Six new businesses have received funding of almost £40,000 in the latest round of the Launchpad FUEL programme at Teesside University.

The successful businesses include four social enterprises, an animation studio and a high-level concept art studio.

Launchpad FUEL is a development programme open to Teesside University students and graduates who are in the early stages of developing a business idea.

A total of 20 businesses underwent intensive development over eight weeks. The founders then pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges for a chance to win further funding.

Six companies successfully pitched for funding to help get their businesses off the ground. A total of £37,000 was awarded to:

  • Silver Lining animation studio
  • Segment – a social enterprise designing games to help diagnose dementia symptoms
  • Urna Dolor –  a luxury fashion brand aimed at helping people with mental health issues
  • Art by Gernzy – high level, concept art
  • Live It and Get Active – a social enterprise tackling exercise and nutrition among young people
  • CATS Social Enterprise Games Studio – helping to develop games which promote people with disabilities in a positive manner.

The teams will all get dedicated office space in Teesside Launchpad for six months, together with a support package including specialist mentoring, business workshops, networking and access to finance and investment support.

Steve Dougan, Head of Graduate Enterprise at Teesside University, said: “Launchpad FUEL offers a unique opportunity for start-ups to access grant funding to give their businesses a real chance of becoming successful.

“Even the start-ups which did not receive the funding benefited enormously from the eight weeks of development they have undertaken.

“It was also extremely gratifying to see so many social enterprises awarded funding.

“This was not a deliberate decision on our part, but demonstrates that social enterprise is becoming increasingly popular as a business model among young entrepreneurs.”

Teesside Launchpad is based in a converted Victorian school at the University’s Middlesbrough campus and offers a co-working space where students, graduates, alumni-entrepreneurs, SMEs and corporate partners can come together in a unique start-up eco-system.

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