Students are increasingly entrepreneurial, so it is no surprise that a growing number of universities are seeking to support and encourage students in their startup ambitions.
Future Worlds is a venture launched by the University of Southampton to showcase the ideas and companies being created by students. The new website’s launch event this week brought together entrepreneur talents and investors eager to bring great ideas developed at University of Southampton to industry.
In his opening speech Reuben Wilcock, the co-founder and director of Future Worlds, talked about three essentials pillars of the university entrepreneurial ecosystem:
- Talent. Creative and aspiring students and academics are the crucial part of the system. University of Southampton proved at Tuesday’s event that they have got plenty of that. Five Future World’s latest startups and spinouts pitched ideas that ranged from real-time paper maps to portable medical tests, and there is plenty more example on their website: https://futureworlds.com/section/discover/
- Facilities. Innovators at universities have an advantage of being close to world-class research facilities where they can develop, test start building relationships with external partners.
- Mentors. This where business involvement is crucial. Successful stories shared at the event highlighted the importance of having the right people to support you and give credibility at the start of an entrepreneurial journey. Future Worlds did a successful job of attracting successful business to come and couch future talents: https://futureworlds.com/section/mentors/
Future Worlds did a great job of bringing the three elements together and it will be fascinating to hear of the latest initiatives emerging from Southampton, plus of course whether it prompts other universities to follow suit.
NCUB monitors the spin-off activity at universities as part of the university-business observatory, and we plan to have more details about this work emerging on the website in the coming weeks.