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Student and graduate start-up support

The University’s Entrepreneurial Development Team are here to help you realise your start-up ambitions.

We have a long history of supporting our enterprising students and graduates and have been recognised in the 2021 Knowledge Exchange Framework as the top university in the North East for graduate start-ups, and in the top 30% nationally.

Whether you want to explore your skills to start a freelance or self-employed career, set up a Limited Company with an idea to scale and grow, or have a business idea driven by a social impact; we have the tailored support available to help you take the first step on your entrepreneurial journey.

Choose your pathway to business

Current students and graduates, no matter how long after leaving us and from any discipline, can apply for support from our Entrepreneurial Development Team, to take your ideas from concept to reality.

Applying for membership couldn’t be easier. It starts with a conversation and a simple application form. You'll then tell us all about your idea in a short presentation - it’s not like ‘Dragons Den’ we promise!

Start-up Funding Opportunities

Santander Seed Fund

Santander Universities

One of the areas of particular focus is to support students and graduates to enhance their entrepreneurial skills and help them to launch a business.

The Santander funding will complement the existing programme of support available via the Entrepreneurial Development Team and we are delivering a number of initiatives from supporting idea creation, to growing a business.

Find out more about Santander Universities.

Start-up support

Our start-up support is tailored to meet your needs and help you launch and grow your business. At the beginning of your journey with us, we will help you to assess where your strengths are, as well as the areas where you need support.

During your membership you will have access to:

Start-up Skills course

You will cover the fundamental building blocks of starting your business or freelance venture including Legal and IP, sales and marketing strategies, finance, and bookkeeping. It’s also a great opportunity to immerse yourself in a community of like-minded individuals on a similar journey.

Group events, networking, and information sessions

We regularly host guest speakers covering a range of topics to help you inform your business knowledge and expand your network. We listen to the needs of our members and offer the topics that are important to them.

Co-working space and peer-to-peer support

You will begin your start-up journey at the Digital Incubator at St Peter’s Campus. This is the main co-working space for Student/Graduate prestart and early trading businesses where like-minded people can share their business start-up experience. This is a collaborative space that caters for peer-to-peer conversations.

Following the initial 12-month incubation support, early trading businesses will then access the commercial facilities at the Enterprise Place at Hope Street Xchange.

Public relations opportunities

We are always on the lookout for good news stories and keen to shout about our start-up success stories. We work closely with the University’s central PR and Comms team to develop press releases and case studies to share with the region's business community.