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Acceleration Pipeline Workshop Series: Part 1

LAUNCH.ed and the Institute for Academic Development

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 at 10:00 - Wednesday, 15 February 2012 at 12:00 (GMT)

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Five-part workshop series Ended Free  

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Turn Your Good Idea Into a Great Opportunity

In this five-part workshop series, learn how to bring your business idea to market. Through four practical, interactive sessions and a pitching event, we'll help you:

  • evaluate the commercial potential of your idea;
  • identify relevant competitors and how to differentiate yourself;
  • identify and prioritise your potential customers; and
  • build and articulate a compelling business proposition.

This series is delivered by LAUNCH.ed and the Institute for Academic Development, and is open to any student or member of research staff looking to commercialise some aspect of their research, or to explore the potential of another business idea. 

The programme will use models from the "So what? Who Cares? Why You?™ Inventor's Commercialisation Toolkit” by Wendy Kennedy, and you will be provided with a copy of this book for the duration of the course.

Workshop Schedulepipeline

Week 1 - What's Your Idea?

10.00–12.00 Wednesday, 18th January 2012

Main Library, Room 1.09 


Week 2 - What's the Problem?

10am–12pm Wednesday, 25th January 2012

Main Library, Room 1.07 


Week 3 - Where Does Your Idea Fit?

10am–12pm Wednesday, 1st February 2012

Main Library, Room 1.09 


Week 4 - Who's Your Customer?

10am–12pm Wednesday, 8th February 2012

Main Library, Room 1.09 


Week 5 - Pitches

10am–12pm Wednesday, 15th February 2012

Main Library, Room 1.09


Important information


This series is open to any student or member of staff at the University of Edinburgh. You do not need to be committed to starting a business to come to the workshops; however, as places are limited, priority will be given to those already working on early stage business ideas.

Non-attendance policy

It is essential that you are able to commit to attending to all five workshops. Because of the high demand for these courses, we operate a strict non-attendance policy: anyone who fails to attend a workshop may be cancelled from the rest of the course, and their department may be charged a relevant non-attendance fee. In the event of an emergency, you must notify the workshop coaches of your absence as soon as possible.

Follow-on workshop series

A follow-on series of workshops will be delivered over six Wednesdays from 22nd February to 28th March 2012 for applicants who are keen to continue building their business idea. In this series we'll cover

  • How to reach your target market,
  • How to search for the perfect business model,
  • Building your team, and
  • Finding and maintaining your competitive edge.

More information about these workshops will be available from the coaches; if you are interested in attending this follow-on series, make sure you save the dates in your calendar.


About the Coaches

Rebecca Barr, Senior Company Formation Executive, LAUNCH.ed

Rebecca set-up the LAUNCH.ed programme for students in 2005; since then, LAUNCH.ed has helped start more than 75 new student businesses, of which more than 85% are still trading. Day-to-day, Rebecca works directly with student clients to advance their business ideas.

With seven years in the retail and soft drinks industries, Rebecca has substantial commercial and marketing experience. She has a degree in Law and Business Studies, and more recently, was awarded a Masters degree in Marketing, with a focus on Market Research for high-tech start-ups. Rebecca is also a Chartered Marketer, and holds a diploma from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Nicola Cuthbert, Vitae Hub, Enterprise Training and Projects Officer, Institute for Academic Development

Nicola works for the Institute for Academic Development, helping University PhDs and research staff develop professional and career skills. Prior to joining the University, she spent five years in business development at an engineering firm, and also has previous experience working with PhDs and research staff on the University's Researchers in Residence scheme.

Nicola has a degree in Business Management and Marketing from Queen Margaret University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Information Systems from Napier University.

Paul Devlin, Company Formation Executive, LAUNCH.ed

Paul manages the delivery of the LAUNCH.ed Accelerator Pipeline Programme for high-growth startups. He has expertise in market and technology assessment, academic and industrial collaborations, business plan development, company formation, and IP commercialisation.

In the past, Paul co-founded a successful university spin-out company based on his own research, securing substantial investment to develop the idea. Paul has a BEng (Hons) in Computer and Electronic Systems from Strathclyde University and is completing his dissertation for an MBA at the Strathclyde Graduate School of Business. He holds patents in the fields of sensor networks, media streaming and video compression.

Dr. Donna Murray, Head of Networks and Stakeholders, Institute for Academic Development

Donna works at the Institute for Academic Development mentoring researchers through early stage company formation and developing career opportunities for research staff and students.

Donna has a background in research, information management, and web design, working for both a major UK chemical company and the University of Adelaide, Australia, before returning to Scotland to run a training programme in commercialisation for PhD researchers. Donna was awarded a PhD in Botany from the University of Nottingham in 1995.

Hilary Singer, Innovation Project Officer, LAUNCH.ed

Hilary joined LAUNCH.ed in 2008 to help promote an entrepreneurial culture at the University of Edinburgh. She has substantial international experience, previously working in the U.S. finance, non-profit, and public sectors.

Since joining LAUNCH.ed, Hilary has worked with dozens of student businesses, with a focus on startup marketing and early stage business development. Hilary obtained a Masters of Physics from the University of Edinburgh in 2010.

Do you have questions about Acceleration Pipeline Workshop Series: Part 1? Contact LAUNCH.ed and the Institute for Academic Development
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When & Where

Library Meeting Suite
1st Floor, Main Library, George Square
EH8 9JL Edinburgh
United Kingdom

Wednesday, 18 January 2012 at 10:00 - Wednesday, 15 February 2012 at 12:00 (GMT)

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LAUNCH.ed and the Institute for Academic Development

The Institute for Academic Development - University of Edinburgh

The Institute for Academic Development aims to help students and staff succeed in their current roles and in their future careers by providing University-level support for teaching, learning and researcher development.


LAUNCH.ed - the University of Edinburgh's free support service for student entrepreneurs

LAUNCH.ed is the University of Edinburgh's free support service for student entrepreneurs, providing one-to-one business advice, workshops, and an events programme to help students make their business dreams a reality.

 Open Innovation Project funded by INTERREG IVB

This workshop series is enabled by the Open Innovation Project—a three year, multi-million euro initiative to promote understanding and implementation Open Innovation principles by businesses, higher education institutions, and communities throughout north-west Europe. The Open Innovation Project is made possible by European Regional Development Funding through INTERREG IVB.

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