Entrepreneurial academics at the University of Birmingham are developing their business planning skills through an intensive five day training programme supported by top professional services firms including PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

In consultation with PwC, the University of Birmingham has developed a bespoke course, which focuses on honing the skills required to formulate a business plan to develop a commercially viable product or service.

The Enterprising Birmingham - Business Plan Competition rewards both research staff and postdoctoral researchers at the University of Birmingham who can demonstrate a great business idea based on their research interests.

The 16 shortlisted competitors have now completed their business plan training, which included attending two modules of the University’s Medici Training programme and an additional session run by Victoria Marcer and Ian Birch from PwC.
Ian Birch, Corporate Finance Manager, from PwC commented “It’s great to be a part of such a worthwhile programme. We were genuinely impressed by the quality and breadth of ideas and jumped at the chance to help this talented group of budding entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into commercial enterprises."

Catherine Mansell, Knowledge Transfer Development Group Manager at the University of Birmingham, said “We are delighted to have this support from PwC as it has given our academics a real sense of what investors are looking for in a new business. We are really excited about the showcase event and are particularly grateful to Sir Dominic Cadbury for agreeing to give up his time to launch it.”

The business plans submitted will be further shortlisted by a group of both internal and external specialists and the finalists will be invited to present their ideas in front of a panel of judges at the Enterprising Birmingham Showcase which will take place on 13 January 2011. The Showcase will be a lively demonstration of the entrepreneurial spirit of the University of Birmingham and we anticipate a large audience from both industry and academia.

The Business Plan competition has been launched for the first time this year with the aim of creating new business spinouts sought from its considerable research talent.

If you would like to attend the showcase in January or would like more general information about the Business Plan Competition, please contact: Catherine Mansell at: c.mansell@bham.ac.uk.


Notes to Editors:
The Enterprising Birmingham - Business Plan Competition is sponsored by: Central Technology Belt; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Marks & Clerk LLP; Circles of Influence Campaign; the Knowledge Transfer Development Fund; Withers & Rogers LLP; and Birmingham Research Park.

Further media information:
Kali Tiwana – Press & PR Assistant, University of Birmingham, tel: 0121 414 6029 / email: k.tiwana@bham.ac.uk