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What is included in the Start-Up Programme?

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This page outlines all the elements included in the 12 month be inspired Start-Up programme so that you get a full overview of what a typical year looks like for those who secure a place. However, if you have any questions at all just give us a buzz on Teams or email

'How to Run a Business' induction

The Induction process is a fantastic opportunity to meet everyone in your group (intake), learn everything you need to know to run a sustainable and successful enterprise and get to know the wider biSU team.

Ongoing advice, guidance and reviews

What is a review meeting? 

A review meeting is where you will come in and speak with a biSU business advisor.  They are held every other month and are designed to ascertain how you are getting along with all aspects of the programme.  This is so that you can feedback your views as well as the progress of your business.  These face-to-face meetings are fairly short (no longer than half an hour) and some maybe undertaken via email with prior approval.

Industry Mentoring

Meeting your mentor each month helps you to plan your business and move it forwards so that you achieve tasks on your ‘business action list’. This is because it provides accountability. You choose your mentor from the list below. All the mentors are pre-approved and well connected but you need to choose one which you feel you can work with for a whole year.

You work with your chosen mentor for the full year for business consistency but, if you feel other mentors have specialisms that you could benefit from, you can book one-off appointments with them too.

Evening workshops and the biSU Business Club

Over the course of the year, you will attend business upskilling workshops, these will be held once a month on a Wednesday evening and are just for your group of start-ups. The workshops have expert external speakers from specific industry areas, scheduled around the anticipated stages your business will have reached.

Three of the monthly sessions will be biSU Business clubs which means that they are also open to external businesses, staff and students, so attendance can be up to 100 people.  They are an opportunity for you to network with external businesses as well as the people in your group.

Mid-year review competition

The Mid-year review competition is an exciting opportunity to get to know your group better, share best practice, contacts and information.  Everyone on the cohort will do a short talk about their personal & business journey so far.  All attendees are given the opportunity to vote for their favourite business and the most voted for business will win an additional £1,000 grant funding (you cannot vote for yourself). 


At the end of the programme, you will each be given a one-day exhibition space at GradEXStart-Up.  GradEX is an annual University exhibition and an opportunity for you to get some exhibition experience.  A lot of external businesses attend this event and it is a great opportunity for you to network and practice your exhibition skills.  We hope that by June 2022 we will be able to physically hold this event at the Law Building in Stoke-on-Trent but, if not, we have a great online event planned.


One year following your start on the project you will ‘graduate’.   This will be a day long event where you take part in an exhibition.  Towards the end of the day we will hold a Graduation Ceremony where you will be presented with your completion certificate. This is a great celebration day for everyone on your cohort and the biSU staff.

Post-project support

Even though you have graduated from the programme, you can continue to receive advice, guidance, funding links and networking support from us for as long as you need us…even if its just for a catch up chat.

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