UK (University of York) University runs first ever entrepreneur exchange

The University of York held its first ever entrepreneur exchange in Greece – helping three businesses from North Yorkshire create potential overseas investment opportunities.

Representatives of the University of York, CITY College, University of York Europe Campus and Thessaloniki Innovation Zone launch their first entrepreneur exchange.

Enterprise Works, the University’s small business hub, led the exchange which saw the three business leaders head to Thessaloniki for the networking event.

Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, boasts a population of 1.2 million. Situated in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in SE Europe, it is the home of CITY College, University of York Europe Campus, part of the University of York community since 2021.

Investment advice

Utilising the local knowledge and links by the University and CITY College, University of York Europe Campus, the entrepreneurs were given an expert introduction to the local markets and 1-2-1 meetings with a range of relevant local businesses.

They also attended the European Business Angels Network annual congress, held in Thessaloniki, where they accessed a range of specialist investment advice and access to the business community.

The exchange, which was organised through CITY College, University of York Europe Campus, based in Thessaloniki, saw Nature’s Laboratory, TestCard and Asclepius Healthcare, take part in the three-day event.

  • TestCard is a digital platform technology company based in Scarborough that allows accurate reading, recording, and reporting of medical test results.
  •  Asclepius Healthcare, based in Wetherby, provides an innovative solution to improve the quality of surgical care through better risk stratification and enhanced postoperative monitoring.
  •   Nature’s Laboratory, based in Scarborough, develop sustainable and effective natural medicines, including plant medicines, bee medicines and skincare.

Julie Macey-Hewitt, Operations Manager at TestCard, said: “As an ambitious company with a strong growth record, we were delighted to be selected to join this exchange. The existing in-country links meant that we could engage with a number of major potential-client companies, build relationships and expand our investor opportunities.

“It’s so valuable to regional businesses to have the University playing an active role in supporting small business and using its global links to create growth opportunities”.

Create opportunities

Director of Enterprise Works, Sam Gardner, said: “Enterprise Works’ role is to create opportunities for anyone, from any community, to be entrepreneurial – whether that’s in their own community, through a charity, or in starting and growing a business.

“We’re delighted to be able to use the University’s strong global links to support our region’s entrepreneurs and look forward to building links with the thriving business community in Thessaloniki and the South East European region.”

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement, Prof Kiran Trehan, said: “We are building strong, collaborative partnerships in York and around the world.

“By promoting collaboration beyond disciplinary boundaries, and with diverse people and entities from across society, for and with our local and business community we can create a thriving local economy that retains talent in the region, and enables global competitiveness.”

 There will be a continuing relationship between the University and the entrepreneurs, who will be sharing their expertise, stories and experience with the student and local entrepreneurial communities.  Given the success of this exciting pilot programme the university is exploring opportunities to provide a similar venture to Greece, and with other global partners next year.