Date: 27th May 2016
Buckinghamshire New University is looking to develop students' and graduates' entrepreneurial ambitions after opening the 'Launch Pad' boardroom and office space alongside a Dragon's Den-style funding scheme.
Hugely successful entrepreneur, and long-time University backer, Mike Clare and his charitable organisation The Clare Foundation have supported the creation of the space, as well as the 'Bucks Dragon' scheme.
Mr Clare said: "I am impressed with the Launch Pad facility and look forward to it inspiring and supporting Bucks New University's entrepreneurial students and graduates, giving them the opportunity to meet, work and develop their ideas."
Launch Pad is supported by Bucks Business School and the Careers & Employability Service at the University. Speaking at a launch event, Richard Bingley, Director of Bucks Business School, said he was 'hugely excited' by its potential.
He said: "We consider Buckinghamshire as the entrepreneurial heart of Britain and as an anchor institution in the region we are committed to developing students and graduates in the same vein.
"The Launch Pad space will provide free meeting facilities, WiFi and IT for students and alumni entrepreneurs. Bucks New University entrepreneurs are also supported by our Careers and Employability Service's mentoring scheme and Bucks Business School's network of academics and employees, as well as our international partners
"Without the support of Mike Clare and The Clare Foundation we would not be standing here and our students would not have had the support and success they have had over the years and will continue to have. We are excited about what is to come."
Mr Clare has also supported the 'Bucks Dragon' scheme, where any student or alumni entrepreneur at the University or one of its partner institutions can apply for funding from £2,000 to £5,000. Successful bidders will be assigned a business mentor and the potential for a 'business buddy' at a partner college in the United Arab Emirates. Follow its developments at #BucksDragon.
Branding around Launch Pad was developed by BA (Hons) Graphic Arts graduate Craig McAnuff, who owns Craig Dean Studio, a design agency specialising in branding and identity through web, print, and digital communications.
The University's support for entrepreneurs also includes its annual Bizfest, a month-long festival providing business and enterprise opportunities to students. Branding for the latest Bizfest was also carried out by Mr McAnuff and his company.
First picture caption: Mike Clare and Craig McAnuff meet aspiring entrepreneurs following the opening of Launch Pad.
Second picture caption: Branding around Launch Pad was developed by BA (Hons) Graphic Arts graduate Craig McAnuff, who owns Craig Dean Studio.