Entrepreneurs to take centre stage at UTC

Date: December 16th 2015

A new facility for young entrepreneurs is to be officially opened today (Wednesday 16th December) at UTC@MediaCityUK by Sir Rod Aldridge, successful entrepreneur and founder of UTC sponsor the Aldridge Foundation, and Stephen Wild, Managing Director at MediaCityUK.

The group of ‘entrepreneurship pods’, located in a secure area at the front of the campus, have been developed to give students and the community a dedicated local space in which to set up their own small businesses, with two UTC students already preparing to move in with their Graphic Design, Web and App development business idea ‘Wild and Ross’.

Year 12 students Benjamin Wild and Lewis Ross-Nichol won their place in the entrepreneurial pods after preparing and presenting a business case to the board of governors. Wild and Ross will create animations, motion graphics and graphics for companies, while focusing on a longer term goal of launching an app. Lewis Ross-Nichol will complete the coding work for the business whilst Benjamin Wild, already recognised in the local media for his artistic skills, will be responsible for the illustrations.

Benjamin and Lewis attended the opening (pictured with Sir Rod and Mr Wild), which marks the next step in the development of the university technical college, which admitted its first students in September having been oversubscribed for applications.

Sir Rod Aldridge is a successful entrepreneur who founded and grew business process outsourcing company Capita to be one of this country’s most successful businesses before setting up the Aldridge Foundation in 2006.

The Foundation is an educational charity with 11 schools and colleges across England. The entrepreneurial pod concept, known as ‘Creates’ is being developed across all Aldridge sponsored schools and colleges, with many success stories coming out of those already established. Celebrity favourite jewellery start-up Finchittada began their journey at Kensington Aldridge Academy in London, and successful graphic design company SourSquare Creative was set up by student Harry Easton at Darwen Aldridge Community Academy when he was just 15.

Principal Anne Casey said: “The opening of this entrepreneurial space at the UTC is a fantastic opportunity for us to mirror the success seen at other Aldridge schools. It will not only enable our students to put their ambitions into practice but also to enable local start-ups a supportive space to begin their ventures in the heart of MediaCityUK, whilst having the opportunity to work with the students and give back to the school community.”

Sir Rod Aldridge said “We believe that an entrepreneurial mind-set gives the UTC’s students essential skills to achieve whatever it is they want to achieve in life. These entrepreneurship pods provide a unique opportunity and it’s fantastic to see Benjamin and Lewis leading the way with their exciting business idea.”

Stephen Wild, MD MediaCityUK and governor at the UTC said “The UTC@MediaCityUK, based in the heart of MediaCityUK, offers a digital and technical education for students from 14-18 across the North West who have a passion for shaping digital and creative content. It is situated in a brand new state-of-the-art building close to the University of Salford campus, The Lowry Theatre, the BBC, ITV and over 250 SMEs. This is the place where leading content specialists can interface and overlap with the leading technology and engineering specialists, all underpinned by the same skill base and we look forward to seeing what the young entrepreneurs within the UTC can achieve”.

The UTC has facilities such as filming studios, sound and radio recording studios, plus gaming and design labs, all packed with industry standard equipment. Students combine their technical learning with GCSE and A Levels in core subjects including English and Maths.

To find out more about the UTC, express interest in the pods or in 2016 school places, please visit the website www.utcmediacityuk.org.uk.

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