Success story by Teesside University

Teesside University has been shortlisted for a major national award in recognition of the work it has done to promote entrepreneurship and enterprise.

The University is a finalist in the Outstanding Entrepreneurial University category of the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2018.

Known as the ‘Oscars of higher education’, the THE Awards recognise the full range of university activity across 14 different categories.

The Outstanding Entrepreneurial University category is for institutions which have developed and delivered an exceptional approach to embedding entrepreneurship within their culture and programmes, demonstrating a significant impact at regional, national or international level.

Teesside University has been shortlisted for the award as a result of the success of its enterprise engine Launchpad.


Launchpad provides a vibrant campus environment for pre-starts, new companies and students. Alongside creative spaces to start-up, experiment and collaborate, it offers an inclusive community of entrepreneurs; mentoring, coaching and workshops from partners; grant funding and access to finance.

The University’s five schools run a variety of student-focused ventures, underpinning enterprise in the curriculum.

These include Precious Plastics, a multidisciplinary plastic recycling operation, and the TUCan animation studio, where students and recent graduates work on live projects for commercial clients.

In 2016/17, Launchpad supported 26 graduate start-ups, creating 55 FTE graduate jobs, and the University was ranked seventh in the country for estimated turnover of all active start-ups.

It is estimated the impact of Launchpad’s entrepreneurial activities contributed an annual Gross Value Added (GVA) of £23.9million to the Tees Valley economy in 2016/17.

“It is estimated the impact of Launchpad’s entrepreneurial activities contributed an annual Gross Value Added (GVA) of £23.9million to the Tees Valley economy in 2016/17.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise and Business Engagement) Professor Jane Turner OBE DL, said: “Teesside University is an anchor institution helping to sustain the economic prosperity of the Tees Valley. Enterprise is firmly at the heart of our corporate mission.

“We are delighted to have received this plaudit. It is a testament to the inspiration and dedication of our staff, and the talent and entrepreneurial spirit of our student and graduate entrepreneurs.”

THE editor John Gill said: “Times Higher Education is extremely proud to host these awards once again. In yet another record year for entries, and with over 70 institutions represented on the shortlist, it’s a genuine privilege for the THE team and our judges to read through these many and varied tales of excellence from all corners of the UK.

“It’s a significant achievement to make this shortlist, and we look forward to honouring all the finalists at the Grosvenor in November.”

The shortlisting in THE awards follows Teesside University’s recent success in the THE Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs) in June when it won the Knowledge Exchange/Transfer Initiative Award for the success of its DigitalCity project which has contributed to the digital transformation of the Tees Valley.

The winners of the THE awards will be announced at a gala ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London on Thursday, 29 November 2018.

Published: 6 September, 2018