Starting a new business can be one of the most rewarding things one can do, but it is also intensely challenging. A paper published earlier this year from researchers at Cornell University found that networks and connections are often key to the success and growth of a startup.
As such, universities can play a crucial role in supporting students who venture off into the startup world by providing those connections, together with academic support and help securing finance.
To this end, we have launched a new service, called Advantage, which aims to help new businesses ‘Get Money, Get Knowledge and Get Connected’. It’s hoped that the service will explode the myth that academics are not interested in business and allow the local economy to benefit from the enormous expertise amongst the faculty at the university.
Professor Julian Beer, Pro Vice Chancellor (Research, Enterprise & Business Engagement) at the University, said: “Advantage gives us the opportunity to explode the myth of stuffy academics in ivory towers and open up our doors to the companies that are the heartbeat of this region’s economy.
“Government has already identified that the West Midlands can be an engine for growth in this country and we want this scheme to help provide the spark that really gets that engine started.”
A central part of the new facility will be providing free access to a database of grants available to help startups to grow and expand. We are one of only two universities in the country to offer such access.
Startups will also have access to the research being undertaken at the university, and of course the 1,000 academic staff across a huge range of specialisms.
Sheffield was voted the most entrepreneurial city outside of London by Start Up Britain last year, and it’s hoped that Advantage will help to support the existing and budding entrepreneurs in the city still further.
If you would like to learn more about Advantage and how it can help your business, please contact us for more information.