of talks from successful entrepreneurs from which we learned a lot.

On Wednesday, we had the privilege of spending the day at Novo Nordisk’s (the biggest pharmaceutical company in Denmark) training centre. Over the course of the day, we had the chance to meet with staff and pitch our ideas to senior staff. We also had the pleasure of experiencing the famous buffet they put on for their staff at lunch.

On Thursday we pitched to a panel of judges in the ‘life science and med tech’ category. The pressure was on, as there were ten teams competing for three places in Fridays final. We kept cool and delivered a what we thought was a strong pitch. Afterwards, we were fairly sure that would be pitching again on Friday in the final.

Fridays finale was hosted at the Confederation of Danish Industry. We were ecstatic when our names were announced as category finalists, and we rushed to get some last minute preparation in before the next round of pitching.

eurobiotix pitch world cup

We delivered another strong pitch in front of a panel of ten judges and were then subjected to a 15 minute question session. During the Q&A, it became apparent that our not-for-profit and community interest intentions were not what the judges were looking for. Some of the venture capitalists in the panel also asked some really difficult questions.  Unfortunately, we didn’t win our category. On the bright side, the team that beat us ended up winning first prize, and had a very strong idea.

The whole week was a fantastic experience and opportunity for us at the EuroBiotix team! We would like to thank ABVenture zone for their support throughout our journey so far.

Written by James & Matthew