College unveils landmark enterprise centre

City College Norwich launches StartUp Lounge with entrepreneur support

A higher education initiative to integrate enterprise into education has unveiled a finishing school for the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

The Gazelle Group’s StartUp Lounge was opened at City College Norwich on Friday, with a launch event attended by leading entrepreneurs and Norwich North MP Chloë Smith.

Priya Lakhani, founder of Masala Masala, and Ben Ramsden from Pants to Poverty agreed to become honorary Gazelle Entrepreneurs in support of the initiative, started by Generator Enterprises.

The groundbreaking new Lounge features a number of interactive spaces to guide students through each stage of the start-up journey. The traditional college auditorium has been replaced with a Collaboratorium and, instead of education, students are encouraged to engage in ‘ideation’ in a purpose-built space.

The Lounge also includes a Dragons’ Den-style pitching room with two-way video recording, so students can review not only their presentation, but the reaction of their audience.

It is hoped that the Lounge will help more students to leave the college equipped with the ambitious, can-do attitude required to breed success in the tough contemporary climate for employment.

Dick Palmer, principal of City College Norwich and chairman of Generator Enterprises, said:

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“The StartUp Lounge is about transforming further education and helping to create the start-up businesses needed for future growth.

“Our students are already making fantastic use of the StartUp Lounge, and from September we will be making these opportunities an entitlement for all of our 14,000 students.”

Lakhani added: “The education system we currently have is built to push young people down the traditional route of employment, which isn’t suitable for everyone.

“Young people today have the talent and creativity required to start their own business, and we need to do more to encourage them to dream big.”

Generator Enterprises – a company founded by the principals of City College Norwich, Gateshead College, New College Nottingham, North Hertfordshire College and Warwickshire College – hopes the StartUp Lounge will form a founding block in its vision to transform the education sector through entrepreneurship.

The company is currently developing a blueprint for a groundbreaking UK Entrepreneurial College; similar to Babson College, the US’s leading college for entrepreneurship.


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