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Trinity College is building on the success of its Bradfield Centre’s first year by hosting an accelerator programme for Cambridge University students.
The school is running a biannual Trinity Bradfield Prize competition to provide individuals with the chance to win £10,000, a three-month period at the centre, and mentoring and networking opportunities.
Cambridge University under- and postgraduates can apply until 23 September 2018 for the October contest, with another competition planned in April 2019. A panel of judges will select contestants based on their tech ideas and strategies for development.
One of the competition managers, Ravi Solanki, co-founder of investment firm Primera Impact and Trinity student, said Cambridge is becoming an “epicentre for student-led entrepreneurship across all disciplines”.
“However, the vast majority of students and young researchers still face many challenges in helping their ideas become a reality,” he said. “Ultimately [the Trinity Bradfield Prize] will lay the foundations of a new ecosystem for the young entrepreneurs in Cambridge.”
The competition builds on the Bradfield Centre’s work since it opened in July 2017, in partnership with co-working providers Central Working. The facility’s aim was to support tech scale-ups, and over 60 businesses have moved into the centre.
The location has also hosted over 180 entrepreneurial events, with the UK Business Angel Association, a trade association for early stage investment, selecting it as the top angel hub in East England. Other organisations, including Tech Nation and Tech East, have also pushed member companies to network at the facility.
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Trinity College senior bursar Rory Landman said the Bradfield centre has put a marker down as being a top facility for tech entrepreneurs.
“It’s an exciting place to be, with plenty of opportunities for impromptu exchanges,” he said. “This reflects the college environment in which people meet, ideas cross-fertilise and the unexpected can happen,” he said.
Bradfield Centre managing director James Parton said: “We have quickly delivered on our goals of providing a high-quality workspace for scale-ups in Cambridge, providing the connections, support and education to fuel our members growth, while forging strong links into the university to support and encourage student entrepreneurial activity.
“With these fantastic foundations laid, we’ll now be turning our attention to enhancing our community programming, strengthening links with tech communities across the UK and around the world, and working with strategic corporate partners who can help accelerate the growth of businesses based here.”