Local inventors, entrepreneurs and businesses are experiencing the buzz of the trading floor thanks to Kingston University. But this is not the London Stock Exchange and dealing is in knowledge, skills and technology, rather than stocks and bonds. The university has recently opened its Enterprise Exchange – a point of contact for companies and individuals to share resources and access support.
A series of programmes and services will be offered through the exchange. These have been designed to help organisations and individuals exploit the expertise and resources held by the university and its partners. Director Dr David Stokes believes it will help establish vital links to support for new and fledgling companies as well as established businesses. “The exchange is a meeting point between the worlds of education and commerce,” Dr Stokes said. “The philosophy is based on the traditional ‘exchanges’ such as Corn Exchanges or Stock Exchanges, where merchants and entrepreneurs gathered regularly to transact business.”
Many businesses were unaware that the university and its partners have a number of important assets to share, Dr Stokes explained. These include specific programmes and grants, human and physical resources and accreditation of learning in the workplace. In return, the University gains practical experiences for staff and students, as well as access to grants and sponsorship – all of which support its teaching and research activities. The exchange has three main roles – to facilitate existing programmes, to develop new initiatives and to act as the industrial gateway into the university for those seeking help.
Dr Stokes is especially enthusiastic about what the Exchange can do for people wishing to market a product or start up their own businesses. “We are committed to helping entrepreneurs and inventors turn their incredible ideas into credible products,” he said.