Kick Starter Accelerator - Summer School
Are you a student with an innovative idea for a business, enterprise or not-for-profit? Then, the Queen's University Kick Start Accelerator could be for you. The Kick Start Accelerator Programme is a course designed to support all students to grow business ideas and test the viability of turning them into an enterprise.
Applications are now closed.
INVENT challenges inventors, entrepreneurs, scientists and startups with proof-of-concepts and prototypes in science & technology to discover their idea's commercial potential. Compete to win a share of a £33k prize fund, access to a global network and a place on a NI Tech Mission to California.
Applications have now closed.
Get the chance to pitch your business idea at St. James's Palace.
Pitch@Palace offers the chance to get your Tech business idea in front of a global audience of influencers who can catapult it to the next level. Focusing on Human Tech it and will explore the potential impact of technology in our everyday lives.
Mass Challenge UK
This program connects high-impact, early stage startups with mentors, partners and investors.
Plus it provides the most high-impact support during a 4-month accelerator programme in London.
We run a range of workshops throughout the year to help you develop your enterprise skills whether you are only starting to think about a business idea or you are already up and running. We have something for everyone so check out what's on offer now.
Would you like to gain valuable experience and develop your skills and knowledge in marketing, communication and project coordination?
Ever thought about working with us in Student Development?
Make a difference in the world. The Telegraph UK STEM Awards is a unique opportunity for the UK’s most talented and motivated undergraduates to present their world-changing ideas to industry movers and shakers – and potentially win £25,000 and a bespoke mentoring programme.
Applications are now closed.
Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition
The Ireland Funds Business Plan Competition offers early stage technology entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their business idea.
Plus they get to pitch for a place on one of NDRC's investment programmes and win cash prizes of up to €16,000 and other support.
Applications are now closed.
Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards
The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards is an annual business pitching competition for student and graduate entrepreneurs. There's over £90,000 worth of equity free seed funding available, mentoring & support from business experts and exclusive access to an acceleration week.
Applications are now closed.
Student Summit - Pitch Competition
Attention all Student Start Ups! Fancy winning €3,000?
The Student Summit are hoting a regional student pitch competition and are looking for the next great start up!
Could it be you?
Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Support
The Santander Universities Global Division is committed to supporting entrepreneurs through various awards and initiatives including internships, competitions and collaborative tools.
Help yourself to their online tools and support!
Farset Labs is a hackerspace that provides a hub of creativity, technological experimentation and entrepreneurship for local professionals, students and interested hobbyists in the heart of Belfast. We facilitate technology initiatives and encourage hands-on learning by maintaining an open workshop and creative space that is available to all.
Catalyst Inc is a not-for-proﬁt organisation that invests the surplus generated from our agile workspace and facilities, providing the underwriting necessary for the community-led development of our entrepreneurial innovation ecosystem. Key to their model is the co-location of major technology corporations, world-class research and startups.
Hey there, future Oprahs, Mr Zuckerbergs and Ms Rowlings!
Our business one-to-ones can help you, whether you are just beginning to think about ideas for a shiny, sparkly new business or you have already started up and are trading and making money, take advantage of the expert advice we can give you.
We can help you:
Whether or not you already have a business idea, we can help. We will work with you to help you to develop an idea or talk through your own, if you already have one in mind.
Learn new skills
We can look at the business skills you have and point you in the direction of different programmes which will teach you new ones, making sure you have all the know-how, experience, and contacts you need down the line.
We can pinpoint other organisations that can help you with your specific needs. Maybe you want some help researching your preferred industry, competitors or target audience. If you are further along you might want to find out how you can get a prototype of your product created - we’ll tell you where to go. We can also fill you in on all the grants and funding you are eligible for and even help you to make sense of those pesky applications.
Write a knock-out business plan
A business plan sounds a bit scary, but when it comes down to it it’s basically just telling the story of your business. It helps you to organise your thoughts and shows any problems that could pop up. Remember, you'll need it if you want to get finance from a bank or investor. It’s best to tackle it at the very start. Even if your business is already up and running it can help you make it even better! We can make it easy for you – we can give you all the guidance you need to write your business plan to make sure that you cover all the right areas.
Get free office space to hatch that idea
The Hatch is a dedicated space in the Union that you could be lucky enough to use as your own office space for a year… absolutely free of charge. By using the Hatch you will have regular access to:
- Help, advice, and support on tap from our expert Advisers
- Office space along with the use of a computer, a meeting area, and kitchen facilities
What’s more is you will be sharing the space with up to five other new start up student businesses, which is great for making contacts, getting advice, and for bouncing ideas off of others who are in the same position as you!
If you have any questions or would like to meet our Enterprise & Development experts, just get in touch - click the button below. We're happy to help!
Here are some links and documents and to help you on your way to starting your own business.
- nibusinessinfo - Explore the range of free guides, resources and links to news and events happening around Northern Ireland. Sign up to their newsletter to receive all the latest advice and support straight to your inbox. You can access their latest information leaflet here.
- Invest NI is here to help you start, support and even invest in your business. Their website has a wealth of information, links to a wide range of different events and competitions happening across Northern Ireland, and they’ve even got a Business Information Centre in their Belfast Office where you can access specific industry-related reports for your business. You can make an appointment by calling 0800 181 4422
- Entrepreneur Handbook is packed with articles on topics ranging from marketing to finance all perfect for the entrepreneur starting their business or the experienced businessperson who already has a business up and running. Definitely worth a read!
- Create designs for Web or print with Canva
- Fiverr is the world's largest marketplace for digital services. Get logo design, marketing services, whiteboards and more, starting from only $5.
Networks to Join
- Enterprise SU Facebook Group- find all the best info for QUB students in just one place
- Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Federation of Small Businesses (minimum annual subscription fee of £160)
- Women in Business NI
Further Sources of Support
- Belfast City Council provide a range of region-specific information and also run a number of different programmes and events for entrepreneurs.
- Santander business guides- including a nifty cost calculator
- The Beginner's Guide to Starting a UK Business can help you decide if you have what it takes to be your own boss.
- Start-up grind- largest independent startup community in the world. Sign up to their newsletter
- Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to markets across the world.
- Google for Entrepreneurs offers a series of youtube videos to provide weekly lessons for entrepreneurs of all kinds.
- Astrolabs Blog - visit here to find out more about the Astrolabs accelerator, industry insights and community news.
- Startacus "The go-to space for Startups, Entrepreneurs and Self-Starters" (great monthly newsletter!)
- Enterprise Nation
- Business Plan Template
- Business Bank Account
- Home Budget Planner
- How to Think of a Business Idea
- Insurance Info
- Pitch Template
- Sources of Funding
Click here to download some additional sources of support
If you're still searching for a business idea, try these TED talks included in the playlist Where do Ideas Come From?
Don’t forget to visit the current opportunities section of our website to find out what’s happening and when.
Need more info? We have access to a wide range of very specific business case studies and if you aren’t able to find what you needed here get in touch with us here firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do!
Enterprise SU are working alongside key organisations across Belfast to deliver a schedule of free events to encourage new entrepreneurs and inspire existing businesses to grow.
G.E.W runs from 12 - 18 Nov!
Careers, Employability and Skills at Queen's University is pleased to announce that is now offering up to 100 Free student memberships of the Institute of Directors (IoD).
Apply by 1 Dec!
Book a 1-2-1 or ask us a question!
Please complete all fields marked with an asterisk *
Do you have a business idea but don’t know where to go with it? Why not come along to SPARK and learn about the wider support network available to help you achieve your dreams of becoming an entrepreneur.
Sign up now!
Come and take part in this fantastic opportunity to ‘network with the stars’. Hear from others who have been there, done that and meet likeminded students who are interested in getting involved in the ‘startup scene’.
Sign up now!
Wed 20 Feb - ‘Pitching Skills’ workshop to get you ready
Wed 27 Feb - Deliver a 2 minute 'Quick Pitch' to a panel of judges:
- Ciaran Higgins - Director, Queen’s Students’ Union
- Andrew Kirke - Director, Tughans
- David Bradshaw - Regional Manager, Invest NI
- Ryan Murphy - Relationship Director, Santander
- Louise Smyth - Managing Director, MCS Group
10 shortlisted for Round 2…
- Round 2
Wed 20 Mar - Pitch to the real Dragons:
- John Mckee - Linkubator
- Catherine Martin - CavanaghKelly
- Andrew Kirke - Tughans
- Louise Smyth - MCS Group
- David Moore - QUBIS
Thur 21 Mar - Winners announced at The SU Awards
- The Dragons...
John McKee - Chief Executive, Linkubator
John McKee is Chief Executive of business consultancy firm Linkubator, which focuses on supporting small businesses in Northern Ireland to establish, develop, grow, and make a mark internationally. He began his career as a sales executive in the medical device industry, a sector where he progressed through sales management, new product development, and export sales development. John is also an acclaimed author, having written 'STAR Leadership Behaviours for Stellar SME Growth'.
Catherine Martin - Partner, CavanaghKelly
Catherine Martin joined the practice in 2005, promoted to Director of Corporate Finance in 2007 and joined the Partnership in 2016. She has taken a strong lead in developing our Accounts and Audit as well as our Advisory function and has a key role in leading teams on the provision of audit and accounting services to clients ranging from SME’s to large corporations, charities, not-for-profit, professional services firms and high net worth individuals. Within Advisory, she has successfully led teams in providing a range of services including management consultancy, business plans, financing applications and business structure.
Andrew Kirke - Associate Director, Tughans
Andrew is an associate director in the Contracts and Technology team at Tughans, and works with clients across a full range of commercial contract matters, with a particular focus on working with early stage start-ups. Andrew is qualified as a solicitor in NI, England and Wales and the ROI. Andrew joined Tughans in July 2013, having completed his training contract with another leading Belfast firm. After qualifying Andrew worked offshore as a corporate finance lawyer, before returning to Northern Ireland.
Andrew has been involved in Queen’s Dragons Den for the past 3 years, and also works with local start-up companies providing free mentoring support and legal advice through programmes such as Invest NI’s Propel and Accelerator programmes, Belfast Enterprise Academy and Catalyst Inc’s enterprise programmes.
Tughans is one of Northern Ireland's largest commercial law firms, and provides legal advice to businesses throughout the UK and Ireland, advising on nearly a quarter of deals here last year, and working on 34% of all investments into local companies.
Eleanor McEvoy – Entrepreneurship Ambassador for Northern Ireland
Eleanor McEvoy was appointed as Northern Ireland’s Entrepreneurship Ambassador in October 2018. A role which will help to inspire, profile and promote the benefits of being an Entrepreneur.
Eleanor has herself had a very successful entrepreneurial journey having been involved in starting, developing, growing and successfully exiting a number of companies in sectors such as food, telecoms and energy.
She is a former winner of the UTV Business Personality of the Year and has been a finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. She now sits on the Board of Ernst & Young’s EOY Alumni.
Eleanor spent a number of years as a dragon on RTE’s Dragons’ Den and is currently a recipient of the accolade of Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship by the University of Ulster.
As the public face of entrepreneurship Eleanor encourages support for start-ups particularly those with high potential, both inside and outside Northern Ireland.
She is a successful business role model and is keen to share her knowledge and experience with potential and fledgling entrepreneurs and to emphasise the importance of entrepreneurial networks both locally and overseas.
David Moore - Head of Spin Outs & Investments, QUBIS Ltd.
David is an Investment Manager with QUBIS Ltd, the early stage investment fund responsible for the commercialisation of technology from The Queen’s University of Belfast.
He has been involved with high-growth venture capital backed businesses for over 20 years. His experience covers a wide range of technology sectors and various stage of company growth from incorporation through to exit. He currently holds Non-Executive Board positions with a number of the QUBIS Ltd spin-out ventures.
Prior to joining QUBIS Ltd, David worked with a regional development agency specialising in high growth export orientated technology businesses and was a Systems Engineer within the defence industry.
David has a primary degree in Engineering, a Masters degree in Business Strategy and a professional finance qualification.
Kirsty Dillon - Principal Recruiter, MCS Group
As an experienced recruiter with a background in engineering, Kirsty works with the best and biggest manufacturing and engineering organisations in Northern Ireland
Engineers in Business are hosting their first ever Champion of Champions Grand Final! Don't miss out on an opportunity to win a share of a £10K prize pot and compete against other Universities in London.
The hunt is on for the best student and graduate business ideas! Apply before 26th July and you could be in for a chance of winning £15K at a grand final in London!