Inaugural Masood Entrepreneurship Centre Showcase celebrates innovation and enterprise at The University of Manchester
An event to celebrate the start-ups and entrepreneurial talent being supported through the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre (MEC) has been held for the first time in the Alliance Manchester Business School’s world-class facilities.
MEC held the inaugural Showcase to highlight its work and many of the amazing start-up businesses and innovations being developed by students, graduates and staff at The University of Manchester, as well as demonstrate the range of entrepreneurship programmes offered across the University.
More than 80 entrepreneurs, colleagues from The University of Manchester, investors and wider support partners gathered to learn how entrepreneurial individuals have benefitted from the support provided by MEC over the last 20 years and network amongst exhibiting start-ups.
Professor Vikas Shah MBE DL, a CEO of the Swiscot Group and Honorary Professor at the Alliance Manchester Business School, spoke at the event. Chairing a panel of five MEC alumni from the last 20 years, Vikas explored their entrepreneurial journeys and the advice they would give to those starting out.
MEC’s core mission, to deliver ‘Entrepreneurship for All’ on campus, aligns around three core pillars of Learn, Develop and Launch. Demonstrating some of these, the Showcase featured talks on the ISIKLE (Increasing and Evaluating Student Impact in Knowledge and Learning Exchange) project in partnership with UCL and the ARC (Aspect Research Commercialisation) Accelerator in partnership with The University of Oxford. It also highlighted the Researcher to Innovator programme, focussing on the development of research ideas stemming from the Faculty of Science and Engineering researchers.
Alliance Manchester Business School Honorary Professor Dr. Daria Tataj, author of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A Growth Model for Europe beyond the Crisis also gave her inaugural lecture ‘An Insight into Network Intelligence. How to Make Innovation and Entrepreneurship Thrive’.
Lynn Sheppard, Director of MEC commented: “We continue to develop innovative programmes that give all students across the Campus an opportunity to engage with entrepreneurship. It is vital to equip our graduates with the confidence to ‘make things happen’, to help them to grasp and realise the many opportunities that their futures will bring.”
Deputy Director of MEC Tony Walker said: “This Showcase has given us the opportunity to demonstrate the entrepreneurial talent which is thriving at The University of Manchester.
“What’s fantastic is that so many people from many different backgrounds joined together at our inaugural Showcase event. We heard from a great range of entrepreneurs with different business concepts, all of whom are at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey. All our entrepreneurs gave an insight into their companies and how MEC’s wide range of support has helped them progress, including some of the challenges they’ve faced.”
He added: “The most exciting element for me was the ASK@MCR quick fire pitching session. We’re always looking for new ways to support our businesses and introduce them to potential partners.”
Streamed live, ASK@MCR featured nine MEC start-ups who pitched their ‘ask’ to the panel of investors and business leaders, be that investment or essential connections. The start-ups ranged from a social enterprise fighting food poverty on multiple front’s, to a biotech company developing high quality diagnostics products for early cancer detection. Audience members were given a QR code so that they could get involved in supporting the entrepreneurs.
MEC has evolved into an organisation with a multi-disciplinary team devoted to the delivery of sustainable, refined and integrated on- and extra-curricular programmes to foster enterprise and encourage entrepreneurial thinking.
Ellie Buckley, Enterprise Business Development Executive and event organiser commented: “We’ve received phenomenal feedback from everyone who attended the Showcase. It gave our entrepreneurs a prime opportunity to celebrate what they’ve achieved and make some great connections.”
For more information, please visit www.entrepreneurship.manchester.ac.uk.