The Enterprise Fellowship Scheme (EFS) is managed by Warwick Ventures, the University department responsible for creating spin-off companies based on University technology.
EFS work with individuals with a technology-based business idea to help develop the idea into a successful business. They provide interest-free loans of up to £10,000, personalised training, mentoring services and hot-desking facilities to successful applicants, or fellows, for free.
The scheme is open to students, employees and alumni of the following institutions: Coventry, Keele, Staffordshire, UCE, Warwick and Wolverhampton. The Universities of Aston and Birmingham are also preparing to join this year.
EFS are funded by the European Regional Development Fund, HSBC and the Mercia Institute of Enterprise.
EFS differs from Warwick Ventures in that it is aimed at the beginner, all you need to have to apply is a bright idea for a high-growth business. Fellows are given support in gaining business skills and specialist help in developing their own specific idea. A series of 'milestones' in the form of panel presentations help expose the fellows to external business contacts as well as serving as appraisals to keep them on track.
In the scheme's pilot phase which ended in December 2001, 21 fellows joined, creating 14 new businesses.
Among those fellows is Dr David Stott from the Department of Biological Sciences. Together with his partners he has been exploiting a patented method for the control of cell division in the development of cancer therapeutics.
David's company, Cytomica Ltd, was incorporated on 28 October 2002. It was created to conduct research into mechanisms underlying cell division with the aim of developing small molecule inhibitors of the cell division process for supply to the pharmaceutical sector as lead compounds for drug development.
"The Enterprise Fellowship Scheme has offered all the support I have needed. It gave me all the training, information, advice and mentoring that I required. EFS gave me the opportunity to test my proposals in a supportive environment."
For more information on EFS and Warwick Ventures follow the links below:
Warwick Ventures http://www.ventures.warwick.ac.uk/