Entrepreneurship - unlocking potential
We empower entrepreneurs to reach their full potential by providing an epicentre for entrepreneurial activity, bringing together like-minded people and providing them with all the tools they need to bring their ideas to life.
The Cranfield family
We bring management experts together with technical people with the brightest ideas, and we welcome investors, mentors and industry specialists. So whether you’re a student looking to start up their own business, a seasoned entrepreneur looking to take advantage of Cranfield’s world-class entrepreneurship programmes and technical facilities, or an investor seeking the best ideas and the brightest minds, we can help you access the resources you need. At Cranfield you’ll part of a unique network that enables business ideas to go from conception to super-growth.
At Cranfield, entrepreneurs can access:
- Incubation co-workspace, workshops and offices with flexible low-cost terms, which encourage interactions with like-minded and highly motivated fellow entrepreneurs;
- Entrepreneurial skills development courses and events from the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship;
- Business and technical mentors, drawn from Cranfield’s alumni network and industry partners;
- Academic expertise in disciplines including aerospace, aviation, manufacturing, design, cleantech and security;
- Networking and industry-specific events and lectures to facilitate knowledge sharing and networking opportunities with nationwide networks;
- A world-class technology demonstration and maturation environment, including R&D, airport facilities, rapid prototyping and design expertise;
- Support with funding and exposure to investors (pre-seed, seed, series A and grant funding).
Many of our students go on to form highly successful businesses and at Cranfield we give you the support you need to get started. Below are some case studies that show you where Cranfield can take you.
Networking events for businesses
At Cranfield we run a range of networking events that growing businesses can benefit from attending.
A one-day annual conference and networking event and a great opportunity for entrepreneurs and innovative individuals to come together for a day of networking, music, entertainment and enterprise.
Entrepreneurship Speaker Series
A programme featuring leading entrepreneurs who will take you through their journey and the challenges they faced whilst growing their business. These inspiring talks also provide the opportunity to network with individuals who share your interest in entrepreneurship.
Research & Development Breakfast Seminars
Join us for breakfast and networking to learn about funding opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the SEMLEP region, how SMEs from key industrial sectors can access funding to develop new technology, processes and services to support growth and innovation, and much more. Contact Cranfield Technology Park to book onto the next session.
Visit our School of Management events page for information about the many other events we run.
For growing businesses
Business Growth Programme
This programme provides owner-managers with a unique opportunity to step back from the day-to-day demands of running their business and develop a comprehensive strategy and plan for the future.
Ready for Scale
Ready for Scale is designed to enable micro/SMEs to take their business to the next level. Through a combination of onsite events and online modules, you will be helped to navigate the barriers restricting your business growth.
Ready for Net Zero Growth
The Ready for Net Zero Growth programme helps your business take a leap on its growth trajectory with a focus on embedding your businesses Net Zero ambitions within your growth plan.
Incubation and acceleration
AVIATE+, Cranfield University has been designated as a University Enterprise Zone and has been awarded £1.2 million from Research England to help to create a UK Aviation Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship cluster.
Cranfield Eagle Lab, an exciting collaboration between Barclays and Cranfield University, is an innovation lab specialising in aviation technology. It offers a co-working space for ambitious entrepreneurs to scale and grow their businesses.
Cranfield University Business Incubation Centre (CUBIC) can provide the perfect setting for your fledgling company, with advanced technology and management expertise right on your doorstep. Being in a hub of innovation on our campus will be invaluable for your business, both in its formative stages and during growth.
MK:U Innovation Hub is a central beacon for trailblazing ideas within the local business community based at MK:U, Cranfield's new university for Milton Keynes. Launched in March 2022, the Hub is home to dedicated creative and collaborative spaces, runs regular showcases and networking events, and also offers a unique Innovator Programme that helps entrepreneurs develop and market their ideas.
Events for our students
Our students benefit from a wide range of engaging events at Cranfield to help develop the budding entrepreneur such as:
Ideas to Innovation (i2i) - i2i has been designed for ambitious individuals looking to unlock their entrepreneurial and creative potential. This programme encourages research students to consider the social and economic relevance of their research.
Start-up Weekends - high energy weekends where you'll learn about ideas from across the campus, build interim teams and thrash out ideas so that we can help you find viable business opportunities.
Entrepreneurship Speaker Series - throughout this programme you will hear from leading entrepreneurs who will take you through their journey and the challenges they faced whilst growing their businesses.
Investor Day - the annual Cranfield Investor Day is an opportunity for selected Entrepreneurs affiliated with Cranfield University to present their business ideas to receive feedback from a senior panel of experts, seasoned entrepreneurs and investors.
Unilever-Cranfield Innovation Accelerator programme - A real-life ‘Dragon’s Den’ event, which culminated in nine student teams pitching their solutions, focused on improving sustainability, to senior executives and academics.
Venture Capital Investment Competition - find out more on the VCIC website.
NatWest Climate Hackathon - an interactive event which deals with real-world climate challenges, enabling students to create, develop and pitch viable business solutions to these challenges.
European Business Plan of the Year Competition (EBPYC) - the EBPYC was jointly created by INSEAD and London Business School in 1993 to encourage the teaching of entrepreneurship and the creation of new ventures.
Visit the School of Management events page for information about the many other events we run.
Thought Leadership – our academics regularly lend their voices as commentators on the global news agenda, reinforcing their expertise on matters affecting business and society.
Research degrees – the Cranfield PhD and the Executive DBA will equip you with the skills you need to make an impact in your chosen field.
Doctoral opportunities – see current opportunities at the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship.