‘Runway’ is a new student and graduate start-up accelerator at the University of Bristol which aims to turn fledgling ideas into high growth businesses.
The accelerator, launched with a £750,000 investment, gives students and recent graduates access to co-working space, mentoring and funding. All of the Centre’s teaching staff are entrepreneurs who can help with everything from patenting ideas to connections with funding teams.
Runway also offers: private meeting rooms, breakout space and professional presentation venues, access to student consultants and interns, designers and prototyping facilities, and financial support from the new ‘Jim and Peggy Wilkinson Innovation Fund’.
Tom Ellson, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship said: “Without donations from supporters like the Jim and Peggy Wilkinson Foundation we would not be making the step change we can announce today.”
Mark Neild, Programme Director for Runway, said: “Runway is where student start-ups take off and we’re excited to see it become an inspiring space full of energetic young entrepreneurs.
“All of our staff have real-world business experience so we can help with the nuts and bolts of founding a venture, but also the psychological stuff: dealing with imposter syndrome, staying disciplined, that sort of thing.”
VIVE has been named one of the most exciting new businesses in the South-West region after being shortlisted as part of a brand new awards programme.
The StartUp Awards National Series has been launched to recognise the booming startup scene across the UK which has accelerated since the pandemic began. In 2020, when most of the world was shutting down, more than 400,000 startups were set up in Britain, with similar increases seen in other European countries.
There was stiff competition with over 2,500 applications received in response to the Startup Awards National Series’ first-ever call for entries. Supported nationally by BT, EY, Dell & Intel, the programme will celebrate the achievements of the amazing individuals across the UK who have turned an idea into an opportunity and taken the risk to launch a new product or service.
Co-founded by the team behind the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, the new series follows the success of the Wales StartUp Awards, after organisers recognised the exceptional potential in the startup scene across the other British regions.
Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, the creator of the StartUp Awards National Series, said: “New firms are important for generating economic prosperity, employment opportunities and innovation. Since 2016, the Wales StartUp Awards have celebrated this amazing annual contribution to our economy by entrepreneurs and the impact they have on communities across the nation.
“Given the sheer volume of phenomenal startups we’ve heard from since then, as well as the huge post-pandemic shift in people’s desires to take their career in a new direction and set up a business against the odds, we felt it was the right time to take the programme nationwide. We’ve been blown away by the standard of entries in this first year and truly look forward to crowning the winners in June.”