Fresh ideas for businesses as students rise to the Thinkubator Challenge

Thinkubator Challenge 2016

Up to 400 staff and students from Nottingham Business School (NBS), Nottingham Trent University, pulled together to solve 40 real business problems at its Thinkubator Challenge 2015.

The event saw research students, business postgraduates and final year undergraduates split into thinking hubs to each work on a real business challenge during one full afternoon.

This year’s challenges mainly focused on marketing, funding and human resource issues which were submitted by a variety of organisations ranging from law to charity and training to fashion.

Guided by expert academics and NBA Alumni Fellows, the teams looked at opportunities such as turning allotments into a visitor attraction, securing sponsorship for an experimental dance company, retaining graduate talent for an international automotive retailer, attracting retailers to a fashion website aimed at modestly dressed women, and targeting Chinese and European markets for a Korean cosmetics company.

Sarah Phillips, managing director of Vein Train Ltd, which provides clinicians with vascular access training, came to Thinkubator for help in developing new products for the current market. She said: “Thinkubator is a great event and was really interesting on the day. There was lots of thinking, lots of energy and lots of great ideas. The solutions that came out of it are also really exciting.”

Anna Tolstoluzhska, studying MSc Digital Marketing, said: “Thinkubator is a great challenge, a chance to test your knowledge, to gain experience and to meet new friends.”

MSc Branding and Advertising student, Marius Lier, added: “I took part in Thinkubator because I wanted to see how my marketing skills can be applied in real world situations.”

Thinkubator is the only event of its kind in Europe and since its launch in 2013 has helped to solve over 100 problems put forward by businesses from across the UK.

Dean of Nottingham Business School, Professor Baback Yazdani, said: “At NBS we are at the forefront of business engagement and we know the issues businesses face. Our unparalleled scale means that we have the resources to offer events such as Thinkubator which give businesses the support they need to stimulate growth.

“Thinkubator also fits perfectly with our aim to give each student a personalised learning experience based on their career aspirations. The students work with real businesses in areas of interest to them, giving them the opportunity to increase their knowledge and skills while networking with the business community.”

NBS holds a Small Business Charter Award for the role it plays in helping to create and develop British enterprise through its links with, and support for, the small business community.