Enterprise by Design

M-SParc ‘Captains’ help Steer Bangor University Students to Collaborate

Students at Bangor University are being offered a fantastic opportunity to gain new skills that are essential to employers through the Enterprise by Design program, and this year the team captains are sponsored by Menai Science Park (M-SParc).

Enterprise by Design (EbD) brings students together from seven schools and subject areas within the University to work together in teams over a 10-week period. During those 10 weeks, students receive an innovative and educational design challenge, and work to create, develop and pitch a new solution. This could be in the form of a product, service, or system.

This year’s challenge is to develop proposals for a new, local food enterprise that maintains a healthy planet, while optimising the consumption of nutritious food to create a healthy community. There is potential for the students to go on to start their own business with their solution!

M-SParc are working with the University to sponsor team captains, and this year’s quartet are all linked to M-SParc either through tenant companies, or as previous M-SParc interns.

The captains already work in industry and so are able to share their commercial knowledge with the student teams, and in return are able to develop their communication and team-leading skills. Academic staff from the University will also be leading the project, to support the students in learning business theory, engineering, media strategy, and the psychology of decisions.

One of the team captains, Josef Roberts of Pai Language Learning, is a former Bangor University student and has started his company at M-SParc.

“I'm really enjoying being a captain in the Enterprise by Design program. It's refreshing to work with the other captains, who are from different backgrounds to me on such an interesting and valuable project.

“Our group is currently in the early stages of the project, where we are assessing the market and looking for innovative ways to meet the expectations of stakeholders. We have a lot of different viewpoints on how to go forward with the project but finding new ways of communicating our ideas between us is part of the fun. I can't wait to see what we come up with.”

Tom Turner, another former Bangor student, who received funding to start his business via a pitching event at M-Parc, notes:

“In this year's challenge we are looking to innovate the microgreens sector for local businesses from North Wales and provide them with sustainable solutions to grow their market. By the end of the project we will be looking to provide local businesses with an innovative way to reach new customers across the UK.

“This is a great scheme for students at Bangor University to take part in as you learn about current projects going on in the region and you quickly learn how individuals from different courses will approach the same problem. It also helps you enhance your own knowledge and skills which you can then apply to your own course afterwards.”

Other team captains include Jack Sheridan, who previously interned at M-SParc as an ‘Internet of things Guru’ and is now co-founding a company, and Luke Tyler, who runs Tech Tyfu at M-SParc.

Ilan Davies, a Bangor University graduate, is assisting in this year’s EbD series, and said:

“This project is great for me to get involved in and also to get some practice, as we recently secured funding for a Royal Academy of Engineering award which would work in a similar way to EbD but connect more to local schools as well, and we will be working with M-SParc on that also.

"Having captains with links to and support from M-SParc has helped elevate this year’s EbD programme, allowing students to learn from their knowledge of real-world innovation, and to see real examples of BU graduates who’ve started their own companies right here in the region.”

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