B Start-Up Programme

Do you have a business idea or want to grow your existing business? Whether you want to test, start or grow your idea, we have the perfect programme and community for you and you will have the opportunity to apply for seed funding of up to £500* to get you started.

Come and join other entrepreneurial students and learn how to test the viability of your business, start your business and find more customers. 

What is the B Start-Up Programme?

This is a structured programme where you receive expert teaching and guidance on how to effectively develop, test, start and grow any business venture in the quickest, cheapest and most effective way. Delivered as 13 sessions over 6 months, the programme is based on a blend of the best start-up methodologies including the MIT Entrepreneurship course, described in the book Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet.

Covering everything from assessing your market, profiling your customer, selecting a test market, engaging with potential customers, developing a Minimum Viable Product and pitching your solution (plus a raft of other tools and techniques).

You will learn a tried and tested process to building a business, network with other entrepreneurs and have an opportunity to develop and test your pitch as well as have the opportunity to apply for seed funding of up to £500* to get you started..

HOW COULD £500 HELP YOU? Join the B Start-Up Programme and get the chance to bid for £500 Seed Funding!


B Start-Up Programme

By the end of the programme you will:

  • Have the chance to apply for up to £500 to develop your idea*
  • Have a website and online profile for your business
  • Have access to the start-up guidance and support available from Careers Network and BizzInn
  • Meet like-minded students looking to start their start-up adventure
  • Have learnt how to develop the business model around your idea and other future ideas you may have
  • Learn how to identify and target specific customers
  • Learn how to approach and test customers to determine whether the customer is profitable
  • Learn to how to quickly and efficiently create and develop your product/service
  • Learn how to price and market your product/service
  • Learn business fundamentals like accounting and legal in an interactive and informative manner
  • Have the opportunity to register/set-up your business and website for free

*Funding is not accessible to students who have already received funding via the B-Enterprising Ideas Fund, graduates and students whose visa do not allow self-employment.

The B Start-Up Programme and associated funding is kindly sponsored by our partners at Santander Universities.
Santander Logo

Key Dates

Here is a breakdown of the B Start-Up Programme sessions in 2019.

Introduction - 5 December 2018, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room 106, University House)
Introduction to the programme, meet your fellow entrepreneurs and discuss the Growth Mindset needed to successfully build a business.  You will then be introduced to the Lean Startup methodology and the 24 Steps Disciplined entrepreneurship process.

Session 1 - 16 January 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room G06, University House)
In this workshop you will start to analyse the markets for your solution and select a 'beachhead’ starting market.  You will then analyse the typical persona of a user of your product/service.

Session 2 - 23 January 2019,  13:00 - 17:00 (Room G06, University House)
Building on the persona of a user you will define the life cycle of your customer, analyse your value proposition and start to develop a high level marketing overview of your product/service. 

Session 3 - 30 January 2019,  13:00 - 17:00 (Room G06, University House)
You will start to define target customers to interview, analyse your competitor position and then prepare for customer interviews (primary market research).

Session 4 - 6 February 2019,  13:00 - 17:00 (Room G06, University House)
You will figure out the sales process for your product and the customer’s decision making unit.  We will explore different business models and ways to sell and charge your customers.

Session 5 - 13 February 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room  G07, University House)
You will develop a Business Model Canvas to help explain your business to prospective customers, partners and investors.

Session 6 - 20 February 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room UG08, Murray Learning Centre)
Developing an online presence for your business can be done easily and at low cost.  This practical workshop will concentrate on the tools and techniques to develop a web presence for your business and you will be guided through the process of creating your website and other online presence.

Session 7 - 27 February 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room 204, University House)
Pricing your products, calculating the Lifetime Value of your customers and the costs of sales are all important to be able to develop a sustainable and growing business.  This workshop will help you focus on the important numbers for success.

Session 8 - 6 March 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room G06, University House)
Developing and practicing a sales presentation.  This workshop will analyse what makes a powerful sales presentation, what structure you should use, discuss presentation techniques and provide you the opportunity to start the development of your sales presentation.

Session 9 - 13 March 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room G06, University House)
Being clear about what you have assumed in developing your business plans is important, as you will need to test these assumptions in client, partner and investor meetings.  Developing the right questions to test your assumptions will be the key output of this workshop.  You will also be introduced to LinkedIn. 

Session 10 - 20 March 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room UG08, Murray Learning Centre)
Networking and researching potential contacts using LinkedIn will be key to your success.  This workshop will discuss networking best practices and how to use LinkedIn effectively, prior to the Birmingham Connections networking event this same evening.

Session 11 - 27 March 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room G06, University House)
Business setup essentials - covering how to setup a UK business, tax, accounting, insurance and all the fundamentals you will need to launch your business.

April and May 2019
This time is dedicated for you to interview your potential customers to test your business idea and gain insight into how to develop your current thinking.

Session 12 - 12 June 2019, 13:00 - 17:00 (Room 113, Muirhead Tower)
Review of your learnings, developing a Minimum Viable Product based on your customer feedback and creating a ‘plan on a page’ to move your business forward.

How to apply

Applications for the B Start-Up Programme are now closed! 

The B Start-Up programme is open to University of Birmingham students and recent graduates. You do not need any experience of start-up to join the programme but you do need to come with a business idea in mind, as this will be a practical programme designed to get your business started. 

If you would like to apply for a future programme, please email us at benterprising@contacts.bham.ac.uk and we will be in touch once future dates become available.

If you have a business idea, you can benefit from booking a Business Start-Up 1-2-1 appointment or find ways to apply for Funding.