Live YOUR dream

Whether you want to start a business, change the world or choose who you want to work with as a freelancer, Bell Street Ventures is here to help.

Using different tools and techniques, we will make you think creatively and practically about how best to approach your idea and make it a reality. 

We don’t mind if you want to make a million, or make a living – we work with Abertay students and recent graduates to make it happen.

 

Find out more

We are trying to make it as easy as possible for you to use the services and facilities within Bell Street Ventures. 

You can book in a session with our Student Enterprise Officer, Simon Fraser, here. 

You can pop in to have a wee look at the space, check out our notice boards or have a cup of coffee.

You can email us at business@abertay.ac.uk and someone will get back to you ASAP, or email simon.fraser@abertay.ac.uk if you prefer to email a real person. 

Competitions and Funding

There are a number of funding opportunities and competitions open to Abertay students and graduates.  The main ones are:

Converge Challenge

Over the last 9 years, Converge has supported some of the best entrepreneurial talent to emerge from Scotland’s Universities and Research Institutes.

From start-ups to spin-outs, Converge winners are represented across a wide range of industries including the life sciences, technology, engineering, renewables, the creative industries and med tech. Some of their ground-breaking innovations include next generation ultrasound sensors, educational robots, wearable medical devices, trailblazing cancer treatments and robotic, grain monitoring probes.There are four, distinct competition categories including:

Converge Challenge: For more established ideas with high commercial potential and scalability

Creative Challenge: For innovative, new projects operating in the creative sector

Impact Challenge: For mission-led businesses looking to deliver a positive social or environmental impact

KickStart Challenge: For early stage, innovative ideas

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

Each April, Abertay University nominate two entries from among our student and recent graduates (up to 2 years post-graduation) to win up to £25,000 worth of equity-free seed funding, support from business experts, exclusive access to an acceleration week and a fully funded intern from Santander.

Scottish Institute for Enterprise

The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) creates opportunities for students to be innovative. SIE works nationally to promote and support enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland’s students.

They work closely with local institutions to champion enterprise education and help their students start new innovative businesses and social enterprises. SIE provides free one-to-one advice, enterprise workshops and national competitions.

Find out more about SIE through BSV.

Scottish EDGE

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent. 

Funding rounds usually open twice a year, and BSV can support you to develop your application and be inspired by their winners.

Competition cateogires include: Young EDGE, for people aged 18-30 and Wild Card EDGE for pre-trading businesses.

Events and Workshops

We have a range of workshops and events specially designed to help you develop your business idea, test your products and services, and take practical steps towards your goal.

We work with individuals and organisations who are well known in the local business community for their exceptional service to start ups and new businesses.

Some examples are:

Workshop Delivered by
Market Development Workshop Social Stork
Digital and Social Media Marketing Social Stork
Rock Your Brand – Part 1 Pixels Ink
Rock Your Brand – Part 2 Pixels Ink
Intellectual Property 101 C Here - Alan Rae
Marketing Foundations The Story Edge – Kev Anderson
Business Storytelling The Story Edge – Kev Anderson
Accounts 101 Ashton McGill
Business Model Canvas 101 Ashton McGill
EQ for business owners Claire Standen, Rising Strong
Selling Skills Sandy McCurdy, The Sales Coach
Fast Track 5 day programme CocaCola 5 by 20

All Bell Street Ventures workshops, sessions and learning opportunities are listed on the Abertay Eventbrite page – click here to see what’s going on http://bellstreetventures.eventbrite.com/

Facilities

Find us in Old College – through the fancy doors on Bell Street and turn left. 

We’ve got a hot-desking space (great if you need to get your head down and get on with writing a business plan or doing a cashflow).

Our collaboration space has furniture that you can move around so it’s easy to work in big or small groups, or on your own if you want a livelier vibe around you.

We have a meeting room which you can book – maybe there are a few of you who need to meet regularly, or you want to speak to a prospective client in a professional setting which reflects well on your business and you as a founder.

And last but not least we have our kitchen – with plenty of seats if you want to take a break, work on your laptop or catch up with the other people starting their businesses with BSV. 

And the best bit? Free coffee!

Tools and resources

We can help you develop your business and get you started on your (ad)venture.

We really love the Business Model Canvas (BMC) at Bell Street Ventures and think it’s a great tool to start to put down on paper what’s currently circling around your head. This can help to get buy in from others as well as to take feedback from your peers and advisers.

You can download a copy The Business Model Canvas or pick up a big A1 print from Bell Street Ventures. We think the best way to use the BMC is to grab a stack of post its and sharpies and get throwing your ideas down. They can always be taken off or moved around later.

For some more information on the BMC and how to use it, watch the Strategyzer YouTube playlist here

As always, if you want some help and input whilst populating your BMC then book in a session with our Student Enterprise Officer, Simon Fraser, here.

To help get you started, have a go at answering these simple questions:

  • Who is your customer?
  • What problem or challenge are you solving for them?
  • What is the value you’re giving?
  • How are you going to find and keep your customers?
  • What makes you different?
  • How are you going to make money?
  • What are your costs?

When you think you’re ready to create your first attempt of creating a pitch deck (a presentation about your business idea) get some guidance here - https://slidebean.com/blog/startups-pitch-deck-examples and have a go. Don’t worry, it’s just your first draft and you’ll be given advice and feedback on it.

Who's Who?

Simon Fraser - Student Enterprise Officer

The main person at Bell Street Ventures is Simon Fraser – he’s the Student Enterprise Officer and he LOVES to help people think about their business ideas. He worked with Elevator for more than seven years, helping people from all walks of life to start and grow their companies, and joined Abertay in January 2019.  

Simon Fraser - Bell Street Ventures

 

Lorna Edwards - Head of Business Engagement

You might also see Lorna Edwards hanging around. She’s the Head of Business Engagement for Abertay, and has been working on the idea and reality of setting up a support service like BSV for a while.  Lorna has worked in and around social enterprise for more than 20 years and has also developed creative entrepreneurs at home and abroad. 

Lorna Edwards

 

 

Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellows

BSV is also home to some of Abertay’s Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellows and some of the start up businesses we are supporting.  The RSE Enterprise Fellowship is a leading business development and training programme for the Higher Education sector, enabling science and technology researchers to develop into successful and world-class entrepreneurs.  

As we develop and grow, we’ll be joined by more home grown startups. And hopefully you!

 

Abertay Startups

https://takeyourmarks.co.uk/

Fertility Genomics (website coming soon) - Dr Doug Lester and Dr Sean Brown 

Work with us

We have opportunities for bursary funding to help you concentrate on your business ideas, and are often on the lookout for paid interns for BSV or the businesses we support.  Look back here regularly for current vacancies and opportunities.

About BSV

We’ve been able to establish Bell Street Ventures thanks to the generosity of the late Bill Sword, and the Santander Universities network.

Bill Sword set up his first business right on the door step of Bell Street Venture’s’ current home in Old College back in 1949. You can find out more about Bill’s life and legacy here - https://www.abertay.ac.uk/life/alumni-and-supporters/thanks-to-our-donors/william-m-sword-a-lasting-legacy/

Abertay are proud to be part of the Santander Universities network, working together to promote opportunities and support student entrepreneurship.  Being part of this network gives Abertay students access to additional resources which they can use to build their skills and make their business more successful.  https://www.santander.co.uk/uk/santander-universities