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Gaining the confidence to generate new business ideas – Venture Accelerator Programme

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Published: 27 June 2024

Venture Accelerator Programme

Earlier this year, a diverse group of University of Sunderland in London students joined the Venture Accelerator pilot programme. Successfully building their entrepreneurial skills and confidence to take their innovative business ideas forward.  

Many of our students, with strong entrepreneurial mindsets and inspired by the university’s location overlooking one of London’s key commercial districts, aspire to start their own businesses, but just need some added support and confidence to get there – step in Venture Accelerator.  

Venture Accelerator Programme

From building spaghetti towers to business pitching 

Over the four-week programme, the students benefitted from a series of activities starting with a familiarisation exercise - involving building the tallest structure just using spaghetti - through to soaking up the entrepreneurial environment with a visit to the innovative tech community space, Level39, based in the landmark One Canada Square building. 

With sessions covering topics such as entrepreneurship and communication, the programme ended with the students using the skills and confidence gained over the previous four weeks to pitch their business ideas to an audience of university academics, who judged the best presentation. 

Venture Accelerator Programme

The future of restaurant bookings  

Emre Sekeroz, MSc Tourism and Hospitality student, and Yasmin Noor, MSc International Business Management student, were announced at the pitching competitions winners - with their business idea, ReservEat. A software platform which aims to enhance and personalise the restaurant booking process and dining experience. 

Reflecting on the Venture Accelerator programme, Emre and Yasmin said – “It was an excellent experience. It boosted our confidence in public speaking and presentation skills and helped us to develop the ReservEat idea, which we are looking to expand and grow.”. 

Venture Accelerator Programme

Ifrah Hassan, Careers and Enterprise Officer, one the university colleagues who organised the programme said “Venture Accelerator provided an invaluable opportunity for our existing and aspiring entrepreneurs here on campus to not only develop their entrepreneurial mindset but gain skills to support them with their professional and personal growth. Working with this first cohort was an absolute pleasure, and I eagerly await the next cohort of students to take part in the next”.