Partnerships, People, sbarc | spark

Championing Student Innovation

Are you a student with a big idea? Cardiff University ‘s Enterprise and Start-up Team is leading two projects to champion student innovation and entrepreneurship projects across Wales. Cardiff University’s Enterprise Manager, Rhys Pearce-Palmer, explains more….

“Times are tough, but uncertainty doesn’t appear to be diminishing students’ interest in innovation and enterprise. Quite the opposite. In recent months, as my colleague Claire explained in a previous post, we’ve had record referrals to our mentoring scheme.

Opportunities are out there. This year, staff from Cardiff University’s Enterprise and Start-up Team are leading two significant pan-Wales student innovation and entrepreneurship projects in 2020-21.

The SYNIAD Competition challenges students to develop and pitch ideas to mitigate climate change. The competition is part of a push to help students develop entrepreneurial mindsets for a changing world.

Now in its second year, SYNIAD has expanded to partner with four Universities across Wales – Swansea University, Bangor University, University of Wales Trinity St David and the University of South Wales. Collectively, almost 100,000 students will be able to enter their innovative solutions.

The competition is led by Cardiff University’s Careers and Employability department in collaboration with Welsh Government’s Big Ideas Wales and the Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations.

It’s a fantastic project. Universities are homes to the world’s highest standard of research, innovation, and education. SYNIAD exemplifies this, pulling together strands of excellence to create something new and exciting with the potential to be equally inspiring and disruptive.

Beyond SYNIAD, we’re leading the launch of a major all-Wales online student marketplace. Partnering with 23 Further Education and Higher Education institutions, the online platform will showcase student retailers who cannot trade on campus as normal. Potentially, this represents the first ever national online student marketplace.

Unlike a traditional trade event that features vendors selling physical products, Wales Student Market ( ) allows students with services to feature.

As my colleague Rifhat Qureshi, Cardiff University Enterprise Officer, puts it: “When launching a business or any new product, it is imperative to test your business idea with prospective customers  The Wales Student Market gives students and graduates all over Wales an opportunity to test their idea. This lean method of testing before spending lots of time, money and effort is the way forward for any start-up in the current unpredictable landscape.”

Enterprise is all about thinking creatively, spotting opportunities, and making things happen. We offer Cardiff students the right support to build skills, networks and confidence.

Drop us a line, get in touch. When the world bounces back, we can change things.”

Rhys Pearce-Palmer, Cardiff University’s Enterprise Manager




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