University FUEL could launch 20 new businesses

Teesside Launchpad, mentoring session for FUEL businesses

Twenty teams of entrepreneurs have joined a start-up development programme which could ultimately see them receive funding worth thousands of pounds to get their business off the ground.

Launchpad FUEL is an eight-week development programme open to Teesside University students and graduates who are in the early stages of developing a business idea.

The latest round has welcomed entrepreneurs ranging from 3D animation and games studios and social enterprises to a men’s grooming business.

At the end of the eight weeks, the teams will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to receive up to £19,000 of grant funding to develop their concept.

The successful teams will also receive dedicated office space in Teesside Launchpad for six months together with a support package including specialist mentoring, business workshops, networking and access to finance and investment support.

The 20 teams were invited on to FUEL after submitting short video pitches for their business.

This is the second cohort of businesses to go through the development programme.

Last year’s successful companies included FoxByte games, which was recently accepted onto the UK Government-backed games design competition, Tranzfuser 2017, and Hobgoblin 3D which is already attracting overseas interest in its 3D printed products for strategy board games.

Steve Dougan (pictured above), the university’s head of graduate enterprise, said: “Launchpad FUEL is unique as it offers entrepreneurs grant funding to start their business.

“This year, there are some really strong teams going through the development programme with some extremely varied and innovative ideas.

“It is particularly pleasing to see a large number of female entrepreneurs taking part and also several social enterprises.”

Teesside Launchpad is based in a converted Victorian school at the University’s Middlesbrough campus and offers a co-working space where students, graduates, alumni-entrepreneurs, SMEs and corporate partners can come together in a unique start-up eco-system.


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