University of York

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York University’s Business Innovation & Entrepreneurship course provides broad coverage of what’s involved in the exploitation of technologies through innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a practical introduction to the creation and development of enterprises that generate and sustain value from ideas, inventions and opportunities. The broad aims of the course are to (a) develop awareness of, and interests in, business innovation and entrepreneurship, (b) introduce participants to the factors involved in taking new technology to market, (c) enhance employability through greater business awareness and confidence, (d) encourage students to explore ambitions around launching or joining early-stage businesses and develop students' potential to become job creators.
Winner: YourSpot - Computer Science Undergraduates, Douglas Sword and George Burke - £400 Engineers in Business Prize

George Burke and Douglas Sword devised a venture called YourSpot which accurately monitors service utilisation in real-time to help people to make best use of available facilities.

Douglas and George commented on their experience of the competition so far: "We're both passionate about business, and so we really enjoyed the chance to present our ideas in front of industry experts. There was a lot of hard work involved - we must have run through our pitch about 15 times in the three hours leading up to the presentation - but the experience and feedback we received was invaluable. After a quick break to celebrate, we hope to use the Dragons' suggestions to improve our business plan and pitch ready for the next round!“

Positive Feedback

All participating students in the EIBF York competition had already pitched business ideas at a prior departmental qualifying event, following a taught course on business innovation & entrepreneurship. Feedback received at these departmental events enabled students to review both their business concepts and the way they should be pitched.

The EIBF prize challenged qualifying students to stretch to a further degree of professionalism in the development and pitching of their business ideas. The stimulus of the prize money and the further opportunities offered by the scheme galvanised students competitively to perform at a level that seriously impressed all who attended the event, including myself, the dragons, the Sainsbury Management Fellow and senior representatives from the York Science Park.

Professor Dick Whittington, Hon Professor of Business Innovation, University of York