Future Space welcomes interns for inaugural programme
The start-up and scale-up businesses at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) tech and science innovation hub Future Space have opened their doors to students taking part in a new internship initiative designed around their business needs.
Over the ten-week period the interns will develop skills, network and ultimately kickstart their career in marketing at Future Space companies which are participating in the fully funded scheme being run for the first time this year.
As a fully funded programme this scheme enables Future Space companies to avail of support which may otherwise not have been possible. The funding of this bespoke initiative brings mutual benefits to both the students and the companies involved.
Martin Boddy, pro-vice chancellor of research and enterprise at UWE Bristol, said: “Creating the best environment for or students to develop the skills needed to succeed at work is a hugely important part of our ambition to support their progress – while at the same time working to support innovative fast-growth businesses.
“That’s why we’re always looking for ways to make university and business links stronger. The bespoke fully funded internship programme set up with Future Space this year is a fantastic example and I am sure will be a valuable experience for those who take part in it.”
Commenting on the support, founder of Future Space business Koan, Lee Tracey said: “As we’re such a small company we wouldn’t have taken on an intern unless it was fully funded, we simply wouldn’t have had the resources to.
“As a micro-business we need all the help we can get, and our intern Alberto González has been a part of all the major conversations. We’re really glad to have Alberto with us. As a micro-business owner, having an intern can make a big impact for us as an employer.”
Innovation director at Future Space, Nuala Foley said: “Interns often have the opportunity to learn a lot more at small businesses rather than a large corporation as they get immersed in all aspects of the business from day one.
“The work the interns are undertaking will add a genuine commercial contribution to the Future Space companies. The students have the opportunity to really make a splash in the business helping them to grow and develop whilst enhancing their own CV.
Nuala said: “We need more students to get involved, the benefits to both the student and the employer are boundless. The companies here at Future Space already want more interns and the current programme isn’t even finished yet!”
Future Space customer Open Bionics has taken on Charlie Blaise as a marketing intern.
“He has filmed and edited videos for the launch of the Brunel Hand 2.0, a robotic hand for researchers, and has also created content for the Hero Arm, the world’s first medically approved 3D-printed bionic arm and the most affordable multi-grip bionic arm ever. His work has received thousands of views and engagement from all around the world. I’m super impressed by his work ethic, adaptability and determination.”
Commenting on his internship, Charlie said: “I’m gaining a lot of skills I didn’t have before. I’ve learnt that launching a product isn’t just about throwing it out there and hoping for the best, it’s very strategic and I’m learning how to use digital marketing professionally as a powerful tool in business. The team is supportive and the tasks I’ve been set are varied and eye-opening. Chris sat me down one day and said, ‘what do you want to do?’
“He then gave me a brief and told me to go away and do it, ultimately I’ve produced a film about the hero arm, something I’m very proud of.”
Building a rapport
HBXL, which created estimating software used by builders and developers, has welcomed intern Farah Mulk who is completing her masters at UWE Bristol.
Farah comments: “My experience with HBXL so far has been great. It feels as if you are working as part of a family and whenever I’ve struggled with anything, they’ve given me the time I need. My knowledge has already grown so much, and I’ve gained a lot of experience. I believe that when you work in a small company you receive a lot more encouragement.”
Communications manager at HBXL, Sally Pitt said: “This is HBXL’s first internship programme and it’s a learning experience for us too. We would welcome the opportunity to hire another intern in the future. From the start we’ve treated Farah as an employee to help her feel a part of the business. Far from her time being about making tea and coffee, Farah has been getting stuck into helping with the digital marketing for HBXL!”