Abertay nurtures business embryos

September 15, 2000

Abertay University is launching a student business incubator unit to stem the exodus of creative technical talent.

Dozens of new jobs could be created by Dundee-based Embreonix. It will help graduates from any university turn a good business idea into a successful high-growth company by providing premises, facilities and support during start-up.

Embreonix plans to nurture 25 new companies in the next five years, creating up to 75 jobs in highly skilled, high added-value businesses. The university believes many of the jobs will be filled by graduates who otherwise might have left Scotland to find employment.

Abertay is converting a mechanical engineering laboratory into 12 small units with a shared presentation suite and a social area where entrepreneurs can meet and exchange ideas. The units will be equipped with free telephones, computers and internet access.

The package also includes enrolment onto Abertay's postgraduate diploma in entrepreneurship, a one-year part-time course in business planning, management, marketing, accounting and product design and development.

Jacqueline McKenzie, the newly appointed graduate enterprise manager, said:

"Many graduates have wonderful business ideas and Embreonix will offer them premises, market information and confidence - three key elements to any successful young business."

Embreonix will open next month and student businesses are being chosen now. Abertay has recruited a 17-strong advisory panel of entrepreneurs, investors and professional business advisers to assess the suitability of applications.

The centre is funded by a Pounds 40,000 European Regional Development Fund, matched by Pounds 40,000 from the university.

The first entrants to the Embreonix programme include Abertay graduates and alumni of the universities of Dundee, Robert Gordon, Edinburgh, Nottingham and Birmingham.

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