What is Social Enterprise?

So, what is Social Enterprise anyway?

Ever wondered what a social enterprise is? Well… if you have ever eaten a Divine chocolate bar or eaten at a Jamie Oliver Fifteen restaurant you have experienced a community interest company (CIC) or a social enterprise.

There are an estimated 70,000 social enterprises in the UK contributing to 18.5 billion to the UK economy (based on 2012 small business survey 2013) but what are they and what do they do?

Social enterprises are businesses which exist for the greater good: to tackle social problems, benefit people’s lives & communities or the environment. They do this by employing those who may otherwise not have those opportunities or by providing much needed services in the community.

A great local example is that of a brand new restaurant in Middlesbrough founded by Andy Preston called ‘The Fork  in the Road’. This social enterprise restaurant will employ  ex-offenders, ex-addicts and the long term unemployed as chefs and waiting staff. Their partner project ‘the Spoon’ a community cafe, will employ ex addicts who are not yet ready for working in an environment with alcohol. The aim of the initiative is to help those in need get back into work.

Social enterprises are not charities. They are profit making organisations but unlike businesses re-invest all of their profits back into the company to do more good.

So why start a social enterprise now?
  • There is plenty of funding from the government to hep you start.
  • There are experts and mentors out there to help you set up.
  • You can add an extra dimension to your company by offering the feel good factor to your customers who will be buying from you and helping a good cause.

Come to one of our taster sessions to find out more about social enterprise book by visiting Eventbrite:

First steps in Social Enterprise

Boot Camp: Developing your Social Enterprise idea


5 types of Teesside student you’ll meet at Health Hack Tees

The med-student

It’s a health hackathon, and while an understanding of health is in no way a prerequisite, there will certainly be a few students in their element. Having one or two of these on your team will give you the inside track when it comes to explaining how best to implement these innovations in the real-world. However, never underestimate the value of bringing knowledge and experience from other sectors!

The budding entrepreneur

Don’t know your business model canvas from your balance sheet? Fear not, there will be plenty of Richard Branson-in-waitings that you can call on. These guys and girls know what they’re doing when it comes to turning an idea into a viable business plan – when it comes to picking your team, make sure you’re not short-changed!

The big-picture thinker

You know the type – this person will have at least 6 ideas going into the hack, and come up with plenty more throughout the hackathon. They might not have the finer details… or the medium-sized details… or, in some cases, any details at all, but they do know what their end product looks like, and they have the charisma to rally a team around their vision. Think Lyle Lanley, but with better morals (and slightly less of a penchant for monorails).

The detail driven

The focused and attentive cat, to the BPT’s boisterous labradoodle, you’ll want a sprinkling of these on your team to keep you grounded and make sure that you’re sticking to your deadlines.

The non-stop hustler

While others may have greater experience, or a clearer vision, that doesn’t stop the hustler. What they lack in vision, or experience, they make up for with sheer ability to get things done. Need to do some market research on your product? Need to make some calls? Need more resources? Whatever the task at hand, this person is your go to, especially against tight deadlines. Be sure to check they are pointed in the right direction when you let them go!

Not sure what type of student you are? Come along, get stuck into our hackathon, and find out for yourself. Sign up on evenbrite for free.


5 great reasons to join Teesside Launchpad

5 great reasons you need to join Launchpad!

Starting at university brings opportunity. In fact, at Teesside University, you are showered with a host of amazing opportunities, and we hope Freshers’ Fair has helped you spot the ones that are right for you. Just in case you have forgotten quite what Teesside Launchpad is, or why you should join, here’s our top five reasons to sign up.

  1. It is totally FREE to join!
  2. The sense of community
    Teesside Launchpad is home to a host of talented, creative, energetic, bright and unique minds. We have a rich community of students, graduates, partners, specialist mentors, investors, collaborators and Alumni entrepreneurs who are part of Launchpad’s network. We are an inclusive community based on reciprocity and we’d love for you to join us! As a member of Teesside Launchpad, you will automatically be signed up to our mailing list where you will receive information about all our exciting events and workshops which are free to attend. You will be able to access our Ideas room, Maker space, Learning room and Co working space anytime using your membership card.
  3. Hackathons, workshops, and a host of events!
    We run a range of events designed to help our students, from workshops and networking sessions, through to immersive hackathons. Launchpad caters for all types of entrepreneurs and creatives, no matter how experienced, and regardless of how long the business has been going. On top of personal development, our events are a wonderful place to make friends and even meet potential future business partners!One key event in our diaries – and hopefully soon to be in yours – is our health hackathon with The South Tees NHS Foundation Trust on October 21st and 22nd. Together we are tackling the challenge of improving patient experience, and helping The Trust better care for and support its patients and staff. It is specifically targeted at students who want to learn how to build a business, grow their network, and develop new skills. Whether you’re intrigued by working in healthcare and medical technology, or you’re looking to apply your knowledge of another sector to the challenge at hand, this event is perfect for you! Great entrepreneurs are often people who take lessons from one sector and apply them into another. For more information, or to sign right up head over to eventbrite.
  4. The amazing spaces
    We have amazing spaces here at Teesside Launchpad. Spaces to play, collaborate, learn, make, ideate and meet. As a Launchpad member you can access these spaces anytime!What our rooms offer:
    The Ideas Room has Table Tennis table, an Xbox One, 7.1 Surround Sound and a 3D Smart TV with    Internet.
    Our Co-Working Room has 12 Windows PCs with dual screens, and 1 Apple iMac.
    We have a Mini-Photo Studio for PR shots, LinkedIn profiles and product photography!
    Our Maker Space is equipped with an Orion Delta 3D Printer, a Cube 3 3D Printer, 2 Sewing Machines, an Embroidery Machine, an Overlocker Machine, Soldering Stations, Raspberry Pis and Arduino Boards
    Our Learning room has free Wifi, flipcharts, 720p HDMI Projector, and a sound system.
  5. We have beer and Pizza every other Friday – what’s not to love?
    Join Teesside Launchpad

Upcoming events
Health Hack Tees 21st / 22nd October 2016 – book now on eventbrite

Social Enterprise Start-Up Weekend:  12th and 13th November 2016


Launchpad @mima

Launchpad has landed @mima

We love working with our colleagues at mima, so when they asked us to take part in the Teesside World Exposition of Art and Technology we jumped at the chance. We wanted to bring the world of 3D scan and 3D print to life for visitors, so we have transplanted Moments in 3D’s amazing whole body scanner and installed a hacked Xbox 360 Kinect to demo 3D scanning. If you haven’t visited mama’s amazing expo your missing out.


Launchpad Social Enterprise Bootcamp

Social Enterprise Start-Up Weekend

Budding social entrepreneurs worked the weekend in The Launchpad  to develop innovative business models that deliver social impact. Our amazing partner North East Social Enterprise Partnership ran a superb workshop and ideation session, culminating in pitching and business modelling. Each social entrepreneur can continue to explore their social enterprise through a series of bootcamps culminating in a potential grant award from UnLtd.

Social entreprenuers

Social Entrepreneurs

This Week in the Launchpad


Teesside get’s its very own Hackspace!

We gave a warm Launchpad welcome to Chris Corbett and his team from Teesside Hackspace. Teesside HacTeesside Hackspacekspace are a non-profit group trying to build a workshop in Middlesbrough where members can come to share tools and knowledge, meet people, learn, socialise and collaborate. A place to make your own projects a reality or help others with theirs.

Teesside Hackspace are recruiting members now so please head on over and sign up.

Our workshop programme is go!

Our first three skills development workshops are scheduled for March and April and they are  taking bookings fast. Mixing punchy engaging learning with fast paced networking this series of events combine 2hrs of skills development and contact building. Head over to skills network to book, Launchpad members can attend for free. Drop an email to Lizzie l.dixon@tees.ac.uk and she will send over a discount code.

The refurb continues.

We are pushing on with refurbishments to the Victoria Building, with new flooring spreading up the corridors and a new reception paint scheme. In response to member feedback we have added casual seating to the Co-Work lab and upgraded the WiFi.

Coming Soon…

  • Social Enterprise Start-Up Weekends!
  • Start Up Challenge with Transmit Startups!
  • SEO and Social Media training

This week in the Launchpad

This Week’s Highlights

Wednesday 11th November

6th Form Visit from Framwellgate School Durham

Students from Framwellgate School Durham visited Teesside Launchpad and spent time with @robopixelgames in their studio.  They played a pre-release version of Gun-annihilation and asked Robopixel founder Elliot Oldham questions about the games industry.



Megaoverdrive pitches to Microsoft

Our very own super talented start-up Mega Overdrive pitched to Microsoft today. We know that Georg and his team are destined for great things and we wish him well. More news to follow as it comes in…..


Tuesday 10th November

Co-Working Creates Connections!

Once again we had our friends at Colleagues On Tap facilitate a co-working event in the Launchpad. Games studio Hexdragonal Game showcased their amazing multiplayer title – Arclight Cascade and picked up some connections for sound and music production. That really is the benefit of co-working, the magic is in the mix.




This week in the Launchpad

This Week’s Highlights

Tuesday 8th September – Co-Working Rocks!

Tuesday was a great day here in the Launchpad, our friends from Colleagues On Tap brought their monthly Co-Working event into our Learning Space, which quickly spilled over next door into the Ideas Room, bringing graduates entrreprenuers , businesses professionals and students together in a collaborative cocktail of pitching, networking and contact swapping. Our next Co-Working day will be published shortly, they are free to attend for Teesside students, graduates, entrepreneurs and staff.  We are also planning a quarterly CEO Co-Working day….watch this space.

Coworking Teesside Launchpad

Coworking @ Teesside Launchpad

Monday 6th September

We welcome an amazing new intake of graduate start-ups into the Launchpad.

Orca –  The world first genuine “social” network. A platform for engaging in adventures and experiences.

Inviite – An amazing bluetooth beacon powered platform to help venues drive footfall and benefit from in depth analytics.

Hexdragonal – With their first game Arclight Cascade already up on Steam this team are set to be a huge success in the indie games sector.

Mega Ovedrive – Bringing rapid development toolsets to market for the 3D games industry.

News News News

What’s next in the Victoria Building re-boot?

We are about to start work on our very own Co-Working and Hot Desking space. Giving our graduate entrepreneurs, partners and staff an exciting place to work, and hopefully collaborate on new projects.

Opening October 2015…

Co-Working Space

Co-Working Space


This week in the Launchpad

This Week’s Highlights

Launchpad spaces are ready…

All three rooms are now furnished and ready for action! We have a unique collection of spaces for Teesside’s entrepreneurs to call home. An open space for collaboration and innovation. Our very own StartUp space.

Over the next few weeks we will be opening the spaces for viewings with activities and bookings starting in August.

Our Spaces:

  • Maker Space – x2 3D Printers, x2 Sewing Machines, Embroiderer, Overlocker, Soldering station.
  • Ideation Space – Xbox One, 1080p Projection, 7.1 Surround Sound, 3D Smart TV, WiFi Presentation.
  • Learning Space – 720p Projection, flexible seating, juice, sweets, tea & coffee.
  • Co-Working Space – Dual screen PCs, Free WiFi, print and copy, hot desks. COMING SOON


3D Scanning Booth Comes to Life!

As the first project to find a home in our maker space this really is something special. A Raspberry Pi powered 3D scanning booth with x100 Pis powering x100 Pi cameras. Step in to the space age structure and your body is scanned, imaged and replicated on screen in a 3D model that is, well it’s you!


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