Innovative Anglia Ruskin Student secures NCGE-Kauffman Entrepreneurship fellow

Published: 18 July 2006 at 13:43

Anglia Ruskin University student and aspiring entrepreneur – Christopher Mitchell has been selected by the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship (NCGE) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to be part of its new Entrepreneurship Fellows Scheme, which will see the best of the UK’s future entrepreneurial talent spend six months in the United States as part of a scholarship programme.

Christopher secured 1 of just 15 places announced after presenting his business concept to an interview panel in London in the week of 19th June, having been originally short-listed following nominations from Vice Chancellors in universities across England and submissions from almost 70 entrepreneurial students.

All the students who have been selected as Fellows are part-way through degrees and post doctorates in engineering, scientific or technological subjects, but have applied to pursue a broad array of viable business ideas, from addressing environmental or health issues, to filling market gaps to advancing technology.

Hoping to take advantage of the rapidly expanding market for music online, Christopher Mitchell, a PhD student, is developing a music information server for which he already has a prototype. His server will allow music to be sorted by similar sound and genre.

Christopher will begin preparations for his visit to the US from early October, guided by the NCGE and supported by their Higher Education Institution (HEI), and will then spend six months in the US from January 2007. In the States, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation will host the students and organise their Fellows experience, which will be both practical and educational and include interaction with leading scholars and thinkers, policy leaders, innovative researchers, and business founders.   

The scheme will be tailored to each Fellow to ensure it meets their individual needs and knowledge gaps and helps them develop commercial know-how and relevant new business contacts.

At the end of the programme students will be expected to take what they’ve learnt back to the UK not only as a means of developing their own ideas but to share with other aspiring entrepreneurs and educators within their higher education institution and across their region.

Commenting on his success, Christopher said:

“I am delighted to have been selected as a Fellow. Being able to develop and pursue my business idea in both the UK and the US will be a great opportunity and give me the guidance I need to help mature my concept. It will be fascinating to learn about entrepreneurship in a country where it’s held in such high esteem and I look forward to bringing the lessons back to share with my fellow students and across the university.”

Ian Robertson, Chief Executive of the NCGE and one of the interview panel members, had the following comments on the successful candidates:

“I would like to congratulate the students who have secured a place on the Entrepreneurship Fellows scheme, through a demanding and rigorous application process they demonstrated that they have the determination and commitment to make their ideas a success and would take advantage of every opportunity that being a Fellow will offer. We hope that this important new scheme will not only groom these students for success but see them breed a greater spirit of entrepreneurship amongst their fellow students and future generations, expanding the current business landscape.”

Those not selected have been encouraged to sign up for one of the NCGE’s Flying Start programmes, an intensive, UK-based three day event designed to help them develop their business ideas through a series of workshops and valuable exposure to mentors, fellow entrepreneurs, and potential investors and business developers.