Young Enterprise Scheme (YES): Biotechnology YES and Environment YES
Duration 1 day
Training Units 6.0
Team Researcher Academy

Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES)

Course Information

Title: Young Entrepreneurs Scheme (YES): Biotechnology YES and Environment YES
Duration: 1 day
Training Units 6.0

Target Audience

Late stage postgraduate research students

Early career researchers (within 5 years of obtaining PhD)

Suitable for PhD students and early career researchers of all ages, who are interested in learning about the commercialisation of research ideas and/or starting their own business.


A team of 4-5 individuals represent the University of Nottingham at 2017 Biotechnology YES and Environment YES competitions. Attendance or review of the online briefing session is required followed by a 3-day residential heat/workshop aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills and ideas.


The YES competition is a series of expert seminars leading to a business competition designed for postgraduates and post-doctoral researchers. We hope that by taking part you will develop an awareness of the needs of industry in respect to the breadth of skills that an employer is seeking. You will also consider the implications for starting your own "business" and gain an understanding of the issues and considerations involved in the commercialisation of technology research. This competition has been devised for you to further understand the processes involved in bringing new technologies to the marketplace. By taking part you will have the experience of hearing presentations by industry representatives and experts from the related financial and legal sectors. The objective of the competition is to prepare a business plan for a new idea that could be used to seek venture capital funding. The actual idea is not important; it is putting together a plan that matters, so the idea should ideally be a fictitious one. You will be part of a team that is given the task of developing an imaginary business and, by producing a realistic business plan, you will demonstrate that it could work and be successful. On the final day the participants will present their business plan before a panel comprised of business, financial and academic representatives taking the role of venture capitalists.

The winning team will receive prize money.

Dates for 2017

National YES Webinar Briefing

ONLINE - 1st August 11:00-13:00pm – this can be reviewed after the event

Participation in ONE regional heat. Current heat allocation

Plant, microbial and environment workshop: 04-06 October – Syngenta, Jealott’s Hill


Heat Winners Head to Head Grand Final:

12 December 2017 - Royal Society, London

How to book a place
Team members who have liaised and confirmed their involvement with Tracey Hassall-Jones, can click the booking link below, to enable Researcher Academy to award training points once regional heats have been attended. Clicking this link is an internal process and does not have any influence on the YES competition processes.
Go to for more information on YES. You will have already liaised with Tracey Hassall-Jones about the competition, but either Tracey ( or Elizabeth Davey ( will be able to answer any questions. 

Typical Programme Outline:

The heats/workshops are essentially fast paced experiential training events and each follows the same format and programme, though speakers may vary. There will be opportunities to get to know other university participants and observe the pitches of other teams in your heat. The residential stays are packed with learning facilitated by speakers from industry and access to specialist mentors who will work with your team to help you to prepare your oral business plan presentation for the final day. Prizes will be awarded at each heat for specific activities during the programme.

Preparation and finalisation of your business plan will be conducted over the course of your heat, between training activities. On the final day all plans will be pitched as an oral presentation to a panel of judges who determine heat winners progressing on to the final in London later in the year.


The competition aims to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in the University of Nottingham’s research community.


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