CBIT Venture Builder empowering ‘disruptive’ startups

Startups with innovative and ambitious visions are being offered the chance to benefit from the expertise of seasoned disruptor entrepreneurs through the CBIT Venture Builder programme at Nottingham Business School (NBS), a part of Nottingham Trent University.

The programme includes access to a suite of benefits, including over £70,000 in hardware and software credits.

As a crucial component of the Centre for Business and Industry Transformation (CBIT) at NBS, the Venture Builder is dedicated to fostering entrepreneurs intent on challenging industry norms and revolutionising their business practices. Its aim is to guide them from their initial stages to scalable and sustainable growth.

The programme adopts a sparring partner approach, offering a customised journey for each startup. This journey encompasses four main pillars: comprehensive business model clinics and innovation strategies, business process and product road mapping, strategic growth hacking, and preparation for investment. This tailored support ensures strategic and robust growth for each business.

Participating startups gain access to a range of advantages, including cutting-edge hardware and software technologies like drones, AI development-ready stations, 3D printers for prototyping, and credits for crucial services such as Notion, Miro, AWS, Stripe, among others.

Professor Xiao Ma, director of CBIT and a globally recognised leader in entrepreneurship, business transformation, and the digital economy, stated: “Our role at CBIT has been pivotal in assisting numerous startups in pivoting and understanding their unique value propositions, aiding them in transforming business norms. We are committed to nurturing more businesses, helping them to innovate and challenge conventional industry standards, with the aim of establishing them as leaders in their respective fields.”

Among the businesses supported by the Venture Builder are Jakin ID, an IoT workforce and security management enterprise, and its parent company, Actatek, which recently secured a major contract for advanced access control and workforce management solutions. Another participant, UK grooming brand BarberBoss, is collaborating with the programme on a £230,000 Knowledge Transfer Partnership to enhance supply chain efficiency through AI.

New additions to the portfolio include Freeaim VR, creators of innovative virtual reality shoes, and Healthy Air, a Nottingham-based pioneer in air purification technology. Their advanced air purifier is designed to improve air quality in workspaces and homes, tackling the challenge of air pollution.

The Venture Builder has also supported DOCK-Y, a tech innovation company focusing on safer, smarter micro-mobility solutions. They developed the Advanced Rider Assist System (ARAS) leveraging AI, computer vision, and machine learning to enhance the safety of e-scooters and e-bikes.

Manish Pillay, founder and CEO of DOCK-Y, commented: "DOCK-Y's journey in the CBIT Venture Builder program has been significantly beneficial. This opportunity has allowed us to have access to valuable expertise, aiding in the refinement of our business model and processes, and enhancing our growth tactics. CBIT has been more than just a collaborator; they've been valuable partner, propelling us forward in Dock-Y's journey towards having a strong foot in the micro-mobility sector.”

CBIT, as part of Nottingham Business School, not only excels in accelerating disruptive technologies but also conducts impactful applied research for societal benefit. It offers an MSc in Business Transformation, designed by entrepreneurs who previously created the UK’s top entrepreneurship course. The MSc offers dynamic, immersive learning beyond textbooks, focusing on real-world, activity-based learning to transform students into practitioners capable of business transformation.