Enterprising PhD researchers praised for financial planning

A group of Postgraduate researchers from our University have taken part in a prestigious competition at national level to build business skills in budding entrepreneurs, winning the award for best financial planning strategy.

On 12 December, the Leicester team took part in the 2017 UK national final of the highly prestigious Biotechnology Young Entrepreneur Scheme (YES) on 12 December, winning the award for Best Financial Plan.  The team was among 9 finalists from an initial entry of about 100 teams.

The team, called Pi2, consisted of Felicity Easton, Giannis Koukkidis and Jamie McCarthy, all from the Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation (3Is). They developed and presented a method for detecting bacteria in salad.

The Young Entrepreneur Scheme (YES) competitions are designed to develop business awareness and an understanding of entrepreneurship in UK postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers. The competition sees participants prepare a business plan for a hypothetical company. The Leicester team (Pi2) won best consideration of financial planning strategy, sponsored by James Cowper Kreston.

This year, two of the University's teams were coached by the University’s Doctoral College to take part in the Young Entrepreneur Scheme (YES) heats.

The Biotechnology YES team took part in the Manchester heat, and won their stream, to qualify for the final.  The University’s Engineering YES team of Adam Higgins (Physics and Astronomy), Bright Robert (Engineering) and Jamie Williams (Physics and Astronomy) took part in the Nottingham heat, with their business idea built around lightweight drones. Their performance earned them third place, behind contestants from Reading University and Oxford University.

Martin Coffey, Career Development Adviser with the Doctoral College team, commented: “The knowledge, skills, experience and networks from the YES experience will benefit researchers in whatever career they pursue.  Making the national final and winning this award evidences the level of skill the Leicester team demonstrated.”