3rd Venture School: People, Plastics & Our Planet

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Aurora Innovation Centre, BAS Cambridge, 2-6 March 2020

Are you passionate about the issues that surround plastics in our environment? Would you like to contribute to finding solutions to current key challenges? Do you already have an idea for innovation that can reduce/re-use/recycle plastic? Would you like to find ways to change people’s behaviour around plastic?

People, Plastics and our Planet offers the unique opportunity for early career researchers and entrepreneurial individuals from the business community to come together to develop and test ideas around solving the challenges posed by plastics in our environment.

The venture school, co-sponsored by University of Cambridge’s EPSRC CirPlas Hub, British Antarctic Survey and Value in Enterprise, will be a highly interactive/hands-on course delivered over 5 days. Interdisciplinary teams will work together to propose and develop solutions to plastic challenges that they identify as of particular interest. Each team will work towards defining a business model that is suitable to take their idea forward – supported by expert mentors. That could be a business venture, a social venture, an impact project, or a new collaboration.

During the programme, participants will:

  1. Define a complex problem
  2. Explore possible solutions and choose the most appropriate one(s)
  3. Articulate a value proposition
  4. Identify key partners
  5. Evaluate routes to market
  6. Propose a business model
  7. Design and deliver a winning pitch to secure resources

A participant in a previous Venture School commented: “I loved the diverse topic, starting with plastics and our environment, but then learning about entrepreneurial and business aspects. It was really interesting to get advice from “real” business people. Let’s do more!”

Cost: The contribution to the course costs for successful applicants is £200. Should covering these costs provide a substantial problem, please contact the organisers. Fees are covered centrally for Cambridge University staff and students, and members of all EPSRC-funded Circular Plastics Hubs.

Application process: Apply online at through this link including a copy of your CV and either a short video (up to 3 minutes long) or written responses addressing the following questions:

  • What is the biggest challenge we face with regard to plastics in our society now and in the future?
  • Why would you like to join this workshop?
  • What are you expecting to learn/take away from the programme?
  • Why should you be chosen to take part in the programme?

The deadline for early bird applications was 17 December 2019, 23:59 GMT—Deadline for all applications is February 9th, 23:59 GMT.

The best final pitch will have the opportunity to pitch to industry and investors in Cambridge and London in partnership with Cambridge Cleantech.

If you have any questions please email [email protected].

Accessibility information:

The BAS Aurora Innovation Centre, where this event is held, has two accessible parking bays right outside its main entrance. There is step-free access to the building, and the public areas of the building are wheelchair accessible. There are also wheelchair accessible toilets on both floors, and a lift to access all floors. For any other queries or more specific accessibility information please contact us at [email protected].

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