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University of Hull rebrands enterprise centre as future entrepreneurs win start-up grants

A competition and grant scheme were launched by the University of Hull’s Start-Up Studios to support and provide funding for students who have innovative ideas in the world of business.

Following a rebrand and renaming of the enterprise centre – now Start-Up Studios – students have been in with the chance of securing hundreds of pounds through the Big Ideas Competition and Start-Up Grants.

The Big Ideas Competition has seen six winners, from students focusing on AI-based consultancy to podcasting dreams. The winners were decided by creating six categories which aimed to involve students from all faculties, encouraging them to generate innovative ideas.

The categories included: Enterprising Twist, Digital and Tech, Creative and Cultural, Sustainability and Environmental Impact, Commercial Opportunity, and Social Change/Community Engagement.

The Start-Up Grants have now been finalised as well, with four students winning between £250 to £1000. These grants were specifically tailored to students who are contemplating or have recently initiated a business, with the money helping them to establish or expand their ventures.

Miriam Joyce, who owns a clothing brand called 17twelve that aims to support local Hull artists, is using the grant to create tangible, market-ready products.

Gosia Buzzanca is another winner, who has a freelance writing business focusing on short fiction and non-fiction writing. The grant will be used for start-up costs.

Michael Mgbame also won a Start-Up Grant with his business Hankali Intel. The money will go towards transforming the entrepreneur’s data analytics company at a crucial stage in their career.

Subhash Chatterjee was the fourth winner. They’re using the grant to create better customer reporting and client dashboards for their digital agency.

With the new Start-Up Studios up and running, the space is home to an incubation office, hot desking opportunities, virtual address capabilities and a meeting room. Going forward, there will also be more competitions, grants, workshops, networking events and one-to-one mentoring for business-minded students. The Big Ideas Competition and Start-Up Grants will return each academic year.

Start-Up and Incubation Manager, Mike Thompson, said: “We had a fantastic response to this year’s Big Ideas Competition.

There are going to be some really interesting start-up ideas that we believe will be born out of this fund and that’s why we back the competition every year.

Mike Thompson

“There are going to be some really interesting start-up ideas that we believe will be born out of this fund and that’s why we back the competition every year.

“Both grants are great starting points for funding student start-ups and along with the financial reward, there is also a link into Start-Up Studios on campus that offers business advice and guidance, mentoring, networking opportunities and a link into a supportive business community with like-minded individuals that will be on a similar path on their journey.”

Visit the Instagram page to learn more about Start-Up Studios.

Winners of the Big Ideas Competition 2023 include:

Enterprising Twist – Liz Shirra

Digital and Tech – William Battersby

Creative and Cultural – Ajumoke Nwaeze

Sustainability and Environmental Impact – David Oriazowan and William Forbes

Commercial Opportunity – Casmir Sunny Charles

Social Change/Community Engagement – Jefferson Asare

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