Chairman of the Board David Taylor to lead the proceedings
The University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Board has been named as the host of the University Entrepreneurs Challenge (UEC).
David Taylor, the head judge in ITV Granada’s pioneering business enterprise competition called Flying Start, will lead proceedings at Manchester’s Hilton Hotel on 27 April.
Six new business leaders and their companies, spun out of the north’s higher education institutions, will compete in front of a live audience and four distinguished judges for a cash prize and mentoring.
David said: “This is so important for the future of the region. Championing new enterprise is a major priority for UCLan and it is vital for the north’s future success and competiveness post-Brexit.
“We piloted the UEC in 2016 and the competition was intense and a close run thing but it was great to see six new business leaders being forced to focus on the key elements which drive their business and make the difference between success and failure. This year we plan more surprises for entrants and are delighted to announce experienced judges including Jenny Stewart, CEO of Liverpool and Sefton’s Chamber of Commerce.”
"This is so important for the future of the region. Championing new enterprise is a major priority for UCLan and it is vital for the north’s future success and competiveness post-Brexit."
UCLan has been named as a key sponsor of the competition, which is run as part of the successful Educate-North and UK Leadership Awards staged in association with The Telegraph Media Group and Prolific North.
Last year’s winner was Dean Paton, Managing Director of Big Heritage, a Chester company engaging communities with the past. He said: “The awards were a great opportunity to not only showcase our company to a broad audience, but also a way of focusing our entire business model into a succinct pitch and test it against some tough questions from the panel.
“Beyond the prize fund, the award ceremony and conference proved to be a perfect opportunity to learn, network and listen to some inspiring speakers.”
UCLan lines up alongside Alliance Manchester Business School’s Enterprise Centre and the University of Manchester’s Agent for Intellectual Property Commercialisation (UMIP) as sponsors of the UEC event.
The UEC was devised by former Flying Start executive producer Rob McLoughlin, who founded the media group Hasgrove plc, and it is produced by Alison Tarpey-Black, a former ITV Producer.