World news story

Big ideas? Get them off the ground in the UK

If you’re a global graduate with a bright business idea, the Sirius Programme can help you make it a reality!

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Sirius programme

Phase two of the Sirius programme led by the government department, UK Trade & Investment launched on 8 May capitalising on the proven overseas success of the first phase. The programme targets global graduates and has received continued support from high profile figures such as Lord Bilimoria- founder Cobra beer, Roberta Lucca- co founder Bossa studios and Gerard Grech – CEO at Tech City UK.

More than 700 teams from over 93 countries entered the first year of UK Trade & Investment’s Sirius Programme, which invites talented young entrepreneurs with world-class start-up ideas to make the UK their home. Of these applicants, over 40 teams will relocate to the UK by June 2014.

One of the teams on the Sirius programme, iGBL, has chosen the UK as a base for their budding business, as part of the scheme.

Charlton Mak, an entrepreneur from Hong Kong, founder of iGBL (Interactive Game Based Learning) seeks to join in the education revolution by providing university and high school teachers with interactive game-based learning tools fit for the modern classroom.

Alongside Hong Kong, the graduate entrepreneurs accepted on to the Sirius Programme, come from different countries worldwide, including Brazil, China, the US, India, Romania, Denmark, Sweden and Argentina. The Sirius Programme offers graduate teams with entrepreneurial ambition a complete package to get their business off the ground in the UK, helping create jobs and boost Britain’s enterprise community.

Charlton Mak from iGBL, said:

“Educational tools that help improve learning outcomes will always be in demand. In education settings, it can be hard for those teaching to effectively communicate abstract concepts and ideas to their students, especially if it’s a big class. More often than not, the learner is required to sit through long lectures which use non-interactive approaches and traditional materials, like textbooks. From our own experience as MBA students, we understand that it can be hard for most students to grasp abstract business concepts by merely listening to lectures or reading books. Concepts come alive when we play interactive games and simulations enabled by technology! We hope that our platform will make it easy for teachers to set up and run real-time experiments within classes.

“It’s very exciting for iGBL to be part of the Sirius Programme especially as we get to own the business 100 per cent - one of the key benefits of the Programme is that we don’t need to give up any equity. We can’t wait to start tapping into the extensive networks the Sirius Programme offers and to start growing our business with confidence knowing we have the support of our Accelerator and UKTI. Young people are our early adopters so, with the most concentrated student scene in Europe, the UK is by far the best place to establish our business.”

The 12-month Sirius Programme sees the successful teams based around the UK in one of the Sirius Programme Accelerators: Accelerator Academy, London; Entrepreneurial Spark, Glasgow; The Bakery, London; Oxygen Accelerator, Birmingham and Ignite 100, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. These organisations are the backbone of the Programme, as they take the start up teams and nurture and develop them, offering mentoring, workshops and office space. In addition the programme will provide support and help to win customers, get funding and scale the business.

Overall the Sirius winners will be able to take advantage of the UK entrepreneurial ecosystem, a collaborative environment where like-minded entrepreneurs come together and grow. Other advantages of starting up in the UK include access to the number one venture capital market in Europe and to 500 million customers across Europe.

The Sirius Programme aims to attract hundreds of talented entrepreneurs into the UK and support them in making their dreams a reality.

To register your interest in the Sirius Programme or follow @SiriusProgramme on Twitter.

Published 19 May 2014