Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click on 'Find out more' to see our Cookie statement.

The aim of this two day workshop is to explore all stages of the enterprise cycle – from idea generation for a new product, through to business launch.


This two-day course is an action-based approach to learning the essential transferable skills and knowledge for setting up a small business, or becoming self-employed. On the first day attendees will begin to identify potential entrepreneurial opportunities from either their own research work, or their research-related skills. Through the application of a generic creative problem solving process, these opportunities will then be transformed with the generation of business ideas, and the development of an action plan to enable the next steps to be taken in starting a business. The tools and techniques experienced in this part of the course can also be usefully applied by the attendees in meeting the challenges in their current research career.      

The second day will be a team-based simulation of a business start-up that explores all stages of the enterprise cycle – from idea generation for a new product, through to business launch. Starting with a business scenario based on potential applications of a new discovery, attendees will work in teams of five to find novel product ideas and develop the business. Each team member will have responsibility for managing different aspects of the start-up. At the end of the simulation each team will make a pitch for funding to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ panel based on the production of a summary business plan, a prototype model of the new product, a marketing website or plan, a cash flow, and an IPR statement.

As well as providing the essential knowledge and skills for setting up a business, this course will give attendees the opportunity to reflect on the personal aspects involved in transforming an innovative idea into an entrepreneurial product.


By the end of this session students will have:

  • experience in exploring the business potential of their research in its widest sense (ie the research itself, the tools and techniques of the research, and their own tacit skills and knowledge)
  • experience in applying an idea-generation tool to a research field in order to identify new research and business opportunities
  • greater understanding of the skills of entrepreneurship and how these relate to research skills
  • appreciation of essential aspects of business development
  • an understanding of visual business planning, including product definition, marketing, intellectual property rights and finance.


PGR and Research Staff 

number of places


course leader

Dr Kevin Byron


Information about the next scheduled course, and how to apply for a place, are in our course programme.

rdf skills

A2, A3, D2, D3

The Researcher Development Framework (RDF) provides a framework for planning and supporting the personal, professional and career development of graduate students and research staff.