NEWS12 January 2022

Funded student placements available for SMEs

Funded by the  Office for Students, the  Intrapreneurial Knowledge Exchange Enterprise Pathway (IKEEP) connects  SME’s (CIC’s and charities included) with  business  trained  university  students  from a range of disciplines,  to  work  on ‘real-world’ projects  that improve  a product, process, or proposition.

A team of three interdisciplinary students  are matched to company projects by the IKEEP team, based on the skillset required, and the students’ preference. Working remotely, they can provide extra resource and inject new perspectives into a business.

Dr Tom  Bartley,  CEO of  Barbal, a technology start-up explains, “IKEEP requires students to be closely aligned with the business problem they are brought in to solve and to have the level of knowledge that they need to be able to do that task.

IKEEP  is particularly well-suited for  organisations  operating  just  beyond the start-up stage.  Projects can run on an intensive basis over 2 weeks, or flexibly within 4 weeks and students are paid a stipend upon completion.

Sarah Whelan, HR Director at Airway Medical, an  equipment manufacturer  says,  “By bringing someone into the business that we can be enthusiastic about and know has received quality training, adds value to the experience and the outcomes. We also appreciate the time, effort and enthusiasm that students bring into the business.

Past projects have included market or competitor research, business model analysis, and technical development and integration of new product ideas.

If your business could  benefit  from  the fresh ideas that  IKEEP  can  bring, email Kate  Bray at the University  of Surrey -  or complete the  IKEEP application form.