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Student and graduate start-ups gain national recognition

Published on: 3 July 2023

Newcastle University has been ranked first in the North based on student and graduate turnover, investment and active social enterprises.

The Higher Education Business and Community Interaction Survey (HEBCIS) data places Newcastle University fourth in the UK based on turnover and ninth in the UK based on graduate investment. In addition, HEBCIS, which is one of the longest running strand surveys in the sector and is overseen by HESA, ranks Newcastle University 10th in the country based on employment. 

Newcastle University campus - aerial

Turning business ideas into successful ventures

The University’s Careers Service START UP team supports current students and alumni within three years of graduation. Students and graduates benefit from advice and support including, confidential one-to-one coaching and tailored business guidance, skills development, equity-free grant funding, co-working space and other opportunities.

START UP has supported over 200 businesses with a total annual turnover of over £155 million. Together, they've raised over £19 million in investment and created over 1,140 jobs. Many have won national and global awards (HE-BCI Survey results 2021-22).

Louise Vincent, Head of Careers, Enterprise and Employability, Newcastle University, said: “We are incredibly proud of the entrepreneurial students and graduates from Newcastle University who are creating new businesses and making a difference to society and the economy regionally, nationally and across the globe. 

“Our strong performance in the survey, which places us fourth in the UK based on turnover, is recognition of the huge amount of work which has gone into this and celebrates the performance and ambition of our start-ups. 

“Our START UP team continue to coach a range of business founders, social entrepreneurs and independent professionals, who we are proud to see creating skilled jobs for themselves and others."

Rising Star award winner

Newcastle University PhD graduate, Andrew Jenkins, has been recognised with a Rising Star Award at this year’s Alumni Achievement Awards for the impact of his start-up Kinewell Energy.

Andrew’s business Kinewell Energy, which was founded while he was studying at Newcastle, is developing and commercialising innovative technologies to accelerate the transition to net-zero.

Recognised by Business Live as one of the ‘five most promising North East firms set for success in 2023’, Kinewell Energy is now a market-leader in developing cost-optimisation solutions for Offshore Wind and bespoke solutions using advanced mathematical and artificial intelligence techniques, with their software to optimise inter-array cable layouts of offshore wind farms being rolled out across the globe.

Andrew and his team have many active collaborations with Newcastle, Northumbria, Sunderland and Durham Universities to inspire and create opportunities for future generations, supporting the development of highly skilled graduates as well as graduate retention in the North East. At Newcastle, they have supported several Business School MBA projects, co-developed the Geospatial CDT ‘Challenge week’, and provided nine paid student internship opportunities over the last four years through the Careers Service.

On receiving the award, Andrew said: “Newcastle University has real prowess in developing talented people to do wonderful things and contribute to society including many household names, so to be recognised as the institution’s Rising Star in their 2023 Alumni Achievement Awards, it is an incredible honour.

“The success of Kinewell Energy is testament to our wonderful team, which also includes other Newcastle University graduates, and the array of business advice, support, and coaching that we have received which started with Newcastle University’s Careers Service START UP team. I’m proud to be part of an incredibly strong regional student-founder start-up community developing solutions to accelerate and reduce the cost of the transition to net-zero.”


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