Press Office


Graduate innovators take business start-ups to the next level


Budding entrepreneurs from Newcastle University are one step closer to turning their big ideas into successful ventures thanks to a new programme helping them commercialise their innovations.  

On 1 September, the University will be launching its Founderships programme offering recent graduates advice, support and funding to help them commercialise their research. Graduates joining Founderships will receive funding of up to £10,000 and a dedicated workspace at the University for six months to work on their projects.  
A key focus area of Founderships is providing guidance and advice on how graduates can make best use of their Intellectual Property (IP) to nurture and launch their business ideas.  
Dr James Callaghan, Director of Research and Enterprise Services at Newcastle University, said: “At Newcastle University we have been working with the North East Local Economic Partnership to help support innovation in the region to create new businesses. An important element of this is encouraging graduates to commercialise their research and our role as a University is to ensure that IP arising from our research and the work of our students is given the best possible opportunity to be exploited. 
“We actively encourage our students to think about using their IP as the basis on which to build a business and we have a range of support to help them do this.”

Support for entrepreneurs 

The Founderships initiative is the latest addition to Newcastle University’s Rise Up scheme, set up by the Careers Service to support student and graduate entrepreneurs and which is leading to a greater number of Newcastle University students choosing to stay in the North East after graduating. 
Gareth Trainer, Assistant Director of Newcastle University Careers Service and the head of Rise Up initiative, said: “We supported 33 new business start-ups in the last year, employing 43 people. Some 25 of these businesses are now based in the North East. In addition, 46% of our 2012/13 graduates who were in employment six months after graduating were employed in the region. 
“We are a significant ‘net importer’ of talent to the region and we want to turn that talent into new businesses that create new jobs with the help of the services we offer.”

Paid internships  

In addition to supporting business start-ups, Newcastle University Careers Service organises a paid internship scheme for graduates aiming to place 220 graduates with locally-based SMEs. The programme, called Graduate Apprentices, has seen 167 recent graduates start a three-month paid internship so far this year. According to data from the University, these internships usually result in 92% of the graduates getting longer term jobs.
Following the launch of Founderships, Newcastle University will be hosting the International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference between September 3 and 5 to explore how entrepreneurship is making a difference in the classroom, across institutions and in society. 
Visit Foundership’s website for more information. 

Photo:  Support from Rise Up helped Newcastle University graduates Roland Glancy and Simon Barker (pictured) bring their invention to commercial success. Their product, called Radfan, is a device attached to household radiators that helps to spread heat more evenly around the room. 

published on: 29 August 2014