University of Aberdeen nurture talent with their new space
- Published: Monday, 30 November -0001 00:00
- Written by University of Aberdeen
ABVenture Zone is giving the students and staff of the University of Aberdeen access to inspirational incubator space and state of the art equipment to get their businesses off the ground.
Thanks to funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through their Superconnected Cities initiative, Aberdeen City Council provided funding to the university to create a truly inspiring and vibrant centre for entrepreneurship and enterprise on the University's historic King's College campus.
The space provides a focal-point within the University for events and training related to entrepreneurship. Local businesses, such as chartered accountants and IP lawyers, are able to hold drop-in clinics in ABVenture Zone. Such collaborations helps build ties with the University as well as benefitting the start-up businesses hosted in ABVenture Zone with easy access to advice and support. As well as local business experts, a whole host of enterprise support organisations have been invited to hold workshops and events aimed at ABVenture Zone's entrepreneurial occupants and the wider student population.
ABVenture Zone was officially opened by the Principal of the University of Aberdeen in May 2015. In its first six months, it has already achieved significant successes including supporting a number of student enterprises covering a wide variety of ideas and powered by a diverse set of impressive individuals.
The business ideas being tested and developed, which includes seven recently incorporated companies, represent a range of sectors including Life Sciences and Medicine; Digital, Tourism and Entertainment; and Oil & Gas. These businesses also include social enterprises. The majority of the entrepreneurs are current students or recent graduates (particularly Masters graduates), and have originated from all sections of the University, highlighting that entrepreneurial ideas and endeavours are not limited to any particular academic discipline. Six nationalities are represented by the occupants, contributing to the University's internationalisation.
Students are helped throughout their occupancy with support and constructive feedback from a range of professional advisors and high-ranking academics. Initially, start-up businesses are awarded a free six month occupancy so that they have somewhere separate from work and study to focus on their new business idea, whilst incurring minimal initial start-up costs. Now that the facility is getting busier, collaboration between occupants is taking place, with ABVenture Zone providing a hub for networking. Our project pipeline will see occupant businesses collaborating with students from computing science and the business school MBA and marketing courses. ABVenture Zone has helped to focus the buzz around student entrepreneurship at the University of Aberdeen, with the University featuring ABVenture Zone and one of its most successful occupants in its recent strategic plan.
It has been a whirlwind first six months for ABVenture Zone and those associated with it, with much to shout about already. As the space approaches its first birthday in May 2016, the future looks bright indeed for student start-ups based in Aberdeen.