Ignition Funding Opportunity 2018-19
We are pleased to announce the launch of our OPEN FUNDING CALL for the Ignition Awards aiming to inspire and further build on the spirit of enterprise and innovation across the campus. By supporting new opportunities, we aim to bring into reality the ideas of academics and support staff to help maximise their potential for ‘real world’ use or societal benefit.
- Are you currently working at The University of Manchester?
- Is your idea an innovative solution to a commercial, societal, or environmental problem with the potential to become a sustainable business?
- Do you feel inspired and motivated to create something exciting and feed your curiosity about entrepreneurship and start-ups?
Husband and wife team Russell and Catherine Miller are hoping to change the way children play freely with the launch of playscapes company Sleeping Lions Adventures.
Through the creation of temporary destinations (playscapes) Sleeping Lions Adventures allows children to take charge of the way they play while giving parents peace of mind.
The pair have received significant funds from both an angel investor and The University of Manchester’s Innovation Company, UMI3 Ltd, through the UMIP Innovation Optimiser Programme as they bid to grow their offering.
Co-founders Russell and Catherine, believe children are turning to i-pads for entertainment rather than playing alongside other youngsters in immersive environments that bolster creativity and sociability.
He said: “Our playscapes are like mini theatre sets and are a starting point to an adventure. Our latest indoor playscape is Pirates and Sea Monsters – a giant octopus, shipwreck that children can play in – that was recently hired for a wedding in Cheshire.
“The playscapes encourage children’s curiosity, playfulness and sociability while allowing children’s families to have fun elsewhere – just like they did at the wedding.”
Russell, 45, who works at The University of Manchester, and Catherine, founded the idea after having two children of their own.
“Our children are both under the age of four,” said Russell. “Two years ago Catherine and I talked about how we played in fields, dens and in the street when we were younger.
“Sadly, children don’t tend to play like that anymore. There’s a restricted nature to play now and more and more children are using i-pads which we feel is detrimental, particularly when it comes to social interaction.
“Following lots of research we realised that we could create something that could make play possible almost anywhere and that’s what Sleeping Lions Adventures is.”
One of the company’s aims is to make it easier for children to attend weddings. The other is creating mini immersive experiences for use in cafes, car showrooms and other retail environments.
“The average transaction time to buy a car is three hours,” said Russell, “so we are talking to dealerships about the potential of setting up playscapes so parents can focus on the car they might want while children play freely but with a sense of creativity too.
“With weddings, it can often be a case of children not being invited, which can alienate some family members. We are planning to change that.”
He added: “It’s also important to thank UMIP’s Innovation Optimiser team for helping us shape our business idea – they’ve been incredibly supportive.”
Kate Park, Director of Kate Park Events, worked alongside Sleeping Lions Adventures during the recent wedding in Cheshire.
She said: “Inviting children to weddings has just been made a whole lot more fun with Sleeping Lions Adventures. Their playscape made a huge and positive impact on the wedding party. It looked great in the venue and importantly it kept all the children entertained – leaving their parents able to enjoy the celebration.
“Children used to find weddings long and dull – not anymore.”
Over 100 entrepreneurs, colleagues from The University of Manchester and wider support partners gathered at the Showcase to hear how the UMIP Innovation Optimiser (IO) has supported and nurtured new businesses coming out of the University.
2018 sees another eight IO supported University of Manchester Start-Ups begin their journey including- Dataviewer Ltd, Sleeping Lions Adventures Ltd, The Pentone Family Ltd, Neurolytics Ltd, IMPACT CIC, Macawly Ltd, Third Floor Systems Ltd and PABBS Ltd. This brings the total to have graduated through the UMIP Innovation Optimiser programme to over 20 within three years.
Innovation Optimiser Showcase 2018
IO Director, Tony Walker revealed that over £265,000 worth of support and awards have been provided by the IO in less than three years while 164 entrepreneurs from across The University of Manchester campus have engaged in the programme.
Professor Luke Georghiou, Deputy President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at The University of Manchester, emphasised the importance of supporting staff, academics and research students who may have an idea for a commercial start-up or social enterprise.
Speaking after IO Showcase –Tony said: “IO was launched just over two-and-a-half years ago and is proving to be a huge success boosting the Manchester start-up scene”
“It provides a vibrant and supportive environment for individuals or teams with an idea, innovation or venture in which they are empowered to develop and build their business.”
He added: “The IO Showcase 2018 very much highlighted some of the fantastic businesses and innovations being developed by staff, academics and research students at The University of Manchester.
“It’s now about IO going from strength to strength and building on the partnerships we have created including with Business Growth Hub, dwf, Manchester Enterprise Centre, TiE Global and many more, and continuing to engage with active entrepreneurs across the campus who we may be able to support through our Ignition, Roadmap, Momentum and Spotlight programmes.”
Dr Laura Etchells, UMIP Enterprise Development Manager said: “We were delighted to showcase a range of new and established entrepreneurs today including ESOL Stepping Stones, Bundlee Ltd and UrbanChain Ltd, all eager to inspire and motivate tomorrow’s innovators.”
IO, which provides support for aspiring entrepreneurs wishing to develop start-up businesses, social ventures and research student enterprises, through educational resources and agile mentoring, was developed by UMIP to complement its renowned Intellectual Property (IP) commercialisation activity.
Since its inception IO has held 62 events and engaged with more than 1,300 people in outreach activities across the University campus.
Ellie Buckley, UMIP Enterprise Development Executive and event organiser said: “Our second Showcase was attended by more than 100 people and the feedback has been incredible.
“This event is a fantastic opportunity for our entrepreneurs to share their stories, connect across campus and network with the wider enterprise community in Greater Manchester. We’re looking forward to the next 12 months at IO.”
The IO Showcase 2018 was held on Thursday 26th July at The University of Manchester Innovation Centre on Grafton Street.
To find out more, contact one of the Innovation Optimiser team:
Ellie Buckley, Enterprise Development Executive firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 606 7265
Laura Etchells, Enterprise Development Manager email@example.com or 0161 606 7264
Tony Walker, Director of Innovation Optimiser, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0161 603 7780
We are pleased to announce the relaunch of the UMIP Ignition Awards aiming to inspire and further build on the spirit of enterprise and innovation across the campus. By supporting new opportunities, we aim to bring into reality the ideas of academics, support staff and research students and help to maximise their potential for ‘real world’ use or societal benefit.
- Are you currently working or studying at The University of Manchester or a recent graduate (within 2 years)?
- Is your idea likely to be an entrepreneurial or innovative solution to a commercial, societal, or environmental problem?
- Do you feel inspired and motivated to control your own destiny and want to feed your curiosity about entrepreneurship and start-ups?
Funding of up to £2,000 is available, for individuals to test or grow their entrepreneurial ideas. This can include finding out if an idea is viable, learning more about what is needed to develop the concept and trying the project on a small scale, right through to more robust road testing of the idea.
Feedback and one to one provision will be provided to support your applications.
This funding opportunity provided by UMIP is open to all staff, research students (inc. DBA, MBA) and recent graduates (graduated within the last 2 years) at The University of Manchester.
The first call closes on Friday 1st June 2018.
To apply, please download an Application Form and return to email@example.com
|UMIP – REPUTATION AND VALUE THROUGH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ®
Manchester sisters Rachel and Laura Beattie apply Mathematics to create a first of its kind dress, the perfect black dress, for all women
Laura and Rachel Beattie
“Growing up, I remember always stealing my sisters clothes…” says Rachel Beattie, Co-Founder of Careaux, “I always found I wanted to change something about each dress, but I couldn’t!”
This insight stayed with Rachel who, when she was fourteen, had a dream of a dress that could adapt to each woman’s unique shape and different style preferences. The dream continued to develop into reality when Rachel was studying Maths at the University of Manchester. She delved deeper into the Mathematical principles behind Careaux – combinatorics (abstract algebra) to study the size, fit and style of dresses, and the size and shape of women; finding patterns to match the two much better than conventional fashion.
Rachel and Laura wanted to address the longstanding issue that has faced so many women, namely the issue of a dress that they love just not fitting them. For years, women have had to struggle with the one size fits all mentality whilst many of the fundamental aspects of fashion (particularly cut and fit) have remained unchanged for decades. But now Careaux is here to change that with the Careaux magic – a concept never seen before that creates something unique, innovative and beautiful; giving the little black dress a new DNA.
“I love Rachel and Laura’s passion for Maths and fashion which they’ve used to reinvent the little black dress in such a clever way! For any woman with a top half bigger or smaller than their bottom, their idea solves the ill-fitting dress problem in a stylish and comfortable way – well done girls!”– Rachel Riley, TV Presenter and Mathematician.
The Pitch@Palace 9.0 applications are now open and we would like to encourage you to apply.
The programme offers mentoring and advice to those developing business ideas around data, intelligence and the future of security.
Whether you simply have an idea on paper or your business is at the point of scaling up Pitch@Palace 9.0 seeks to discover entrepreneurs and companies that have identified opportunities in the following areas:
- Artificial Intelligence
- Machine Learning
- 3D Printing
Manchester Enterprise Centre, UMIP and Business Engagement at The University of Manchester are delighted to announce that HRH, The Duke of York, is bringing a key boot camp event in his Pitch@Palace initiative to our campus in 2018.
Are you a PhD student at The University of Manchester?
Do you have:
- Prior experience in enterprise, business or commercial environments?
- 4 hours per week to undertake paid project work? (You MUST NOT be a graduate teaching assistant/demonstrator or in the final year of your PhD)
- The ability to adhere to deadlines and enthusiasm to gain valuable business-related experience to enhance your CV?
UMIP are recruiting a number of high calibre PhD student students to become UMIP Enterprise Associates and work in their spare time alongside UMIP’s Innovation Optimiser team to undertake a range of assignments.
We are pleased to announce the relaunch of the Ignition Awards that aim to inspire and further build on the spirit of enterprise and innovation within AMBS. Last year saw over 9 awards made and many of these projects are now actively moving forwards, one of which has already formed as a company.
We are now seeking to inspire the next generation of individuals or teams with entrepreneurial ideas:
- Are you currently working or studying at AMBS or a recent graduate?
- Is your idea likely to be an entrepreneurial or innovative solution to a business, societal or environmental problem?
- We are particularly keen this year to receive your ideas in FinTech, LegalTech or Digital and Creative areas…