Since 2007 we have worked on a diverse range of projects across a wide range of sectors. We have below tried to indicate the diversity. We are prepared to provide additional information on request.
Start-up and innovation support work
We have been approached by individuals, professional firms, and endorsers to assist with business development activities in the following ways:
• To expand the understanding of innovation and assess/test ideas for innovation. This is based on our work with Innovate UK to define innovation and assessment of projects for grant assistance.
• To work on the development of individual innovative ideas, including developing IP, sustainability and viability.
• Mentoring and coaching.
• Assisting and reviewing the development of robust business plans.
• Assessing and reviewing implementation plans.
In recent months we have successfully worked with a number start-up and innovator visa applicants to develop their business propositions for the endorsement process. This has enabled us to develop an insight into how to meet the Home Office criteria for endorsable projects and enabled us to establish a robust understanding of innovation, scalability and viability in relation to these visa schemes.
For example, we recently worked with 2 applicants who wanted to develop a recycling business for food waste in the farming industry who had previously been told there was no clear route to market in their business plan. We worked with them to develop this segment of their business model resulting in a successful endorsement.
Outcomes: During the last 18 months we have generated funding for 84 businesses across a wide range of sectors, including:
• Care sector
• Education innovation
• Environmental innovation
• Health products
• IT solution
• Marketing and PR
• Online multi-media streaming
• Online retailing
• Professional services
• SMART manufacturing
This demonstrates our understanding of the start-up and innovator visa process and the parameters within it. The fact that the clients we have supported in recent months across a wide variety of business sectors have been successful in achieving endorsement shows we have a clear understanding of the definitions of innovation, scalability and viability.
Fircroft College (Cadbury Trust)
Self-employment for disadvantaged groups
Challenge: To assist individuals from disadvantaged groups to achieve financial independence through setting up and running their own business.
Solution: We developed an NVQ programme with mentoring and coaching during the first year of the life of a business. This included developing individual business plans and agreeing KPI’s for ongoing monitoring of the programme and individual business performance.
Outcomes: The NVQ programmes we developed are included in the list of nationally recognised NVQ qualifications and include workbooks, appraisal and monitoring systems. The programme we developed is now used by a wide variety of educational establishment throughout the UK.
The main achievement is that we helped 30 individuals establish businesses.
For example, we assisted an individual who had been prosecuted for growing cannabis. We helped the individual to use the knowledge gained to cultivate fresh herbs. The business is highly successful and now supplies several high-quality restaurants in the UK.
This demonstrates our ability to work with individuals who are seeking to set up new businesses and the skills needed to support them in getting their businesses up and running successfully.
QinetiQ PLC (Formerly part of MOD)
Knowledge transfer and intrapreneurship/commercialising intellectual property.
Challenge: As a global technology company QinetiQ had a significant catalogue of intellectual property (IP) which it needed to capitalise by encouraging intrapreneurship and knowledge transfer. Uniquely some of the IP was jointly owned by the MOD. It was agreed with the government that any IP that could be commercialised by a private entity investment, would be matched funded by the MOD and that returns on investment would be shared, allowing the MOD to use the proceeds to invest in future projects. In addition, teams within QinetiQ had developed IP and both parties were keen to commercialise the concepts and IP.
Solution: We assessed the innovation, viability and scalability of a variety of projects, including horizontal wind farms; 360 degree fully immersive classrooms; series games object selling and distributed eye testing. This also included assessing the capabilities of entrepreneur teams and potential external partners.
Outcome: We successfully created 20 new and innovative businesses and stimulated a major diversification programme within a major PLC.
This demonstrates our ability to work with individuals and teams who have innovative concepts and develop viable business models to commercialise them.
Setting up and development of a disrupter business set up in government training funding.
Challenge: Post 16 government funded training was poorly supported by major businesses in the UK. This was because they were reluctant to engage directly with the government funding agency despite the financial and training benefits. This was largely due to the need for the company to import third party software and expanding their training departments.
Solution: We set the company to bridge the gap between the government and major UK businesses. We developed a business model that allowed major businesses to take advantage of the government offering by managing contracts through the new company and the employment of the headcount needed to meet the requirements. Early clients included Coca Cola, Ford Motor Company and Mitchells & Butlers. This involved building robust financial systems, learner monitoring, record keeping, assessment systems and an operational structure.
Outcome: All the companies involved expanded their post 16 training and through reinvestment improved the quality of their provision. The government engaged with major companies they had not previously been able to work with. The company built a successful medium sized company which was sold within 2 years of setting up.
This demonstrates our practical ability to set up an innovative business to fill a void and create a successful business model.
University of Wolverhampton
University - industrial collaboration
Challenge: How to maximise industrial collaboration between the University sector and industrial primes which can also encourage the involvement of small to medium size enterprises, with the objective to create high value jobs and scalable long-term profitable SME’s
Development of a cyber centre industrial application research and development centre. This project involved multiple stakeholders and the creation of a £9m fund for a new build project. The Cyber Security Centre will be the first of its kind in Europe and will create a cyber incubator for SME and primes to collaborate in a secure environment.
The project involved getting Legal agreement between collaboration partners including Regional Council, Local Enterprise Partnerships and University.
Grant funding was successfully acquired for the construction of a purpose built Cyber secure centre for collaboration to be undertaken. This required a bespoke purpose-built design needing planning consent, and full Cyber Security considerations within the building design.
Outcome: Due for completion by the end of 2020 the centre will create of a number of high value jobs within the centre and the opportunity for commercial exploitation of intellectual property from the academic community. This will result in several co-developed spin out companies.
This demonstrates our ability to collaborate with third parties, develop an innovative project and generate funding for it. In developing the concept, we also demonstrated our ability to work with individuals and businesses with innovative ideas and provide a solution to enable them to have the ideal environment to thrive.