University of Reading KTPs nominated for national awards

In what has been a hugely challenging year for us all we are delighted to share that our collaboration with GP Update (Red Whale) has been shortlisted in two categories in the prestigious 2021 KTP Awards: for ‘Societal Impact’ and the top award ‘Best Knowledge Transfer Partnership’. Huge congratulations too to Louis Williams, KTP associate with Distribution Technology Ltd, who is a finalist in the ‘Future Leader’ category.

To be shortlisted for such important awards is a real honour, we look forward to the awards ceremony on 23rd September to hear the outcome.

If you are interested in exploring whether KTP is right for your business, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

IDEASFEST 2021

The annual IDEAFEST Student Business Idea Competition is one of the highlights of the year for any students with an interest in some day starting their own business. IDEAFEST is led by Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship as a contest for all students across the University of Reading and Henley Business School, with the goal of finding the student with the best idea for a business – this year from over 20 applications just six student teams have been chosen for the IDEAFEST Final 2021, where they will pitch their business idea to a panel of judges for the chance of winning up to £1,000!

This year’s finalists come from a range of sectors and feature both undergraduate and postgraduate students. The teams are as follows:

– Alva Power, founded by MSc Management student Daniel Rickards. Alva Power is an environmentally focused business that works to repurpose electric vehicle batteries into green energy systems.
– Cheers Beers, founded by BA Business and Management Kam Sharahi. Cheers Beers is a company that works with micro-breweries to deliver craft beer and also offers virtual and in person tasting sessions.
– CryptoBusy, founded by BA Entrepreneurship and Management student Josh Moden. CryptoBusy is a start-up that teaches people how to trade and invest in cryptocurrency.
– MochiPops, founded by MSc Real Estate student Charlotte Beswick. MochiPops is an ice-cream business that specialises in vegan gelato.
– ProppedUp, founded by BA Entrepreneurship student Kevin Hayes. ProppedUp is a real estate start-up that allows customers to invest in shares of buy-to-let student properties without the large capital needed to become a landlord.
– Wardrobe, founded by BA International Management and Business Administration student Nadia Onyeje. Wardrobe is an app that analyses a consumer’s current wardrobe and acts as a personal stylist by recommending clothing and accessories similar to the consumer’s taste.

The IDEAFEST Final takes place on Wednesday 28 April, 2:00pm. It will be held online via Microsoft Teams and all University of Reading and Henley Business School staff, students and alumni are welcome to be part of the audience to hear the business ideas and gain an insight into what goes into pitching for funding. If you wish to be part of the audience on the day, register here.

In addition to the £1,000 prize for first place, the IDEAFEST finalists also have the opportunity to win a further £1,000 for the ‘Best Innovative Business Idea’ category and £3,000 for the ‘Best Business Idea for China’ category, along with professional mentoring from business experts.

If you’re interested in finding out more about IDEAFEST, go to our website.  Dates for IDEAFEST 2022 will be announced in late 2021 and no prior experience is necessary to enter IDEAFEST; all students need is a genuine drive to develop a business idea, so be sure to stay tuned for the chance to make the first steps towards turning your business idea into a reality.

Angel Investment from HBA

Henley Business Angels (HBA) is an angel investment network that operates from Henley Business School at the University of Reading, made up of experienced business leaders, successful entrepreneurs and investors. Henley Business Angels aims to facilitate opportunities for members to invest in and mentor (S)EIS registered early-stage businesses launched by entrepreneurs who are connected to Henley Business School and the University of Reading.

 

In the four years since its establishment in 2016, Henley Business Angels has invested over £1.24 million in companies such as KYMIRA, Kokoon, BeneTalk, Snaffling Pig, OpenBlend, Crypta Labs, and many, many more. One of Henley Business Angels’ most successful investments, KYMIRA, was founded by University of Reading Alumni Tim Brownstone, who said that the quality of companies he pitched alongside was ‘outstanding’, and that the appetite of investors was ‘very high’, which, combined with the organisation’s thorough vetting process, helped encourage his decision to raise through HBA twice.

 

Application Process

Henley Business Angels welcomes applications from entrepreneurs who are raising equity funds typically in the range of £50k to £250k to grow their business, and the support given to the entrepreneurs by the network is not only financial, but also access to mentoring, resources and other services and networks. Henley Business Angels invests smart money, demonstrated through several investors from the group joining their investments as experienced advisors to provide support to elevate the business.

Members of the HBA network are here to support entrepreneurs leading early-stage businesses who are passionate about what they do and have ambitions to build large businesses that deliver better ways of doing things that benefit society and the environment as well as the economy.

               – Jurek Sikorski, Founder and Director of Henley Business Angels

 

Applying to pitch to Henley Business Angels can be done through the online platform Gust, and applications open every quarter. Entrepreneurs must meet a certain set of criteria, including being connected to the University of Reading or Henley Business School. You can find out more about what being connected to the University of Reading and Henley Business School means, as well as the other investment criteria, on their dedicated Entrepreneur pages.

 

About the application process to Henley Business Angels, Founder and CEO of OKKO Health Dr Stephanie Campbell, said that it was ‘incredibly straightforward’ and that just being on the platform allowed multiple other investors to contact her and invest. She also praised the Investment Readiness Workshop put on by HBA, attributing her successful presentation preparation to that event.

 

The Henley Business Angels application process can be comprised into 9 steps and are laid out on their website with more information here. If you have read through all the information on their website, and wish to apply, you can fill in and submit this application form. If you have previously applied to Henley Business Angels, whether you have been successful or not in securing investment, you are welcome to apply again through the same process.

 

You can keep up to date with updates, news and application deadlines by following the Henley Business Angels LinkedIn page, their Twitter page, and by regularly checking their website.

Digital Donkeys

As our department and our reach continues to grow, we are elated to announce our newest Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Devon-based international charity, The Donkey Sanctuary.

The Donkey Sanctuary and the University of Reading have established a new and exciting relationship to help the Sanctuary tackle some key areas of their business and help them to continue the incredible work they’re doing in Sidmouth. More details about this excellent new partnership will be released in the form of case studies as the project commences.

We are extremely excited to be part of this collaboration and, let’s be honest, getting to spend some time with some very cute animals.

Are you a lover of animals AND technology? Applications for a talented Digital Technology Development Lead to join this project and the donkeys in Sidmouth are still open. You can find out more and apply right here

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This partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme. KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. This successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

The BRAND NEW home of AI in the Thames Valley

We are proud to be part of all our collaborations and work tirelessly with all our partners, helping with their growth, impact and reach. One of the new collaborators we’re extremely excited about working with is the TVAI Hub, the home of AI in the Thames Valley.

The Hub has been created to pull together the incredible community of academics, researchers, technologists, clinicians and business strategists here in the Thames Valley so everyone can learn, network, collaborate, share knowledge, explore and develop business opportunities and partnerships.

Starting in December 2019, they are hosting a series of events, each featuring a highly influential speaker and covering key areas of AI, Machine Learning and Big Data. Members of the community will be able to register and attend these free of charge.

Their aim is to get this area internationally recognised for the talent, skills and expertise that has given rise to its reputation as the ‘UK’s Silicon Valley’, and of course to attract more brilliant people and companies to the beautiful, well connected area that is the Thames Valley.

You can read more about the TVAI Hub right here.

Why choose Reading? Don’t just take our word for it!

A new collaboration with old friends

Two departments at the University of Reading (Computer Science and the KTC) have recently teamed up to complete an Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership with High Wycombe-based tech company Optimal Monitoring.

Optimal Monitoring provide energy management advice to companies and through their recent Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the Knowledge Transfer Centre, have developed a unique AI Energy Management Solution which not only helps businesses identify abnormal and anomalous energy and utility consumption but also suggests solutions to fix the issues. This exciting technology, known as ‘EMMA’, will particularly be of interest to large multi-site companies (such as retail chains) where it’s not worth paying a consultant to analyse the data for each site but an automatic tool can prove very cost effective.

Optimal Monitoring and their product have earned their position as finalists in the Wright Commission Awards for 2019, and possess the only energy management software which has made it through to the final. This award nomination has already generated media coverage, and we wish Optimal every success in taking home the trophy.

The first collaboration was so successful that we are extremely excited to announce a second Knowledge Transfer Partnership to continue developing the software, and maintain our excellent working relationship with such an exciting and innovative company.

 

Are you a talented Data Scientist looking for an exciting new opportunity? As part of this new partnership between UoR and Optimal Monitoring we are hiring a KTP Associate which you can apply for here.

This partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme. KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. This successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

Our team has expanded…again!

As an ever-expanding department, we are excited to welcome our newest member of the team; Chrissy Boulton.

Chrissy has joined us as a Graduate Scheme Development Coordinator, supporting the development of an innovative new graduate programme scheme being piloted by the University of Reading, which will be aimed at supporting companies within Reading and the Thames Valley. The scheme is being developed and delivered in collaboration with our partners at Hireserve, a locally based SME and a company we have formerly collaborated with in the Knowledge Transfer Centre.

Chrissy will play an essential role in supporting development of the pilot, and is a very welcome new member to the KTC family.

And the winner of ‘just IMAGINE if…’ is…

For the past few months we have been working hard alongside Ella’s Kitchen founder Paul Lindley on his exciting idea about ideasjust IMAGINE if…

just IMAGINE if… has had one mission from the beginning: to identify and help develop extraordinary ideas.

Companies, partnerships, not-for-profit organisations or individuals with an extraordinary idea that could help alleviate one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals but need research input to help it grow were able to apply. After viewing hundreds of excellent entries, the panel narrowed it down to ten amazing finalists.

We were lucky enough to attend the final on Thursday 28th Feb, and listened to amazing talks from the likes of Brompton MD Will Butler-Adams, former Dragon Piers Linney, and Apprentice season 5 winner Yasmina Siadatan to name a few, with the event chaired by the brilliant Seven Hills co-founder Michael Hayman

After enjoying the outstanding pitches from the ten budding entrepreneurs, we are excited to announce that after a vote from all the attendees, the winner is ALEXANDER WANKEL.

Alexander showcased his idea of tapping into Peru’s native crops and helping to support local smallholder farmers, creating plant-based milks made with climate smart Andean grains and quinoa called ‘MilQ’.

We want to extend a HUGE congratulations to Alexander for winning the competition, but we’re confident that all of the finalists will get support in developing their ideas by either a collaboration with us or one of the other incredible businessmen and women who attended the event.

You can see Alexander’s submission video and those of the other nine finalists here.

just IMAGINE if… is to return next year, so keep your eyes open for details on how to apply towards the end of 2019. In the meantime should you have a product or service you need support developing, we welcome anyone to get in touch with the Knowledge Transfer Centre to discuss how we may be able to help you shape your future.

Former partner featured on Sky News (and mentions the KTC!)

The Knowledge Transfer Centre specialises in collaborating with all kinds of people and businesses in order to help create a positive national and global impact. We welcome anyone to get in contact with the KTC and, although we may not always be able to help directly, we are generally able to at least provide some support and guidance.

In many cases we know exactly how we can help, and can work alongside your business with a project that helps develop your product or service. We can source the right Academic support, assist with funding applications, and help bring your product or service to market. An excellent example of this is the partnership we had with Wantage based tech company; Aircharge.

 

Aircharge, or CMS, first came to us in 2015 looking to develop their wireless charging software. We soon established a Knowledge Transfer Partnership which completed in 2018, and Aircharge have continued to grow as a business since then. You can read more about the project here.

The company’s success has drawn inevitable interest from the media, so it was fantastic to see that Sky News invited Aircharge Founder and Chief Executive Steve Liquorish in to talk about the business, who even mentioned the partnership with the University of Reading.

You can watch the full interview right here.

 

This partnership received financial support from the Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme . KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK knowledge base. This successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership project, funded by UK Research and Innovation through Innovate UK, is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy.

If your business has a product or service that could benefit from a KTP, contact us today to discuss the opportunities available to you in more detail.

WE ARE HIRING!

Are you looking for an exciting new challenge?

We are currently looking for a talented Business Relationship Manager to join our fast-paced professional team supporting collaborations with external partners.

 

ABOUT US:

The Knowledge Transfer Centre at the University of Reading is a highly successful centre with a focus on exceptional levels of service. We establish and manage collaborations with companies and external partners on behalf of the University, working with academic partners to support a variety of income generating initiatives.

ABOUT THE ROLE:

Within the KTC, the Business Relationship Managers are responsible for managing a portfolio of relationships and developing new collaborations that expand and diversify the economic and societal impact of our research. In addition to managing your own portfolio, each Business Relationship Manager leads on a specific area of the KTC’s activities.

ABOUT YOU:

You will have the ability to develop and maintain relationships, generate leads, and manage funding applications, with a clear understanding of the current funding landscape for collaborative projects. You will provide excellent levels of service, and work closely with the Senior Business Relationship Manager.

 

For more info and to apply, click here: https://lnkd.in/g43HKhK