Launch @SalfordUni is now open for Cohort 6 applications
Launch @SalfordUni, the University of Salford’s business incubator, is going from strength to strength despite restrictions caused by the pandemic.
With businesses facing problems amidst lockdown, it has become increasingly difficult to start a new business from the ground up. Despite this, the Launch @SalfordUni incubator, a programme that is part of the university’s Business school, has had a successful year, showcased in their recently published annual report.
What is Launch @SalfordUni?
Launch was set up in 2018 with the idea of aiding students and alumni in developing their own business. It has just welcomed its fifth cohort of budding entrepreneurs. As part of a six-month support programme, users get access to a plethora of support from the team, including training, guidance, office space and financial aid.
The programme is sponsored by Santander Universities and includes support from the GC Business Growth Hub, who lead an exclusive training programme for Launch – Spark2Scale. In addition to this, the university’s Careers and Enterprise Team, academic colleagues from the Business School and accomplished entrepreneurs give masterclasses on growing businesses.
Who has Launch helped?
Since opening, Launch has supported over 1,000 students through workshops and business advisor appointments, and they have supported 85 businesses with 42 being launched in the past year. Of these 42 businesses, 37 were awarded funding through Launch and Santander. A total of more than £115,000 in cash grants has been awarded last year, and 95% of users would recommend Launch to their friends.
Little House of Victoria
Victoria Merness is one of this year’s users and launched her business, Little House of Victoria, an embroidery kit business. She shared her thoughts on the programme:
“The Launch programme has made a huge difference to my business. It is still in the very early stages, but already I have a fantastic website which I have been able to stock with products from the funding received."
Little House of Victoria is just one of the many businesses in the creative sector that Launch have worked with to develop. In total, they have supported businesses across 15 different industry sectors, from vegan food delivery services to design companies, and are able to connect users to highly skilled academics across these sectors.
Another business supported by Launch is Black Impact, an organisation that supports and encourages the success and empowerment of Black students through training in ethical leadership, activism and political representation and engagement. It also focuses on understanding and raising awareness for Black mental health and wellbeing.
Black Impact was founded by CEO Ceewhy Ochoga, the first Black president of the Student Union. Currently, it is running its first ever graduation event for Black students - Black Impact Class of 2020. This is an awards ceremony where students nominate each other, or themselves, to gain recognition for their social and professional success.
Behind Sport was launched in 2020 by Ryan Deane and Jack Glennon. The aim of this company is to explore the behind-the-scenes of the sport industry and to shine a light on the hardworking people that make your favourite sporting moments happen. This is done through producing written content, audio interviews and video interviews, all showcasing the work done by non-athlete individuals.
Launch supported Behind Sport in several ways, including providing funding in the form of a grant. It was also the recipient of funding through Launch's Santander Hardship Fund, a pot of funding set up to support businesses and startups affected by the pandemic.
Justyna Turner, Incubation Manager at Launch, said:
“We’re very proud of what our entrepreneurs have achieved over the last couple of years. It is especially exciting to see many of the first entrepreneurs we’ve helped giving back and now supporting our new members, creating a community of peer learning.
“It is a privilege to encourage our students’ ambitions and support them to start and grow their businesses. This next cohort will, no doubt, be as exciting as the last and I cannot wait to get started.”
Building upon the success of this year, Launch is now accepting applications for Cohort 6.
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