Case study

Delivering expertise in enterprise and innovation: Firing the start-up gun

29 Mar 2017

High-end wearable sport tech firm ‘Precision Sports Technology’ is a new business on the verge of great things.

Founded by UEL alumnus Alex Oviawe, it has already garnered endorsements from a recent Olympic medallist, an NFL star and a senior sport performance coach of a Premier League football team. 

It is just one of many exciting start-ups to emerge from UEL over the past two decades thanks to the University’s Knowledge Dock – an impressive business and entrepreneurship incubation hub where Alex has based his business.  

UEL has been supporting start-ups since 1993 but its commitment to helping local business moved into a new gear in 2007 when Knowledge Dock received its official opening by Queen Elizabeth II.

Funders of the building included the EU, the London Development Agency, HEFCE and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Since opening, it has provided premises and support for more than 1,000 start-ups.

A member of the European Business Network, it is currently home to 34 new caompanies and houses co-working space for many more.

To underline its commitment to entrepreneurship, UEL introduced an annual Dragon’s Den-style competition 12 years ago, called E-Factor. It has given more than 200 students the opportunity to turn their business ideas into a reality.

Alex won the E-Factor contest six years ago and used his prize of start-up capital and support to get his business off the ground.

The competition is run by the UEL Enterprise Team, who also coordinate the university’s Enterprise Academy, hosting talks on how to start a new business.

The team also run the Accelerator programme, offering master classes to existing small businesses.

Participants on these programmes can apply for an Enterprise Team grant, thanks to the support of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, who give UEL £10,000 annually to support businesses.

The University is now developing activity focused on women’s contributions to the economy and new industry-facing sustainability laboratories to support new and current business partnerships in the local area.