ACT Now! will support students with social enterprise ideas and provide them with the skills and knowledge to bring them to life.
The programme, which launched on Monday, is part of an expanding network of enterprise activity across the College, but is the first focussing specifically on social enterprise innovations.
ACT Now! is a year-long programme taking students from an initial ideas stage to a final showcase event. Here they will pitch their ideas against other student-led enterprises for the chance to win £1000 funding.
Students will be able to take part in initial ‘Hack-it, Crack-it’ ideas workshops to explore the issues they care about and come up with innovative solutions to social problems.
The workshops are arranged around three key themes: healthcare innovation, society and the environment.
The programme directly feeds into existing College entrepreneurship initiatives, acting as a stepping stone to help would-be entrepreneurs have the confidence to back their ideas.
– Nas Andriopoulous
President, Imperial College Union
Once a student or team have come up with their idea, they will be supported through an enterprise bootcamp as well as through one-to-one support and skills workshops to develop their solution ahead of the showcase.
Nas Andriopoulous, President of Imperial College Union, said: “ACT Now! is a unique programme which will support students interested in starting social enterprise and develop their entrepreneurial skills in the process.
“Through collaboration with the Enterprise Lab team and others, the programme directly feeds into existing College entrepreneurship initiatives, acting as a stepping stone to help would-be entrepreneurs have the confidence to back their ideas.”
The launch featured a number of guest speakers who developed enterprising projects during their time at the College. Ilana Taub and Michael Minch-Dixon are the cofounders of Snact, a social venture tackling food waste using surplus produce to make healthy snacks. Lauren Dennis from the Department of Chemistry was one of the 2016 Althea-Imperial Programme finalists. She has developed low cost on-site testing for farmers to tackle Rift Valley fever in cattle and prevent the disease from passing to humans.
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